These evaluations are being undertaken both by Prima Bio itself, and by third parties under evaluation agreements. Depending on the variety, the evaluations are focussed on potential as garden ornamentals, for cut foliage and for forestry. Currently, all the varieties are propagated by rooted cuttings.
The first variety released is Shannon Blue, which is likely to be of particular interest for the production of high quality cut foliage. Shannon Blue also grows into a tree of striking colour and form.
A wide range of hybrids between hardy species (such as Eucalyptus gunnii) and non-hardy species from Western Australia have been created, and rootable varieties of these are under evaluation for their garden potential. These include a E. gunnii x caesia ssp. magna selection that is currently (January 2012) in bud while still in a pot, and a E. gunnii x loxophleba selection whose stems and foliage become deep red over winter.
Recent severe winters have provided challenging tests for the varieties under evaluation. Most varieties being evaluated have proved hardy in Kent, UK. However, the hybrids involving species from Western Australia are less hardy, and these appear to tolerate only moderate frosts (to around -7°C). Thus they are likely to be suited only to milder parts of the British Isles. However, they are likely to prove to be successful in more Mediterranean-type climates that are subject to only moderate frosts.