Compared to the chrysanthemum industry which has been commercially active for over a century, the Echinacea industry is rather young. The newest at this Echinacea market is the yellow Cara Mia that was introduced by Terra Nova in July 2018.
Echinacea CARA MIA™ Yellow
“Modern Echinacea breeding began with Dr. Jim Ault, of the Chicago Botanical Garden in the mid-1990s. Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc. started shortly thereafter”, says Chuck Pavlich. “We sourced the best species, made selections and set high goals for intense colors and great habits. We have more than 20 generations of Echinaceas in our line-up. Consumers were entranced with our colors and shortly, more novel forms merged from our breeding and sales increased further. There is quite a bit of competition in the industry, but we remain focusing on strict standards of perfection.”
Cara Mia is characterized by large, very full double flowers that hold color for months. “It is our best double flower to date. It is the whole package. Superior branching habit strong, vigorous growth high bud count and long lasting brilliant yellow color. The superb habit – both in containers and the garden make this extra special. This variety is especially fine for container culture. It looks great on the retail shelf and definitely screams ‘look at me!”
Since the introduction last year, the demand was instantly high, according to Chuck. “Growers like this plant because of uniform performance and outstanding vigor. Growers won’t have to pinch or PGR this variety to obtain top dollar in the perennial market. The end consumer gets to enjoy a stunning yellow color, a profusion of deep yellow flowers that last a long time and a true mid-sized habit that won’t have to be moved around because the consumer was fooled by the grower that used PGRs.”
The Echinacea was called Cara Mia for a reason, as it means ‘My beloved’ in Italian. “This plant is beloved by all that grow it. It is already an award winner and plant brokers, growers and licensees have sent us photos illustrating how great this plant is.”
Eager to meet the Terra Nova team and to see more of their varieties? Stop by at their booth (1850, NV34) during the Cultivate '19, which is being held in Columbus, Ohio (US), from July 13-16.