|Photo courtesy All-America Selections|
A few weeks ago, when picking out my annuals for use in my summer containers and mixed borders, I was pleased to find a flat of Zaraha® ‘Starlight Rose’ zinnias available for purchase. This zinnia, bred by PanAmerican Seed, has been on my garden radar since it was named an All-America Selection in 2010.
Every time I’ve seen this flower featured in garden press, I became further enamored with its form and color. The double-petaled flowers, with orange-yellow centers surrounded by bright magenta that fades to white, would make a bold statement in the garden.
The flat of plants that I bought was still tightly in bud, betraying no hint of the flower color. The only way I knew they were ‘Starlight Rose’ was from the plant tag inserted in each of the cell packs. I planted several in mixed containers and the rest in one open area of our driveway border.
When the first flowers opened, I was disappointed to find that most of the petals were plain white, with little or no magenta coloring. ‘Starlight Rose’ had left its rose behind. I began to suspect that the flat had been mislabled and I’d received Zahara® ‘White’ instead.
As the plants have started to mature, some of the flowers have started to exhibit the magenta I expected.
It’s possible that the weather (several days of scorching heat followed by a week of cool) or my watering frequency has caused ‘Starlight Rose’ to emerge so faded. PanAmerican Seed bills the Zahara® series as heat-loving and low-water plants, so I’m hoping that the warmer temperatures will help ‘Starlight’ get her ‘Rose’ back.