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Flevo Snow: ‘Snow white, large spike, an all-rounder’

White is by far the most popular colour when it comes to gladioli. Therefore, every breeder is looking to find the ultimate white cultivar. As for Marchel Snoek from Ens, his quest led to the discovery of Flevo Snow a few years back. The large spike, the pine green foliage and a healthy base makes this variety shooting for the stars.

At CNB’s gladioli show early August, ‘Flevo Snow’ was the winner in the category for best large flowered variety. A large white gladioli with excellent proportions and shape according to the judges. This variety from growers’ association Stichting Glaco, was presented in 2005. Breeder Marchel Snoek from J. en P. Snoek en Zn. in Ens was one of the first to see this gladioli’s potential.

The snow white flowers and heavy spike are unique features you don’t see in other varieties. “The large, lush buds give a lot of volume”, says Snoek. “It’s what makes ‘Flevo Snow’ sturdier than other white gladioli. Not to mention its superior health and rich green foliage.” The latter feature is quite remarkable according to the breeder. “The greenery of white gladioli is often very pale.”

Another road into town
According to Snoek, ‘Flevo Snow’ can be a serious competitor to ‘Amsterdam’, which is the current market leader. “White is by far the most popular colour. ‘Amsterdam’ is the biggest available variety at present but is starting to age. In addition, breeders are always searching for improvements. People have often tried to use ‘Amsterdam’ as one of the parental plants in order to produce the desired characteristics in a new white variety. Unfortunately, they were never successful. I went into the opposite direction with ‘Flevo Snow’. It has no genetic connection to ‘Amsterdam’, which makes it very interesting.” The pure white gladioli is 1.7m high, flowers mid-season and has been widely tested abroad in the meantime. Snoek: “It has been planted and come to flower in different places around the world and we’ve only received positive feedback. This cultivar seems to be an excellent all-round variety and is very promising for the future. You don’t see this very often. ‘Flevo Snow’ looks very strong, sturdy and isn’t pestered by any diseases. The Bean Yellow Mosaic Virus, which can leave visible traces with certain varieties, doesn’t seem to have any effect on ‘Flevo Snow’. We’ve also received positive feedback on its performance in hot weather conditions.”

Wild flower bouquets
The market for gladioli is very broad with Southern Europe being the traditional market. Over the years however, Mexico, India, Pakistan, Japan and the Middle East have become equally important. This product is also working on a comeback in the Netherlands, Snoek finds. “Gladioli seem to be re-invented by the industry and have been used in many wild flower bouquets. It’s a wonderful development.”

Snoek has been in the gladioli breeding business for over 38 years. ‘Flevo Snow’ is part of the Flevo cultivar series, which is characterised by large flower spikes. “I find that the market values this particular feature”, says Snoek. “Gladioli is traditionally sold in bud, so a good variety needs to have proper shape and size. Flevo varieties also have ruffled flowers making them more appealing to the eye and less vulnerable to damage. There is a whole collection down the pipe line; all there is left to do is finalising the colour palette.”

Text: Jeannet Pennings
Photography: René Faas
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