All-America Selections, the only non-profit trialing organization for plants that demonstrate great garden performance throughout North America, presents five exciting new AAS Winners for the 2017 garden season. 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.
Dianthus Interspecific Supra Pink F1
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.
Geranium Calliope® Medium Dark Red
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.
Penstemon barbatus Twizzle Purple F1
Vibrant purple blooms present a new and unique color in penstemon! Twizzle Purple was judged as a first-year flowering perennial by judges who were impressed with the upright plant habit and superb flowering performance. This North American native blooms profusely with 1-inch tubular flowers on long slender stalks that grow up to 35 inches high, making this beauty a magnet for pollinators from mid- to late summer. Twizzle Purple can be used to add height to combination planters or in landscapes for high-impact color.
Verbena EnduraScape™ Pink Bicolor
EnduraScape™ is described as “tough as nails” because it is the first verbena that can tolerate drought and heat plus survive cooler temperatures down to the low teens. This long-blooming pink bicolor verbena is spectacular in the landscape, edging a walk or border as well as in large containers and baskets. Vigorous plants are sturdy spreaders that pop with abundant soft pink blossoms that darken in intensity toward the center of the bloom. Pink Bicolor is the newest color in the series and the AAS Judges deemed it truly spectacular!
Zinnia Profusion Red
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.
By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
It’s hot outside. It makes more sense now to plant drought tolerant plants. Consider sedums, they are a hardy succulent, a late summer bloomer and an amazing pollinator plant. To learn more click here for an informative video.
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