Blue Paradise

Little Bluestem, Bunchgrass

Denomination: 'Blue Paradise'
Botanical Name: Schizachyrium scoparium
Applicant/Holder: Walters Gardens, Inc.
1992 96th Avenue
P.O. Box 137
Zeeland, Michigan
49464-0137
United States of America
Breeder: Hans A. Hansen, Zeeland, United States of America
Agent in Canada: Variety Rights Management
475 County Road 18
R.R. #2
Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0
Canada
Tel: 613-258-9015
Application Date: 2016-01-22
Application Number: 16-8805

Variety Description

Variety used for comparison: 'Blue Heaven'

Summary: The plants and flag leaves of 'Blue Paradise' are shorter than those of 'Blue Heaven'. The fringe of the hairs on the margin of the base of the flag leaf of 'Blue Paradise' are of medium density to dense and dark red-purple while those of 'Blue Heaven' are sparse and light green-yellow. In the late summer, the leaf blade of 'Blue Paradise' is brown purple darkening to dark purple red in the fall while the leaf blade of 'Blue Heaven' is brown purple fading to lighter brown purple to blue pink in the fall. When fully expanded, the inflorescence of 'Blue Paradise' is shorter, with a strong to very strong intensity of anthocyanin colouration, than that of 'Blue Heaven', which has a medium intensity of anthocyanin colouration. The flowers of 'Blue Paradise' develop later than those of 'Blue Heaven'.

Description:

PLANT: semi-erect growth habit
STEM: lignified, thin to medium thickness at base, light green to medium green, absent or very sparse pubescence

LEAF: alternate arrangement
FLAG LEAF BLADE: medium to dense dark red purple fringe of hairs on margin of base
LEAF BLADE: linear shape, light green to medium green on upper side, brown purple darkening to dark purple red on upper side in the late summer/fall, concave shape in cross-section, twisted shape in longitudinal section, entire margin, acute apex, absent or very sparse pubescence

INFLORESCENCE: raceme type, strong to very strong intensity of anthocyanin colouration when fully expanded

Origin & Breeding History: 'Blue Paradise' originated from a line crossing conducted and monitored by Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens Inc. in Zeeland, Michegan. The cross was made between the proprietary female parent 'H10-06' and an open pollinated male parent in the summer of 2011. The selection process used was a pedigree selection for a strong, upright columnar growth habit and silvery foliage that darkens to a deep wine colour in the fall. 'Blue Paradise' was initially selected for further evaluation in the spring of 2012 and first asexually reproduced through division in 2012.

Tests & Trials: The comparative trial for 'Blue Paradise' was conducted in a polyhouse in 2016 at Variety Rights Management in Oxford Station, Ontario. The trial included a total of 12 plants of the candidate variety and 11 plants of the reference variety. All plants were grown in 23 cm pots and spaced 75 cm apart. Observations and measurements were made on 10 plants, or parts of plants, on October 16, 2016 and again on November 3, 2016 to assess continued flower development and foliage and flower colour. Colour determinations were made using the 2015 Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Colour Chart.


Comparison tables for 'Blue Paradise' with reference variety 'Blue Heaven'

Plant height (cm)

  'Blue Paradise' 'Blue Heaven'
mean 95.1 127.6
std. deviation 5.08 12.14

Flag leaf length (cm)

  'Blue Paradise' 'Blue Heaven'
mean 13.9 21.3
std. deviation 2.46 2.23

Colour of leaf blade in late summer/fall (RHS)

  'Blue Paradise' 'Blue Heaven'
upper side 186A-B darkening to 187D 186A-B fading to 186B-C

Inflorescence length (cm)

  'Blue Paradise' 'Blue Heaven'
mean 58.4 73.4
std. deviation 6.98 7.55

Click on image for larger view
Blue Paradise
Little Bluestem, Bunchgrass: 'Blue Paradise' (left) with reference variety 'Blue Heaven' (right)

Click on image for larger view
Blue Paradise
Little Bluestem, Bunchgrass: 'Blue Paradise' (left) with reference variety 'Blue Heaven' (right)

Click on image for larger view
Blue Paradise
Little Bluestem, Bunchgrass: 'Blue Paradise' (left) with reference variety 'Blue Heaven' (right)

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