All-America Selections Announced for 2017 Back »

Photos and selection information courtesy of All-AmericanSelections.org


All-America Selections has just announced its winners for 2017, based on the trial results from this summer. All together eleven exciting new AAS Winners were selected. Each of the following varieties was trialed in North America by professional, independent, volunteer judges during one growing season. Each was trialed next to comparison varieties that are considered best-in-class among those currently on the market. Winners appropriate for our area included the following.

Dianthus Interspecific ‘Supra Pink’ F1
2017 AAS National Flower Winner

‘Supra Pink’ joins its sister, 2006 AAS Winner Supra Purple, to give us two fantastic colors in an easy-to-grow interspecific dianthus for three-season (spring, summer, fall) garden color. This compact, bushy plant blooms prolifically with novel mottled pink flowers sporting frilly petal edges that hold up even in summer heat and drought. No deadheading needed on this winner. One judge attempted to deadhead this entry but it re-bloomed too fast to do so! Supra Pink grows to just under a foot in height but is a vigorous grower and will deliver fancy, clear pink flowers for a long time as observed over and over by the AAS Judges. Supra Pink was tested as an annual and won the award based on first-year performance, but similar to other dianthus, it may overwinter in some regions. Dianthus ‘Supra Pink’ is suitable for containers, flowers from seed and is pollinator friendly.

Fennel ‘Antares’ F1
2017 AAS Edible National Vegetable Winner

This winner is a “First in Class,” as AAS has never before trialed and declared a fennel an AAS Winner. What is extremely fun about this winning plant is its many uses: as an edible bulb; for its ornamental fronds; as a seed producer; and as a favorite food of pollinators, namely swallowtail caterpillars. The AAS Judges described Antares as a very uniform, pure white, beautiful plant with a much improved, almost sweet, licorice/anise flavor as compared to other market varieties. It was also 7-10 days slower to bolt than comparison varieties. Many AAS Judges said they plan to plant this easy-to-grow fennel in their own gardens next year! Fennel ‘Antares’ is suitable for use in containers and also is pollinator friendly.

Geranium Calliope® Medium Dark Red
2017 AAS National Ornamental Vegetative Winner

With an outstanding deep red velvety flower color and great branching habit, Calliope® was unmatched in the AAS Trials when compared to other market varieties. Calliope® Medium Dark Red geranium is an interspecific hybrid with zonal-type flowers and leaves. This AAS Winner has a mounded, semi-spreading growth habit with strong stems supporting the flower heads that are loaded with deep red blossoms. These plants work great in containers, combination plantings, hanging baskets as well as in an in-ground landscape. Gardeners will enjoy exceptional landscape performance in normal conditions as well as in more challenging high heat and drought conditions. Geranium Calliope® Medium Dark Red is suitable for containers, flowers from cuttings and is pollinator friendly.

Pepper Mad Hatter F1
2017 AAS Edible National Vegetable Winner

This exotic pepper wins on uniqueness alone! However, the plant’s vigor, earliness, high yields, large size and awesome taste all contribute to its high score among AAS judges. ‘Mad Hatter’ is a member of the Capsicum baccatum pepper species from South America commonly used in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine. You can impress your friends by growing this pepper and showing off the novel three-sided shape and deliciously sweet taste. The taste has a refreshing, citrusy floral flavor that remains sweet, only occasionally expressing mild heat near the seeds. Be prepared for vigorous and robust plants that are easy to grow because they were bred for North America’s many growing conditions. Use your abundant harvest raw in salads, pickled or stuffed with cheese…a new favorite!

Tomato Patio Choice Yellow F1
2017 AAS Edible National Vegetable Winner

Patio Choice Yellow is a new compact, determinate tomato developed specifically for small spaces and container gardens. This AAS Winner produces very large yields of 1/2 ounce bright yellow cherry tomatoes on short vines that grow only 18 inches tall. This mild flavored cherry tomato sets over 100 fruit on compact plants which are perfect for urban or small space food gardeners. Consider using these beautiful tomatoes either fresh or in the oven or sun dried for a deliciously sweet treat. For even easier picking, plant in a hanging basket.

Vinca ‘Mega Bloom Orchid Halo’ F1
2017 AAS National Flower Winner

Mega Bloom is an exciting new series of vinca bred to withstand heat and humidity without succumbing to disease. Orchid Halo produces huge bright rich purple blossoms with a wide white eye creating a striking look for the garden, even from a distance. Plants maintain a nice, dense habit with flowers staying on top of the foliage for full flower power color. Growers will like the early bloom time, compactness in the greenhouse and plant uniformity. This cultivar is suitable for containers and pollinator friendly.

Vinca ‘Mega Bloom Pink Halo’ F1
2017 AAS National Flower Winner

Mega Bloom is an exciting new series of vinca bred to withstand heat and humidity without succumbing to disease. Pink Halo produces huge soft pink blossoms with a wide white eye. These flowers present a striking look in the garden, even from a distance. Plants maintain a nice, dense habit with flowers staying on top of the foliage for full flower power color. Growers will like the early bloom time, compactness in the greenhouse and plant uniformity. This cultivar is suitable for containers and pollinator friendly.

Zinnia ‘Profusion Red’
2017 AAS National Flower Winner

This newest Profusion Zinnia winner is the fourth color in the single flower series to win the coveted AAS Winner award. The original Profusions were ground-breaking plants because of their compact form, disease resistance, early and continuous blooms all season long and ease in growing. Judges raved about the vibrant, perfectly true red color of this zinnia which doesn’t fade in summer’s intense rays. As one judge stated, “We have waited for years for this true red color in zinnias!” Gardeners will find many uses for the true red zinnia that’s easy to grow and a favorite of pollinators. Uniform plants and outstanding greenhouse and garden performance will be especially important for growers producing Profusion Red for retail sales. This cultivar flowers from seed and it pollinator friendly.


2017 All-America Selections
Winners Announced in July, 2016

 

Celosia Asian Garden
2017 AAS National Flower Award Winner

This spiked beauty claimed victory in North America’s trial sites to become the first ever AAS Winner from Japanese breeding company Murakami Seed. The judges gave this entry high marks in the greenhouse for the good branching, almost bushy growth habit and early to bloom flower spikes. In the garden, Asian Garden celosia continued to bloom on sturdy stems, keeping the bright pink color all summer long, holding up even through some of the first frosts of the season. The AAS Judges commented on the fact that this celosia was a pollinator-magnet, making this AAS Winner a sure bet for pollinator-friendly gardens.

Okra Candle Fire F1
2017 AAS National Vegetable Award Winner

A unique red okra with pods that are round, not ribbed, and a brighter red color than the reddish burgundy okras currently available. This high-performing AAS Winner received high marks for productivity, taste, texture and tenderness as well as the ornamental value of red pods on red stems. One judge noted that Candle Fire okra was quite maintenance free to grow, except for the frequent harvesting, which is a great thing! Candle Fire thrives in the heat and is disease resistant even in hot humid climates like the south where it’s perfect for traditional fried okra. Suitable for both fruit producing and ornamental usage. Aged fruit can be used in flower arrangements. Dry seed can be used as coffee (without caffeine.)

Pea Patio Pride
2017 AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner

This compact beauty produces sweet, uniform pods that are very tender when harvested early. With only 40 days needed to maturity, Patio Pride can be one of your first spring harvests, or one of the last fall harvests from your Southeastern garden! This pea is wonderful when planted in containers and is ideal for succession planting yielding a consistent harvest over many weeks. Plant in patio containers with cool season flowers for a beautiful combination ornamental and edible display. Direct seeding is recommended; seed 3-4 seeds every 6 inches then thin to one seedling every 6-8 inches.

Squash, Winter Honeybaby F1
2017 AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner

Honeybaby is a very productive variety of winter squash producing numerous fruits on a compact plant. These shorter vines grow 2-3 feet in a semi-bush habit showing great garden vigor which results in healthier plants that resisted powdery mildew later into the season, especially in the Southeast. Short, wide fruits are slightly larger, sweet and nutty and more meaty than similar comparison varieties. Honeybaby is delicious steamed, baked or made into soups and stews. Plant as soon as soil temperatures reach 65 degrees to ensure maturity in 90-100 days.

Watermelon Mini Love F1
2017 AAS National Vegetable Award Winner

This personal-sized Asian watermelon is perfect for smaller families and smaller gardens. Shorter vines (3-4’) still produce up to six fruits per plant and can be grown in smaller spaces. Several judges commented on the crack and split resistant rinds, important for reducing crop loss. For culinary purposes this deep red fleshed watermelon has a thin but strong rind that can be carved into attractive shapes for fruit salad presentations. Mini Love has a high sugar content resulting in sweet and crisp, juicy flesh that will be a true summer delight for watermelon lovers. 

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