WINNER’S CIRCLE By Neda Simeonova

Carrying on the tradition, All America Selections, All America Rose Selections, Fleuro-select and FloraStar have selected the variety winners for the 2005 growing season. Each variety has been judged based on a standardized grading system and passed an extensive trialing period, which measures disease resistance, hardiness, color and novelty. The trials are conducted in test gardens across the United States to ensure that the selected award-winning varieties have all the essential characteristics growers look for. This article provides a helpful overview of the 2005 winners along with a brief description of each variety.

All-America Selections

'Arizona Sun'. Gaillardia aristata, also known as blanket flower, has 3-inch, single, mahogany red flowers with bright yellow petal edges and flowers continuously from June to September. It is a compact, first-year-flowering perennial with a uniform habit. When grown in the garden in full sun, it reaches 8-10 inches high and about 10-12 inches wide. Arizona Sun performs very well the first year grown from seed. This winner may over-winter, depending upon the severity of winter. For best results, sow in March at 68¡ F and grow on at 59¡ F. To produce flowering pot plants, plan on 100-120 days from sowing. It is also suitable for cut flower production. (Also awarded by Fleuroselect).

'First Kiss Blueberry'.This first blue flowering Catharanthus rosea vinca has large, 2-inch single blooms with a dark blue eye, which accentuates the violet-blue color. It is heat and drought tolerant and will reach about 11 inches high and 16 inches wide. It is easy to grow and suitable for patio containers or combination planters. Maintain greenhouse temperatures of 65-75¡ F for best growth. Under higher light conditions, it takes 60 days from sowing until bloom.

'Magellan Coral'. This Zinnia elegans features fully double dahlia flowered, 5- to 6-inch blooms with coral petals. It is early flowering and requires only 6-9 weeks from sow to first bloom. Mature zinnia plants reach about 15-17 inches tall and spread 15-19 inches, depending upon growing conditions. Magellan Coral performs best in full sun, it is easily grown from seed or plugs and does well in 6-inch pot production. Plants are responsive to B-Nine treatments.

All-America Rose Selections

'DayDream'. This low-growing, compact landscape shrub rose reaches 2 feet high. It produces massive clusters of fuschia-pink blooms and flowers all summer long. It has lightly ç scented, wide and flat single blooms and glossy, deep green and highly disease-resistant foliage. It is crown hardy to USDA Zone 4. DayDream was hybridized by Ping Lim who oversees the Baily Nursery Rose Program, St. Paul, Minn.

'Elle'. Combining a strong spicy, citrus fragrance with a high-centered classic rose bud, Elle is a hybrid tea rose that produces shell pink flowers with deep yellow undertones. The dark glossy foliage provides a nice contrast to the soft, non-fading flower and offers above-average disease tolerance to mildew and blackspot. Flowers bloom on 10- to 14-inch stems and are 4-5 inches wide with a petal count of 50-55. Elle was developed by Meilland International.

'Lady Elsie May'. An upright, spreading shrub rose, Lady Elsie May has coral pink flowers that grow in clusters on strong 12- to 20-inch cutting stems. Each flower is approximately 31?2-4 inches wide and has 12-14 petals. It has a vigorous, uniform growth habit; dark green and waxed foliage; excellent disease resistance; and is slightly fragrant. Lady Elsie May is hybridized by Reinhard Noack, Germany.

'About Face'. This grandiflora has a very novel backward bicolor with a light shade of deep golden yellow carried on the inside of the petals with a darker bronzy orange-red backside. This plant is very vigorous and yields long stems with full old-fashioned blooms and lush, green foliage. The flowers are approximately 5 inches in diameter and have a mild fresh apple fragrance. About Face is hybridized by Tom Carruth, Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower, Upland, Calif.


'Maya'. Rudbeckia hirta Maya flowers from July until frost with compact, double, golden-yellow 31?5- to 5-inch blooms. It has a good plant habit and excellent overall garden performance making it suitable for borders, flowerbeds and containers. It reaches 12 x 12 inches and grows well in full sun. For best results, sow in mid March at 64¡ F and grow on at 59¡ F.

'Twins Hot Pink'. Lavatera trimestris Twins Hot Pink has a compact form and produces an array of fully rounded, satin-like, hot pink blooms. It flowers from the end of May to September with single 4-inch blooms. It grows 12 inches high and spreads about 12 inches in containers and up to 20 inches in the garden. Twins Hot Pink is disease tolerant and is ideal as a bedding and container/patio plant. For best results, sow in March-April at 65-68¡ F, cover lightly and keep moist all the time, and transplant after 3-4 weeks.

'Arizona Sun'. See AAS's Arizona Sun for description, page 36.

'Raising Sun'. This early flowering Coreopsis grandiflora produces a mass of golden yellow flowers with mahogany bases within the first year of planting. It blooms June-August in the garden with 2-inch, double, fringed flowers. It has a compact habit and reaches about 20 inches high and 211?2 inches wide, making it ideal for professional production. For best results, sow in packs or in the garden February-March at 65-75¡ F and transplant in 31?2- to 4-inch containers 4-5 weeks after sowing. Grow on at 55¡ F in full sun.


'Calandiva Pink'. This Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a multi-flowered, decorative pot plant that can be easily grown as a standard kalanchoe. It blooms with rose-shaped flowers and produces a large, full flower head with multiple layers of petals. The plant is very attractive even when flowers are not open yet, and the flowers will last for at least six weeks. It grows best in moist soil or peat mix with good drainage. Maintain day temperatures of 64-90¡ F and night temperatures of 64-75¡ F. Calandiva Pink was judged as a FloraStar Winner based on FloraStar criteria for its decorative flowers, which can reach up to 26 flower petals instead of the single 4-petal variety; impressive doubleness; and unique combination of pink and orange tones flower color.

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Neda Simeonova

Neda Simeonova is associate editor for GPN. She can be reached by phone at (847) 391-1013 or E-mail at [email protected]

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