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All-America Selections Award 2010

Gardeners growing perennials from seed should learn about the AAS. In 1932, the Southern Seedsmen’s Association of Atlanta, Georgia proposed the idea of All-America Selections as a way for home gardeners to learn which new varieties are truly improved. To do so, seed companies were encouraged to set up trial grounds throughout North America to test new varieties under varying climatic conditions. The seed trials would accept only new, previously unsold varieties to be grown and assessed by skilled, impartial judges.

There is an AAS Gold Medal award reserved for a breeding breakthrough. Gold Medal Awards have been rare, only given once or twice a decade. The other AAS Award recognizes a flower or vegetable for significant achievements, that has proven to be superior to all others on the market.

Here are two AAS Flower Award winning perennials for 2010 that can be grown from seed.

Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’   This purple coneflower differs from all Echinacea purpurea firstly because of its longer lasting color, a deep rose-purple, secondly because of its basal branching habit that results in more flowers per plant, and lastly because of plant size. In full sun, the plant grows to 24 inches in height, while each flower measures 3 to 4 inches across. Plants were tested across the United States and Canada and were proven hardy to Zone 3. This perennial blooms in its first year, approximately 20 weeks after sowing, and flowers all summer without deadheading. Seed should be sown before the end of January in order to experience the most prolific and uniform flowering, by June of the first year.

Gaillardia F1 ‘Mesa Yellow’  Here  is the first Gaillardia with a controlled plant habit, a prolific flowering and a long lasting superior color presentation. This is a neat mounding perennial that is adaptable to smaller space gardens and containers. Planted inside the edge of a container, it will cascade downwards. When grown in full sun, in Zones 5 to 10, this plant will bloom two to three weeks earlier than comparable Gaillardias. It reaches a height of 18 inches with flowers measuring 3 inches across that recover quickly from severe rainstorms. Unlike other Gaillardias, Mesa Yellow does not get loose and floppy. This perennial seed requires 120 days to flower from time of sowing.

Thanks to All-American Selections [AAS] for supplying the photos.

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Reader Comments (2)

Amazing......The picture of Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ is awesome. It made my day. Thanks for sharing it.

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFlowers

I agree! The PowWow Wildberry is so so beautiful!! I would love to see it blooming in my flowerbeds.

January 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersammi

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