Gé C. M. Bentvelsen and Jocelyne from ABZ Seeds.
ABZ Seeds is a hybridizer of strawberry varieties and has specialized in hybridizing from seed. In that area, the hybridizer has a unique position worldwide and the seeds find their way to more than 30 countries spread over all six continents.
The presentation of ABZ Seeds at the FlowerTrials. Photo: Holland Strawberry House, facebook page of ABZ
During the Flower Trials, two weeks ago, the hybridizer presented a few new varieties. Naturally, garden plants were central. When asked about the newcomers, Bentvelsen begins enthusiastically explaining. "In the beginning, we had the Early and Compact series in the spotlight. This is a series that is very popular among growers, who put the plant on the market in large numbers. Secondly, we presented, as a new introduction in our Hanging Basket series, a sensational red flowered variety called Ruby Ann: a plant with a lot of volume and a lot of runners. This attracted a lot of attention, so much that it surprised us. In particular, the Southern European and, of course, the Chinese customer, found it wonderful. In our large flowering series, the emphasis is more on decorative value. In this series, we introduced the FleuroStar Award winner Toscana four years ago. This year, we have introduced a white flowered version of the Toscana: the Montana. Last, but not least, during the Flower Trials, we introduced a convenience concept, DelizzR, a repeat flowering variety in which the first strawberries are already on the plant at time of purchase. And most customers really like that."
Our strawberry varieties arrive at the customer in three different forms: as strawberry, as plant or as seed (in small packets). "The growth that we are currently experiencing is primarily coming from garden plants. But there are also a lot more possibilities in cultivation for the fresh market, I really believe that. There are also countless possibilities for sales in winter months. Strawberries bought by the consumer in winter months almost always come from Spain. These look good and smell nice, but they do not have the same taste. Over the years, we developed a number of repeat flowering varieties that can be grown under lighting in the Netherlands and can also provide fantastic flavor during the winter. We are launching this new concept under the name of DelizzimoR. It is now our task to raise its profile amongst growers and consumers, which is a large challenge for us.”