EHR and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens celebrates first annual breeder showcase and trials

EHR and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens (CZBG) have announced the success of its first annual Breeder Showcase and Trials.

The event took place just a short month ago, on August 30, 2023. The CZBG has a rich history of conducting plant trials, albeit on a smaller scale. However, with the visionary support of EHR and over 40 sponsors and event supporters, the Zoo embarked on a journey to expand its horizons, ultimately culminating in the further development of two magnificent trial sites: the well-established Rockdale Urban Learning Center Gardens and the brand-new Erkenbrecher Gardens site.

Remarkably, the Erkenbrecher Gardens site was conceived as a trial area only in February, demonstrating the agility and commitment of CZBG’s horticultural team. In just a few short weeks this spring, the dedicated staff installed irrigation, prepared the soil, and planted a staggering 50,000 plants, all generously donated by sponsors and breeders. These plants were sourced directly from suppliers or propagated in partnership with breeders for the trials.

Throughout the season, the CZBG diligently evaluated these varieties, with plans to publish a comprehensive report highlighting their performance at the end of the season. This commitment to excellence extends beyond the trials, as the Zoo actively engages in community outreach programs, hosting seminars for industry professionals and the public to promote the plants.

The Breeder Showcase and Trials attracted over 300 plant enthusiasts, positioning CZBG as a horticultural hub for breeders and end-consumers alike. In addition to industry visitors, more than one million zoo-goers had the privilege of witnessing the exceptional plant genetics on display, making the CZBG a focal point for horticultural interest.

This year’s event featured an impressive array of over 500 plant genetics. EHR’s partnership with breeders and CZBG’s selection process enabled visitors to witness the juxtaposition of new introductions alongside industry staples. These trials act as a summer comparison of what will perform best for a season-long performance. The CZBG’s end-of-season trial analysis, scheduled for release in the coming weeks, will include the 2023 editions of Zoo’s Best Container Annuals, Zoo’s Best Annuals, and Zoo’s Hall of Fame.

Excitement abounds as EHR and the Zoo look forward to making the Breeder Showcase and Trials an annual tradition while continuing to expand their trials further. The success of this year’s event reaffirms their commitment to the world of horticulture and their dedication to fostering innovation in plant breeding.

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