Winner’s Circle By Sarah Pahnke

The award-winning varieties selected by All-America Selections(AAS), All-America Rose Selections (AARS), Fleuroselect and FloraStar embodyall the desirable characteristics growers want. Every new variety released onthe market does not undergo rigorous trials conducted in test gardens acrossthe United States; however, the winners of the 2003-2004 growing season havecompleted extensive tests, usually over a two-year period and in multiplelocations, where judges use a standardized grading system to evaluate thevarieties’ traits, including disease-resistance, hardiness, color and novelty.This process ensures that only the most extraordinary plants receive awards.


Celosia plumosa‘Fresh Look Red’ is bred to thrive in the varied summer conditions of heat,humidity, drought and rain. Fresh Look Red performs well in full sun and willcontinue to cover up exhausted plumes by producing new feathery flower spikesand golden foliage throughout the long days of summer. With minimal maintenanceand pest-free growth, the plant always looks fresh, does not require groomingand lives up to its name celosia, which means burning, an allusion to thebrilliant color and shape of its flowers. Mature plants can reach 18 inches inheight and spread 12-20 inches. Although recommended for 5- or 6-inch pot production,Fresh Look Red will perform well in mass plantings for landscape use. (Alsoawarded by Fleuroselect).

In the same series, ‘Fresh Look Yellow’ blooms in abundance,often covering the plant. By regenerating numerous flower spikes that cover upspent blooms, Fresh Look Yellow eliminates the need for deadheading. This hardyvariety is easily grown from seed or plug and will produce 17-inch plumeswithin 70-90 days, spreading to 15 inches at maturity. Fresh Look Yellow isextremely heat tolerant, flourishing despite humidity and severe weather, andis a good choice for combination planters and public gardens.

Gypsophila muralis‘Gypsy Deep Rose’ forms an attractive mounded plant, with a high number of darkrose, double and semi-double blooms that are large in size, up to3/8inch. Gypsy Deep Rose,evaluated in greenhouses for bedding plant performance, won the AAS BeddingPlant Award for the plant’s many improvements over comparisons. It performsbest in full sun, adapts well to container culture and requires littlemaintenance. It is easily grown from seed, with the first bloom occurringwithin 60 days of sowing.

The first purple hollyhock available as a single color,’Queeny Purple’ was the shortest Alcea rosea evaluated. It will flowerprolifically the first year from a February or March sowing, with an abundanceoffrilly-edged, “powderpuff” type blooms in light purple. Mature plants grow to a height of 20-30inches. As a compact branching plant, it is suited for smaller garden spacesand performs well in pot production.

Differing from all other single grandiflora petunias, ‘LimboViolet’ has a unique combination of large flowers on a compact plant. LimboViolet grows in mounds, which, at times, are completely covered with intense,dark violet, 3-inch or larger blooms. Growing only 6-7 inches tall andspreading 10-12 inches, Limbo Violet was selected for its improved plant habitwhen grown as a bedding plant; it is early to flower, the habit is restricted,it recovers quickly from severe weather and it is virtually maintenance free.In production, plants will bloom 7-9 weeks after sowing and have less tendencyto stretch.


Featuring dark green foliage, floribunda ‘Day Breaker’ is abushy upright with bright, multi-shade flowers in yellow blending to pink andapricot. From pointed and shapely buds, its spiraled blooms grow to 4 inches indiameter, with 30-35 petals per flower. This medium-height rose exhibits amoderate tea fragrance and makes a great addition to any garden because of itsvigor and strength. Day Breaker was hybridized by Gareth Fryer and is beingintroduced by Edmunds’ Roses of Wilsonville, Ore.

‘Honey Bloom’ is a classic floribunda that has a spicy scentand exhibits excellent disease resistance, including rust and powdery mildew.Its bright, apricot-yellow blooms grow in large, open clusters with fastregrowth on the well-branched bush. Flowers are 4 inches in diameter with 25-30petals, each flowering from a stem of 12-14 inches. Featuring dark, glossyfoliage, plants grow approximately 3 feet in height and spread 2 feet. HoneyRose was hybridized by Keith Zary and is being introduced by Jackson andPerkins Wholesale Inc., Medford, Ore.

A combination of ‘Blueberry Hill’ and ‘New Zealand’, thehybrid tea ‘Memorial Day’ is a medium-tall, bushy upright that features large,full-spiraled blooms with more than 50 petals per flower. Clothed with richgreen foliage, Memorial Day’s pink flowers are accented with a lavender washand grow to 5 inches in diameter. Exhibiting a strong, damask rose fragrance,Memorial Day is a vigorous performer and highly disease resistant. It thrivesin hot weather and is easy to grow. Hybridized by Tom Carruth, Memorial Day isbeing introduced by Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower, Upland, Calif.


Coreopsis ‘Heliot’ isan easy-to-grow perennial whose sunny yellow flowers with dark centers providegarden color from June to November. Unlike most perennials, Heliot has anabundance of flowers within the first year of planting. The single, daisy-likeblooms, which measure 11/2-2 inches in diameter, prefer full sunenvironments. Heliot’s compact and uniform habit makes the variety suitable forbedding and pot production. Heliot can proliferate in almost any kind of soil,making it a low-maintenance flower.

A stately annual that grows to 131/2 inches high, Lavateratrimestris ‘Novella’ has a constantprofusion of large, trumpet-shaped, rose-colored flowers. This dwarf varietyhas a compact and uniform habit, enjoys a significantly long growing season andassociates well with shrubs and hardy perennials. In the months of July toSeptember, the moderately fast growing Novella will make an attractive,low-growing hedge with its free-flowering and deep green foliage or will adddimension to any container arrangement.

Phlox ‘Grammy Pink/White’ presents a breakthrough in colorpatterns with its unique pink and white petals against a contrasting backgroundof green foliage. Grammy Pink/White is an easy-to-grow compact border plantthat has a multitude of single, 1/2-inch blooms. Performing well in bothsun and partial shade, the F1 hybrid reaches a height of 6 inches and spreadsto 4 inches. This annual is an excellent plant to use in raised beds, patio tubs,edgings and flowerbeds, especially becauseof its long growing season and continuous flowering.

Celosia Plumosa‘Fresh Look Red’ (see AAS Winners, page 48, for description).


Fortune F1 pot gerbera provides uniformity among all colorsfrom germination to flowering. FloraStar winners, Red with Dark Eye and Orangeset a new standard for hybrid gerbera. Each flower’s vibrant color is set offby a contrasting center and glossy green foliage. Red and Orange’s short stems,medium to large flowers and heat tolerance make these varieties winners forboth pot and garden plant production. This F1 hybrid flowers at least two weeksearlier than industry standards.

Sarah Pahnke

Sarah Pahnke is an editorial assistant for GPN.

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