All-America Selections, known for promoting new garden seed varieties, has announced the 2010 All America Selections winners. The group also announced that the winner will be available immediately through all distribution channels.
The latest winners for 2010 are:
Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow Wild Berry'
This purple coneflower differs from all others for flower color, branching and plant size. Gardeners will love the deep rose-purple, 3- to 4-inch flowers that retain color on the plant longer. Plants were tested across the United States and Canada. This first-year flowering perennial (hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 3) has superior performance including a basal branching habit, resulting in more flowers per plant. Reaching a height of 20 to 24 inches in a full-sun garden, this AAS Winner blooms continually without deadheading. 'PowWow Wild Berry' is an intermediate day-length flowering variety with most rapid and uniform flowering at 14 hours, flowering approximately 20 weeks after sowing. Seed should be sown before the end of January for the most prolific and uniform flowering in the first year. Bred by PanAmerican Seed Co.
Marigold F1 African 'Moonsong Deep Orange'
AAS judges noted the intense deep orange flower color that could not be captured by a picture or digital image. The fade-resistant orange flowers make others look more golden than orange. This unique color is one of three desirable, improved traits. The flower size is from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches, and fully double blooms rank among the best of the class. Easy to grow in a 5- to 6-inch pot, plants will flower in about 70 days under short days or 84 days under long-day growing conditions. ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’ plants are vigorous, tolerating stress such as heat or drought. In a full-sun garden, the erect plants will reach about 12-15 inches tall. Over the summer, the old blooms will be covered with green foliage, which keeps the plants looking fresh throughout the growing season. Bred by Syngenta Flowers.
Zinnia 'Double Zahara Cherry'
This interspecific cross between zinnia species results in dependable resistance to leaf spot and mildew diseases. Growers can easily produce ‘Double Zahara Cherry’ flowering plants for spring bedding plants without the fear of plant loss due to these two diseases. Recommended for 4-inch pots or larger, the handsome symmetrical dark green plants produce fully double 2 1/2-inch blooms. The flowers remain attractive for impulse sales at retail stores. Early to bloom in about 8-10 weeks, ‘Double Zahara Cherry’ has fewer inputs and more reliability. Growing in a full-sun garden, this AAS Winner will mature at about 12 inches tall and wide. Heat tolerant in the garden, ‘Double Zahara Cherry’ can be perfectly matched with other sun loving annuals for container plantings. Bred by PanAmerican Seed Co.
Zinnia 'Double Zahara Fire'
Large, 2 1/2-inch, fully double flowers crown these disease-resistant plants. ‘Double Zahara Fire’ has proven leaf spot and mildew resistance linked to the ease of growing in the greenhouse for spring flowering plants and the length of flowering season. There is less risk of plant loss while growing these zinnias under cool, low-light conditions. Gardeners can rely on ‘Double Zahara Fire’ for reliable, season-long performance. Plants will continue to bloom from spring to the end of the growing season, with little garden maintenance. Mature plants will be about 14 inches tall and spread 12 inches. Similar to all zinnias, this AAS Winner will perform best in full sun and thrive on summer heat. ‘Double Zahara Fire’ was bred by PanAmerican Seed Co.
Watermelon F1 Hybrid 'Shiny Boy'
In a taste test, 'Shiny Boy' won with judges favoring the sweet tropical flavor and crisp texture. A red-fleshed melon with dark seeds, this globe-shaped melon weighs about 20 pounds, some larger. The hybrid plants are vigorous; vines can grow up to 12 feet. 'Shiny Boy' can be grown vertically so that a large yard for a vegetable garden is not needed. Judges noted a high yield and generally healthy plants, tolerant of severe weather. It is an art form to determine when melons are ripe for harvest but plan to check plants in about 75 days from transplanting for mature fruit. 'Shiny Boy' is earlier than other varieties. This AAS Winner can be grown successfully in any geographic region with warm summer growing conditions. It was bred by Known-You Seed Co.
Gaillardia F1 ‘Mesa Yellow’
‘Mesa Yellow’ is the first hybrid blanket flower with a controlled plant habit and prolific flowering. The 3-inch daisy like flowers and globe shaped seed heads offer a superior presentation of color that continues throughout the summer. Gardeners will be glad to know they can cut the blooms for casual bouquets. The flowers, when left on the plants, will attract butterflies. Judges noted the improved plant habit of ‘Mesa Yellow’ with mature plants reaching 20 to 22 inches in a full-sun garden location. The neat, mounded plants are adaptable to smaller space gardens or any type of containers. When planted near the inside edge of the container, they will cascade down the container. They are relatively maintenance free. ‘Mesa Yellow’ plants proved to be wind and rain resistant, meaning the plants recover quickly from severe weather. ‘Mesa Yellow’ was bred by PanAmerican Seed Co. and blooms two to three weeks earlier than comparisons.
Snapdragon F1 ‘Twinny Peach’
Who took the snap out of snapdragon? ‘Twinny Peach’ is a snapdragon without the snap. Why? Because it is a double or butterfly flower form that does not have the jaws or joints to snap. The double flower form is the origin for the name ‘Twinny’ or twins. Another unique quality is the blend of peach tone colors. The soft shades of peach, yellow and light orange are distinct, and no other snapdragon offers this range of colors. Match ‘Twinny Peach’ with blue tones of Salvia farinacea or purple foliage plants and your garden will be a knockout. In a full-sun garden, ‘Twinny Peach’ will produce abundant flower spikes, plenty to cut and place in vases for fresh indoor bouquets. Plants will continue to flower all season with little garden care. Like all snapdragons, ‘Twinny Peach’ is easy to grow and exhibited heat tolerance in the AAS Trials. This new variety was bred by HEM Genetics.
Viola F1 ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien’
A burst of clear blue greets gardeners with ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien.’ This unique spreading/mounding viola may look delicate, but delivers tough-as-nails performance in the garden. In mild southern regions it flowers throughout the winter, laughing off wind, rain, cold temperatures and passing snowfalls. In northern temperate climates, it dazzles gardeners with two-season color – flowering well after first frost when planted in autumn and once again in spring after snow has melted and soil has warmed. It can also be planted in early spring, covering planters and landscapes with sky-blue blooms well into summer. Delicate 3/4-inch flowers cover plants in beautiful sky blue. Spreading/mounding plants grow to 6 inches tall and 10-12 inches wide, creating a bright spot in any garden. It is also perfectly suited to window boxes and hanging gardens, as well as balcony and patio planters. ‘Endurio Sky Blue’ was bred by Syngenta Flowers Inc.
Zinnia ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’
A stunning combination of new and old describes ‘Zahara Starlight Rose.’ Zinnias are old-fashioned flowers, but these rose and white flowers are a new bicolor for this sun-loving class of annuals. Other new traits are the proven resistances to leaf spot and mildew, which can devastate healthy plants and cause an early death. These superior qualities resulted in long lasting zinnia plants that provide generous color all season. ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ is heat and drought tolerant, easy to grow in gardens. A perfect plant for the novice or experienced gardener because it is so undemanding with a maximum number of blooms. The mature plants are mid-sized, about 12 to 14 inches tall and wide, large enough to make a bold statement in containers or patio urns. Gardeners will be able to grow ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ from seed or plants. This new zinnia was bred by PanAmerican Seed Co.
Pepper ‘Cajun Belle’
There’s Cajun flavor in this southern belle. Peppers are both sweet and savory. The fruit look like small bell peppers about 2-by-3 inches with 3 or 4 lobes. Early to mature, look for mature green peppers 60 days after transplanting into a garden. When left on the plant, fruit will change color from green to scarlet and finish red, filled with vitamin C. ‘Cajun Belle’ plants produce a high yield of peppers due to vigor and excellent fruit set. Compact plants are 2 feet tall and wide, a perfect stature for containers. When grown at AAS Trial grounds, ‘Cajun Belle’ showed no disease problems. ‘Cajun Belle’ was bred by Grow Star L.L.C.
For more information on these varieties, as well as past winners, visit the AAS website.