This is Lisianthus. I saw this two summers ago at a farmers market in Cape May. It looks like a cross between a small rose, and sweet pea. The petals and leaves are delicate, but hardy. The colors and form work beautifully in either a cottage garden or a formal structure.
I grew it from seed last year, and I was thrilled with it. I’m growing twice as much this year.
It did require some patience and forethought. And the seedlings stayed absolutely miniscule for the longest time. But once they got going—they were fantastic. They bloomed past Thanksgiving. Far surpassing every other flower in the garden.
I grew the Cinderella variety, which is a double bloom. I chose Double Mix. And extra packets of blue, yellow, and pink. I didn’t bother with the white.
I did find that I needed to stake it, once it got tall. I see the seed companies claim you won’t need to it, so either they are lying, or I should have been cutting more blooms, and keeping it more compact.
I inadvertently grew Matador Blue as well—which is a dwarf version, and stays petite. It was pretty, but I preferred the height of the Cinderella.
If you’re looking for a spectacular cutting flower, you should look at Benary Giant Zinnia. It’s by far the best flower I’ver ever grown.