Illusia wonders with astonishing looks

Sometimes your ‘breeders eye’ sees something and you know: this is something very special. For breeder Sadrach Talahatu and his colleagues, that happened when their eyes were caught by a unique flower display. ‘As a team, we immediately asked ourselves: how can we turn this into a product that amazes everyone?’ That question resulted in the new Illusia. A product that was officially introduced during FlowerTrials. Sadrach is happy to tell how Illusia came to be.

‘When developing Illusia we, as the breeding team, focused on preserving the special characteristics offered by nature,’ he begins. ‘At the same time, the basic qualities Schoneveld Breeding stands for obviously had to be reflected in the plant: rich flowering, long shelf life, compact round plant structure. That makes our products strong with a sustainable character. I wanted to combine those qualities with the unique characteristics and beautiful details I had at my disposal.’

Anyone who sees the new Illusia for the first time is immediately amazed. The upside-down, upward-facing flower amazes everyone. And getting closer, the detail inside the flower stands out even more. The beard around the contrasting eye in the heart of the flower makes Illusia a product unlike any other. A plant that won high honours at the Japan Flower Trials and walked away with an honourable award even during its introduction there: the Japan Flower of the year 2023-2024.’

Renewal of top quality

Sadrach was soon responsible for developing this new product from Schoneveld Breeding. ‘We had a special characteristic on our hands with the unique flower shape. But yes, then you are only at the beginning of the breeding cycle and the whole process of selection, crossing and evaluation begins. The ultimate goal was to market an innovative, high-quality product. It was up to me to bring the right characteristics together and turn it into an F1 hybrid.’

We were searching for top quality in a unique appearance. ‘You have a goal in mind, but the trick is to make it work. The flower must stretch open properly so you can clearly see all the details like the beard or the heart of the flower.’

‘In my work, you make use of the traits that are already there naturally,’ Sadrach continues. ‘You then try to steer these in a certain direction with the aim of expressing only the desired characteristics. You must have a plan, look closely, see opportunities and always make the most logical choices.’

Requirements for the wow effect

Sadrach noticed progression throughout the breeding process. ‘At a certain point in that journey, the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place more and more,’ he says. ‘We wanted a round, compact plant with sturdy stems, high flowering richness, long shelf life, an open flower with lots of contrast and detail. A plant that really attracts attention with, in addition, with usables according to the standard. Those are quite a few requirements,’ he observes soberly. But above all, it was a nice challenge in which Sadrach could put all his ideas.

Future surprises

‘During FlowerTrials, we were very proud to introduce our Illusia in the colour Light with Eye,’ Sadrach says. So is that all? ‘No,’ he says right away. ‘I remain critical, always checking how it can be even better. We are busy developing the series and there are definitely a few more surprising, vibrant colours to come. We have many more beautiful things in store with Illusia.’

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