Pure white zinnia?

pink_petals(z6 PA)January 19, 2011

Can someone please tell me about the white zinnias they've grown? Is there even such a thing as a 'pure white zinnia'? I grew Burpee's " White Wedding" last year, and was very disappointed--I would describe it as a very pale or washed out yellow!! I was considering trying "polar Bear" this year, but then I got to thinking about the fact that a polar bear looks so white--until it's standing in a snowy landscape--then it looks yellowish too!! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

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Zinnias can be what I consider to be "pure white". I have seen Polar Bear zinnias that I consider to be pure white (yes, the animals themselves aren't that pristine). Some zinnias that aren't pure white are described as "ivory" or "silver" or something like that. A few years ago I grew a packet of zinnias that were labeled as White Burpeeanas, and most of them were a good white, but I would call very few of them Burpeeanas, which are supposed to be large cactus flowered zinnias with a medium height well-branched plant. This is an example of one of the interesting specimens that I got in that packet.

Some of those petals remind me a little of a Calla Lily. I think the tubular petals on that one were some kind of mutation. In any case, I think that the seed grower had paid people to go into that field and kill anything that wasn't pure white, but pretty much anything else stayed, including my odd little mutant. But notice in that picture above that the backsides (where they show) of the petals are distinctly greenish. It would be nice if the backsides of zinnia petals had the same coloration as the front sides, but they rarely do.

You aren't the first one to express disappointment with Burpee's White Wedding. Others have described it as "greenish". I haven't grown White Wedding yet, but plan to this year, along with several other white zinnia strains. I plan to grow a whole patch of just white zinnias, with the objective of selecting a few of the very best ones to use as breeders. It occurred to me that I don't have any really good white zinnias right now, and I want to remedy that. By growing my white zinnias in a separate patch somewhat removed from the rest of my zinnias, I hope that most bee cross-pollinations will be white-on-white. Usually when a white zinnia gets crossed with some other color, the result is some kind of pastel color.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 4:08PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I'm not even remotely as knowledgeable about zinnias as Zenman, but I've personally never seen a pure white zinnia - they have always looked "dirty white" to my eye. If it were me and I was adamant about a clear, crisp, pristine white annual, I'd look elsewhere.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 4:25PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

If you don't mind the shorter stature, I really like the white Profusion zinnia. It is not snow/pure/glistening white, but it is a very clean white with a yellow eye.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 4:37PM
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What about Benary's giant white zinnia? I was thinking about trying it. Has anyone grow it?

Here is a link that might be useful: Benary's Giant White Zinnia

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 6:30PM
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I grew a packet of Benary's Giant White a few years ago. I was a bit disappointed in the flower size. They ran about 4 inches across, maybe a fraction more. Calling them "giant" is stretching it a little, although the plants grew tall enough. They were what I would call a pure white. And they had strong stems, suitable for use as cut flowers. The heirloom variety, Polar Bear, is also what I would call a pure white. Incidentally, your link to 2B Seeds was interesting. That's a new one on me.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 2:12AM
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I ordered from 2B Seeds in the fall, and I was very happy with the quality of the seeds and the packaging as well.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 5:10AM
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I grew Benary's Giant white with salmon and lime last year. Great combination. I'm trying to find my photos to post.

I also grew the Magellan Ivory which is a really creamy white (link below). It's a short zinnia with a huge bloom, but was wonderful around my sundial -- used in combination with Magellan Yellow Zinnia and Victoria Blue Salvia.


Here is a link that might be useful: Magellan Ivory close up photo

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:00PM
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The past 2 years I've grown Magellan White Zinnia, and the neighbors often comment on how beautiful they are. The only place I've found these seeds are, surprisingly enough, at Target, under the Sean Conway label. Last week I went to Target and found they no longer carry any of the Sean Conway brand. However, after looking at the picture of Magellan Ivory, which one can order from Parks Seeds, it looks pretty darned white to me, and I'm wondering if it is actually the same flower seed! They are 12-14" and have 4" blooms. I almost ordered Burpee's White Wedding until I read the above comments. Also, has anyone tried Lilliput zinnias? I want a very short, colorful edging flower. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 8:48PM
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"Also, has anyone tried Lilliput zinnias? I want a very short, colorful edging flower."

Lilliputs have very small flowers, but they are not that short. Hazzard's lists Lilliput at 18 inches. In my experience, if they are a bit crowded, they will stretch higher than that.

Zinnia Short Stuff comes in separate colors, and Short Stuff White is listed at 10 inches tall. It can have some fairly large flowers for such a short zinnia. Its seeds are so expensive because it is an F1 hybrid, although Hazzard's doesn't list it as such.

Zinnia Zinnita also comes in separate colors, including Zinnita White. Its relatively expensive seed make me suspect that it is also an F1 hybrid. It is "cute", though.

If you want short zinnias with reasonably priced seed, take a look at Zinnia Thumbelina. It starts blooming when it is only 3 inches tall and ultimately reaches a height of about 6 inches. If you want separate colors of Thumbelina, I think you will have to save your own seeds. If you want to grow a lot of Thumbelinas, Hazzard's would be a good place to shop.

(not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 2:19AM
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Wow, thanks for all the great info. I love this forum!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 6:54AM
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I buy my Benary's Giant and Magellan Zinnia seeds from Swallowtail Garden Seeds. I've always been very happy with their seeds and order most all of my other seeds from them as well. Sometimes they have a sale that with a $30 order the shipping is free -- that's when I usually stock up. They also sell BULK SEEDS if you look at the other links on their website.


Here is a link that might be useful: zinnia seeds

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 5:40PM
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I have grown White Wedding many times and although it isn't oure white, it's one of my favorite garden plants. It has a compact form and I actually love the celery green color. It looks so pretty in a bouquet with pinks, corals, purples.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 2:59PM
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