"This chrysanthemum is white as snow and it really shows when putting it next to other white varieties. Furthermore, it has a very green heart, a lot of volume, it's very uniform, easy to dye, and very durable, allowing it to be transported over long distances".
This is what Ilonka Ekelmans of Kwekerij Sensation says about the new spray chrysanthemum from Dümmen Orange's single-flower segment. After they stopped with Bacardi in 2016, they started looking for a new single white chrysanthemum. Two years ago, they saw this white chrysanthemum, which was still a code at the time, and started testing this variety. In week 38 of this year, Ilonka was officially introduced and cultivation of this chrysanthemum started. So far, Ilonka is very satisfied with the demand, which almost exceeds the supply, and she has high expectations for the future.
Namesakes, a coincidence?
The name of this new variety is Ilonka, spelled and pronounced the same way as the first name of Ilonka Ekelmans; is this a coincidence? "It's true that the variety is named after me," says Ilonka. "Some representatives of Dümmen Orange came by to brainstorm about the name. We came up with some suggestions and some names were already being used. I am always busy at the nursery but occasionally, I also do some work for Dümmen Orange, so at one point one of the representatives said: 'Why don't we call the variety Ilonka?' It ended up becoming the name, especially because it is a name that is easy to pronounce and used internationally (Eastern Europe: Poland, Russia, Hungary, etc.)".
More than half of the acreage is Ilonka
Kwekerij Sensation's greenhouses are 4.6 ha. They cultivate Ilonka on 2.6 ha and Pina Colada on 2 ha, both are varieties of Dümmen Orange. "For us, it's ideal to cultivate one variety in each greenhouse, it works much easier and is more efficient".
Good response and excellent demand Ilonka was officially introduced in week 38 and in this week, they also started selling it. "We sell them through the flower auctions in Aalsmeer and Naaldwijk, and very occasionally by direct trade. The demand is excellent," continues Ilonka. "It is almost more than we can supply. The response is good, also from the countries we export to."
One of the most expensive single whites
Right away, the price was in line with similar single white varieties. "It's currently one of the most expensive single whites, especially because it has a lot of volume and there are few single whites available in that weight."
Potential to become one of the biggest of its kind
Kwekerij Sensation will certainly continue to cultivate Ilonka because they see a lot of potential in this variety. "Ilonka has the potential to become one of the biggest of its kind. Unfortunately, we don't have enough greenhouses to expand the acreage, so we have to make do with what we have now".
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