This year’s FleuroStar Award goes to Syngenta Flowers’ dahlia Sincerity. It’s the fourth time the breeder wins the award. They won in 2009 with their pot carnation Diabunda Purple Picotee, in 2012 with Verbena Lanai Twister Red and in 2013 with pot gerbera Cartwheel Strawberry.
The FlowerTrials were cancelled due to the Covid-19 this year. As a result, the FleuroStar Contest couldn’t take place in the traditional format. The five nominated plants were only lined up in one location, Takii in De Kwakel. One third of the more than 30 adjudicators voted there in person. The others took part in one of the eight Zoom sessions. A mostly online competition guaranteed the continuity of this floriculture event through a concept adapted to the current reality, explained the organisation.
Best competition ever
Many of the adjudicators said the entries were better than any others out of all thirteen editions so far. The jury report on award winner Sincerity stated: “A magnificent plant. The colour and size of the flowers are truly stunning. Sincerity is a great eye-catcher in larger planters and will stand out in borders too. The giant flowers provide an explosion of colour when they bloom in late summer.”
Michael Kester, Global Head of Syngenta Flowers, feels that the person deserving all the credit is Aad Verwer with his more than 40 years’ experience in dahlia breeding. Syngenta took over Verwer Dahlia’s assortment and genetics in 2018. “Everything good about dahlias comes together in Sincerity: colour, practical value, wow factor and ease of use. It’s a great example of innovative genetics creating value that serves the entire chain. That’s what breeding is all about. Otherwise, you’d just be creating more of the same.”
Breeder Ronald Snijder describes the award winner as an ultra-traditional dahlia. The aspect he’s most proud of are the large (up to 20 cm) flowers, which are pink and white with a hint of yellow in the centre. And they’re strong too; they won’t fall over too easily in a planter or a flower bed.
Snijder says that Sincerity is best planted in pot size 19. Pot size 13 would just about work, but his advice is to use pot size 14 or larger. The variety is easy to grow and has a natural abundance of branches and flowers.
As per 1 September 2020, Michael Kester will be leaving his position as Global Head of Syngenta Flowers. During his 3.5 years in the role, he managed to get this division of the global breeding company back on track. They’d been following a strategy that wasn’t working for a while, according to Kester. Nowadays, Syngenta Flowers is growing again.
Click here to read more on the FleuroStar Award.