New Beacon Impatiens



Mark Gross, PanAmerican Seed Co.



PanAmerican Seed® is excited to announce the return of impatiens! There’s now a solution to bring Impatiens wallerianaback into production without the risk of disease. New Beacon™ Impatiens offers high resistance to the currently known and widely prevalent populations of Plasmopara obducens, the pathogen that causes Impatiens downy mildew. We’ll introduce Beacon impatiens with 6 colors and 2 mixes. The new colors include Bright Red, Violet Shades, Salmon, Orange, White and Coral. The 2 mixes include Select Mixture and Red & White Mixture.

If you’re familiar with growing Super Elfin Impatiens previously, you’ll find Beacon impatiens fits right into your production schedule. It has a similar plant structure, flowering window, flower-size and crop culture as Super Elfin.  So it’s easy to incorporate a well-known, in-demand, easy-to-grow and versatile product for shade gardens and landscapes.

What exactly is Impatiens downy mildew?  Downy mildew is a destructive disease caused by an Impatiens host-specific water mold – Plasmopara obducens. Under high humidity, aerial sporangia release from structures on the underside of the leaf and can be dispersed long distances by wind or short distances by splashing water. Cool temperatures, around 60°F, and high humidity, greater than 85% (especially at night), are ideal for rapid disease development. Moist air, rainy weather or irrigation practices that extend the amount of time moisture remains on the leaves also encourage the development and expression of downy mildew. Oospores that form inside the infected tissues have the potential to overwinter in the ground and re-infect impatiens replanted into the bed the following year.

High resistance is not immunity, however. Beacon impatiens may exhibit some symptoms or damage under heavy disease pressure. This means it may be possible to see some leaf discoloration and limited sporulation under adverse environmental conditions and high pathogen pressure. Plants may abscise the affected leaves, but Beacon impatiens will continue to live and thrive.

And Beacon impatiens give back. In the spirit of bringing in light – and happiness – back to shade gardens all over the world, PanAmerican Seed will donate 3% of Beacon impatiens global sales to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation (OI). OI, commonly called the “brittle bone disease”, is a genetic bone disorder characterized by fragile bones that break easily. It is estimated that approximately 25,000 to 50,000 people in the United States alone have OI. The donation will go toward helping the OI Foundation improve the quality of life for those living with osteogenesis imperfect through research, education, awareness and mutual support. Beacon is putting the next generation of impatiens to work for others as well.

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