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9/1/2022

Five New AAS Award Winners

Chris Beytes
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All-America Selections, North America’s well-known and well-respected plant trialing organization, has announced five AAS Winners available now for the 2023 garden season—three flowers and two vegetables. And all three of the flowers are perennials!

Salvia Blue By You F1 (National Winner): A national perennial award went to Blue By You, a hybrid salvia bred by Darwin Perennials. Blue By You features rich, blue flowers that bloom up to two weeks earlier than the comparison (May Night). With excellent winter hardiness and heat tolerance, Blue By You offers repeat blooms throughout the season (when you deadhead it). Grows 20 to 22-in. tall and 24 to 30-in. wide. Pollinators love it, but they say deer and rabbits don’t! Hardy in Zones 4b to 9a.

Echinacea Artisan Yellow Ombre F1 (Regional Winner—Southeast, Northwest): Artisan Yellow Ombre from PanAmerican Seed is the first F1 hybrid echinacea series that comes in individual colors. This winner, with an intense golden yellow bloom along with graduated colors of yellow, is a gem in the garden. AAS judges were impressed with the uniform growth habit, vibrantly colored flowers and multi-branched plants that produce a prolific number of blooms. Pollinators will flock to this echinacea. Hardy in Zones 4a to 10b.

Leucanthemum Carpet Angel (Regional Winner—West/Northwest and Mountain/Southwest): This is the first-ever groundcover-type Shasta Daisy, as well as the first-ever AAS Winner from breeder Green Fuse Botanicals. Growing only to a height of 6 in., this unique leucanthemum can act as a groundcover, spreading up to 20-in. wide. Large 3-in. flowers boast a second inner frilly bloom, adding to Carpet Angel’s unique look. Plenty of branching means more flower stems. A little deadheading of spent flowers will reward you with even more blooms. Hardy in Zones 4a to 10b.

Pepper Wildcat F1 (Regional Winner—Southeast and Mountain/Southwest): Pepper Wildcat is a cayenne pepper that produces loads of extra-large 2- to 3-oz. fruits. “It’s a strong, compact plant with good flavor,” stated one judge. The 8-in. fruits are straighter than traditional cayenne fruits, with a great smoky flavor and peppery sweetness, and a mild pungency of 500 to 1,500 Scoville units. Ease of harvest combined with a very even growth habit and mild heat level make this a good multi-purpose plant for everyone’s garden. Bred by Bayer/Seminis Seeds.

Watermelon Rubyfirm F1 (Regional Winner—West/Northwest and Mountain/Southwest): A small, personal-sized melon that’s about the size of a cantaloupe (about 6 in.). Boasting very sweet and crisp flesh with minimal seed pips. Length of time to harvest is 50 days from sowing seed and 65 days from transplant. Each Rubyfirm plant will yield two or three fruits on its long vines. Bred by Partner Seeds Co.

Learn more about all the AAS winners at all-americaselections.org/winners. While there, get some brochures, benchcards, variety markers or even a PowerPoint presentation.

And if you want to know more about what AAS has been up to over the past year, check out their 2022 Annual Report, just released online in PDF form. The Annual Report is designed to give insights on the organization’s trial activities, promotional efforts and accomplishments, as well as the current financial standing.

A few highlights from this year’s report include:

• The 90th anniversary celebration and a look back during 2022

• An update on the AAS Strategic Plan

• A Combined Judges Committee report

• An update on AAS Introduction Gardens

• A summary of the 2022 AAS Winners

• Insights into several National Garden Bureau activities

• Invitations to the 2022 and 2023 Summer Summit meetings

Access the report at all-americaselections.org/about/#annualreports. GT

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