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difference between Profusion and Pinwheel zinnia?

Posted by susanzone5 z5NY (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 3, 11 at 17:19

These two plants look so similar to me. I can't find how they are different. Maybe one is bred one way and the other another way? From two different species or varieties? Does anyone know? I have seeds for both, and have grown both, but I don't remember the difference.
Thanks for any info. The web is no help so far.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: difference between Profusion and Pinwheel zinnia?

  • Posted by zenman Ottawa KS 5b (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 3, 11 at 18:23


Both Profusions and Pinwheels are members of the new species called Zinnia marylandica, which was created by interspecific crosses between selected specimens of Z. violacea (aka Z. elegans) and Z. angustifolia. The original hybrids have 23 chromosomes and hence are sterile because of the odd number of chromosomes, but they were made fertile by doubling their chromosomes to 46. Much of the original research on this was done at the University of Maryland, and the new species was named in its honor.

The first commercial Z. marylandica was "Rose Pinwheel" and it was developed by W. Atlee Burpee Co and introduced in 1987. Five additional Pinwheel cultivars have been introduced since.

By making the same interspecific cross between different selected zinnia strains, the Sakata Seed Company produced the Profusion varieties. All America Selections Gold Medals were awarded to Profusion Orange and Profusion Cherry in 1999 and to Profusion White in 2001. Their All America Selections (not the medals) were given in 2003.

The Pinwheels were first, but the Profusions (and now the Zaharas) were arguably somewhat better.


RE: difference between Profusion and Pinwheel zinnia?

Thank you so much! I knew I'd find the answer here. Do you know how they differ in growth and other traits?

RE: difference between Profusion and Pinwheel zinnia?

  • Posted by zenman Ottawa, KS 5b (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 4, 11 at 0:43


"Do you know how they differ in growth and other traits?"

The Profusions are somewhat taller plants than the Pinwheels. The Pinwheels are nominally 12 inches tall, while the "regular" Profusions range from 12 to 18 inches tall. The "Knee High" Profusions are 20 to 24 inches high. The double Zaharas are relatively short, at 8 to 12 inches and so are the single Zaharas.

I personally prefer to grow the "regular" Zinnia violaceas because they have bigger plants and flowers. The Marylandicas are quite tolerant of Powdery Mildew, while the Violaceas are typically susceptible to PM in the cool weather of the Fall. However, I don't let Powdery Mildew keep me from enjoying my larger zinnias. And Powdery Mildew is usually not a problem for me during the Summer.


RE: difference between Profusion and Pinwheel zinnia?

Thanks again for the information! I love zinnias. These two types do really well in containers.

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