Breeder Shifeng Pan Retires

News
Shifeng Pan
Shifeng Sunflower Breeding

After 25 years of service, Senior Breeder Shifeng Pan is retiring. In that time, Shifeng has made countless contributions to the company and the horticulture industry as a whole. His 2013 AAS Award for Geranium Pinto Premium White to Rose F1 (also the recipient of a Fleuroselect Gold Medal award) is just one example!

Shifeng has worked on countless series over the years, including Tuscany Seed Verbena, Wonderfall Pansy, all Dianthus seed products (Super Parfait, Venti, Dulce, and Fandango), Geraniums (Maverick, BullsEye, Multibloom), Lantana (Bandana, Bandito, and Bandana trailing series), Cora XDR Vinca, and Sunfinity Sunflowers.

Sunfinity was developed using creativity, years of breeding knowledge, and a dare to try! Crossing those species was unconventional at the time, and the key was the ability of the breeders (Shifeng and Jason Jandrew) to merge essential attributes of the wild species into modern germplasm without the support of modern breeding tools. A testament to its power, Sunfinity has received several awards, including the Cultivate 2017 Industry Choice Award, The 2017 Reader's Choice Award, and the 2018 HTA New Plant Award (Gold Award).

Shifeng is a hardworking and dedicated breeder; his colleagues can attest to that. When Nicolas Champouret, Head of Global Flowers Seeds Development, asked colleagues to describe Shifeng in one word, he got humble, knowledgeable, brilliant, thoughtful, big visions, open-minded, and erudite. "Shifeng is always positive, loves a good challenge, and never relinquishes the opportunity to transfer his knowledge," Nicolas noted.

 

Over the past year, Shifeng has mentored breeders Baylee Miller and Li Jiang tremendously, allowing them to carry the torch of his breeding programs into the future. We're excited for Shifeng to start this next chapter and look forward to continuing to build upon his breeding work. Please join us in thanking Shifeng for his invaluable contributions to flower breeding over the past 25 years and wishing him the best in retirement.

 

Learn more about some of Shifeng's breeding innovations below:

 

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Bandana® Lantana

About: Bandana® Lantana boasts big blooms and bright colors all summer long. Large flowers in a wide range of colors for ultimate garden performance. Mounded upright habits ensure constant coverage of color and the best show at retail. Unparalleled heat and drought tolerance is the perfect choice for summer landscapes.

 

 

 

 

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Bandito™ Lantana 

About: Bandito™ is small on size and big on impact. Intense colors in a tidy package are perfect for packs and 1 qt. containers. The perfect pop of color for mixed combinations that won’t dominate other components. Unparalleled heat and drought tolerance excels through the hottest of weather.

 

 

 

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BullsEye™ Geranium

About: For sales that are right on target. Rich, chocolate foliage contrasts beautifully with brightly colored flowers. Works well alone or in mixed containers where the foliage provides added interest. Versatile plant habit, with high responsiveness to plant growth regulators (PGRs), can be grown in a wide range of small to large containers.

 

 

 

 

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Cora® XDR Vinca

About: The vinca that fights back. Cora® XDR offers season-long flowering and survival in landscape plantings. It is highly resistant to ten of the most virulent isolates of Phytophthora nicotianae that cause Phytophthora blight on annual vinca. Improved branching, uniformity, and floriferousness make Cora XDR ideal for premium packs and small to larger pots.

 

 

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Maverick™ Geranium

About: A classic garden beauty. High-quality, vigorous plants quickly fill larger pots. Large, premium flowers have high retail impact. Strong garden vigor and free flowering for season-long color.

 

 

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Multibloom™ Geranium 

About: Multibloom's dwarf habit and fast flowering make it the perfect series for spring promotions. Easy to finish in small pots and packs at high densities without PGRs. Very early to flower with incredible flower power. An average of 15–20 blooms per plant provide a blast of color at retail to jump-start the season.

 

 

 

 

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Sunfinity® Sunflower

About: Endless Blooms. All Season Long.™ The next generation of sunflower offering continuous blooms and up to 12 weeks of color in the garden. Provides extended shelf-life compared to short-lived regular pot sunflowers that cannot be sold after first flower. A facultative, long-day plant that is easy to program for spring, summer, or fall flowering. Increase sales and profitability with this premium price-point item, with proven sell-through above 90%.

 

 

 

 

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Super Parfait™ Dianthus

About: Super Parfait™ has showstopping blooms. Large, showy bicolor flowers drive early spring retail traffic. Economical to produce—adaptable to high-density production and requires minimal heating inputs. Well branched and vigorous growing in the garden for season-extending color.

 

 

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Tuscany® Verbena

About: Big blooms and sunny colors that last. Upright habits are perfect for small to medium-sized containers. Strong garden vigor outlasts other Verbena. Large, showy flowers in rich and novel colors bring added value and interest to premium programs.

 

 

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Venti Parfait™ Dianthus

About: Indulge in big color with Venti Parfait™. The next generation of Super Parfait™ Dianthus, with mega-sized, showy blooms on compact and well-branched plants. Greater plant vigor easily fills retail-ready containers and provides extended garden color. Bold bicolors add class and vibrancy to the series.