Magic happens with Schoneveld Breeding’s award-winning Cyclamen ‘Illusia’

‘Illusia’ planter incorporating between 5-6 plants for an awe-inspiring presentation.

‘Illusia’, the cyclamen that does not look like a cyclamen, won top honours at the Japanese Flower Trials and is now ready to take its magic to the forthcoming FlowerTrials in the Netherlands and Germany where it will undoubtingly wow the crowds.

Exciting things can happen when the boundaries in biolology blur. Huub van Oorspronk, area manager of Schoneveld Breeding, a 94-year old family business specialised in innovative ornamental plant breeding, explains how the company’s latest ‘Illusia’ Cyclamen took attendees of the Japanese Flower Trials by storm.

“The Japan Flower Selections (JFS) held the event between 26-28 September in Nagano. Schoneveld Breeding deliberately chose the country’s Open House event for the bedding and pot plant industry as launch platform. Because  Japan is the country where ‘Illusia’ receives the attention it deserves. ‘Illusia’  is the type of innovative product much appreciated by the Japanese market. Seed distributors and consumers are truly specialists.”

In the Japanese contest the blooming breakthrough won top honours with a panel of expert judges commenting as follows: “‘Illusia’ features upward-facing flowers, which are a bit different (FCI editorial board: an understament!) from traditional varieties. The blooms are reminescent of cherry blossoms and boast originality, such as the protrusions on the inner petals. The plant’s overall look is luxurious and novel. It is very floriferous  and has a long shelf life. The upward facing flowers are  perhaps the result of the plant’s compact growth habit.”

Huub van Oorspronk (centre holding a poster) and Nico de Haan posing for a photo during a business trip to Japan.

Botanically speaking Cyclamen is a tuberous perennial. Cyclamen is a staple houseplant or patio plant on the global ornamental plant market. The genus of this perennial belongs to the Primulaceae family. ‘Illusia’ cannot easily hide its ancestors as it flowers are more or les similar to Primula flowers, but than without the striking patterned and leathery foliage of course.

The new variety is the result of 8 years in-house breeding in the premises of Schoneveld Breeding in Wilp. It is not the first time that Schoneveld Breeding creates a stir in the Cyclamen industry. Cyclamen professionals will remember how the double-flowered ‘Masako’ made the headlines in 2018 or , much earlier, ‘Petticoat’ with recognisable umbrella-shaped petals.

‘Illusia’is a seed-raised, non-fragrant F1 variety, which guarantees true to variety, quality, efficient cropping and good yields. Van Oorspronk recommends growing the plant in a 12cm pot, which will result in beefy plants with a genuine wow factor. He anticipates that pink will be the primary ‘Illusia’ colour for the next 2-3 years while additional colours are already a work in progress. Eventually, the idea is to create a complete ‘Illusia’ series.

Huub van Oorspronk, a self-acclaimed Cyclamen aficionado, has traveled frequently to Japan where he “witnessed the most spectacular things in Cyclamen breeding”. But he candidly admits he has never seen such a thing as ‘Illusia’.

He notes, “We could only have dreamed of such overwhelmingly positive reactions during the Japanese FlowerTrials. The response proofs how big a potential ‘Illusia’ has within the Japanese market and the rest of the world. We are 100 per cent confident on a successful introduction and positioning in the market.”

‘Illusia’ is in its introduction phase, with currently not more than 50,000 Dutch grown plants available. However, Van Oorspronk, says that while its market entrance will be gradual the company will ramp up seed production.

Schoneveld Breeding will officially launch ‘Illusia’ at the Dutch Flower Trials in week 24, June this year.

There is a chance that eagle-eyed attendees at this year’s IPM Essen show have already spotted ‘Illusia’ in Schoneveld Breeding’s stand where it was somewhat hidden from the view.


↑ Back to top