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Plantidote of the Day 2011-05-31

twig's picture



Pretty Much Picasso hybrid

It must be fun to be a plant hybridizer and experiment with new varieties. Looking at this newly developed petunia, I have to wonder if there were other versions along the way that didn't make the cut -- like a mottled purple/green or a mostly green with a purple center that the marketing people decided wouldn't sell. I'd love to see the "outtakes" from this effort!

But back to Pretty Much Picasso. This is a non-GMO, sun-lover that's considered an annual, except in mild-winter areas like Zones 10 and 11. The flowers are small, maybe 1 1/2" across, but there are a lot of them and they seem to last for weeks. In spite of the small flower size, these plants are considered "vigorous" growers, so they need room to spread out , either in a container, hanging basket or garden.

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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JoeInSF's picture
Submitted by JoeInSF on

I have to admit that I never cared for petunias much. When I had to weed them as a youth, they smelled bad and felt icky. (Yes, a kid's view.) But this one looks pretty cool. It could reconcile me and petunias after a long estrangement.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

that are actually pretty amazing -- gigantic flowers, really saturated, jewel-tone colors. I'll see if I can get a decent shot -- you might like those. I agree, though -- run-of-the-mill petunias are not worth the effort, imho.

Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

I don't know why, but I thought, yeah if they hybridized this in the opposite direction, purple outside, green inside, you could call it "Pretty much Barney the dinosaur" petunia.

Way too much babysitting in decades long past, coming back to haunt me.


Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

hybridization on request and an afterskool kids version. Or go along with Scott's article and teach kids to hybridize for local growers.

Also, pictures of pretty petunias please, particularly the new ones. I saw a fuchsia plant today, double blossom white and blue. Stunning. And $25 so out of my range [odds are even I'll send it to plant heaven and that's a bit much to risk].


Edited for spelling fuchsia wrong. geez.

Submitted by scoff on

The ones pictured are no exception.

I came across this article in the Nation that might interest you, too.

A New Grassroots Economy

I have been so bummed of late that even something as small and insignificant as this has me hoping against hope, but I am heartened that at least someone is trying to move forward against the rising tide.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I love those stories, people doing what needs to be done on their own -- a good antidote to the baloney we get from the political crowd. Pieces like that are few and far between, but much appreciated!