Flip Side Vitex honored at IPM Essen
Vitex Flip Side

Flip Side Vitex honored at IPM Essen

The First Editions plant won the Best Novelty Plant award in the container category.

January 30, 2019

St. Paul, Minn.  – First Editions Flip Side Vitex has been honored with the Best Novelty Plant in the container category at IPM ESSEN in Germany. A total of 58 plants were submitted in eight categories and winners were awarded in seven of the eight categories.

Flip Side Vitex was awarded Best Container Plant because it “is a particularly worthwhile shrub, popular with pollinators, and it blooms well into the fall. Flip Side branches well and is tolerant of pruning” for reblooming flowers later in the season. The judges also note that Flip Side is a great landscape plant in addition to doing well in a decorative container.

Bred by Plant Introductions, Inc. (now Bailey Innovations) and introduced by Bailey’s First Editions collection, Flip Side is an exciting new hybrid that stays far more compact than typical Vitex, which can grow to the size of a small tree. With fragrant purple panicles, it is a pollinator magnet that remains in bloom all summer and into the fall, with even more late-season flowers if deadheaded.

Bailey Innovations’ general manager and head breeder David Roberts notes that “Flip Side has improved cold tolerance (Zone 7) compared to one of its parent plants, Vitex trifolia ‘Purpurea,’ which is limited to Zone 9 and warmer. You can even treat Flip Side like an herbaceous perennial in colder climates (Zone 5) and it will come back every year!”

Editor's note: Read more about the breeding of Flip Side vitex in our June 2018 cover story.

This variety also has superior heat and salt tolerance, is resistant to deer grazing, is drought tolerant, and has inherent sterility, making it an ecologically responsible choice for the landscape. After 4 years of fertility trials, Bailey Innovations has yet to recover a single viable seedling from Flip Side, meaning you won’t ever have to worry about this Vitex becoming weedy or invasive in landscapes where it doesn’t belong.

“Bailey Innovations is very proud that Flip Side has received IPM’s Best Novelty Plant award in the container category,” Roberts adds. “We have been big fans of this plant since day one and we’re thrilled to see it getting the recognition we feel it deserves.”