Osteospermum hybrid A new African daisy variety getting checked out in trials at Riverview Flower Farms has bright yellow blooms and is said to flower longer than any other Osteospermum. But what makes Voltage really special is its flexible stems. To demonstrate, Rick crushed a 1-gallon plant in his hands and even whacked it - hard - on the ground a few times. Voltage Yellow bounced back happy as, you guessed it, a daisy. It flowers spring through fall, and is a compact bush that grows about 16 inches tall and likes the sun. It's not a sure bet, yet, for spring sales, but probably, Rick says. He wants to see how it does through this summer and winter. Blueprint Scaevola
Scaevola hybrid Shoppers will likely see this sun-loving Australian immigrant in the spring. It's a new hybrid that produces lots of lavender fan-shaped blooms from spring through fall. It has a nice rounded shape and a trailing habit, so it should be a good choice for containers. Rick's not sure whether it's a perennial here. Bulbine 'Hallmark'
Bulbine frutescens "You can plant it today and never water it," Rick says. Surely that's a plant for our times. A sun lover, it's available at Home Depot stores but may be labeled Bulbine Orange. It's also called burn jelly plant because the sap in its leaves is used like aloe. The original Yellow African Bulbine has yellow flowers; Hallmark offers soft flames of orange and yellow nearly year-round. It's fine in poor dry soil and clumps can grow to 4 feet across. It was a Florida nursery growers Plant of the Year in 2006. Crossandra 'Orange Marmalade'
Crossandra infundibuliformis Rick loves this plant, which carries his own label, Florida Friendly Plants. He says it's one of the best he's developed in the past three years, and it's available in Home Depot stores now. A perennial in sunny or part-shade gardens, it blooms prolifically throughout the warm months. It's sterile, so there are no messy seed pods to deal with, and it's moderately drought tolerant once established. Protect from cold temperatures in the 40s. He suggests planting in a container with something like blue daze in the fall - when his favorite Florida football team is playing.