Note: AAS is also offering similar programs for container edibles. For information on these programs, click here.
Just in time for the fall perennial program, and in advance of the 2014 spring annual season, AAS is excited to showcase a perennials program in conjunction with printed pots becoming available featuring the AAS logo and program description. The pots will let consumers instantly locate award winning perennials at their local garden retailer.
The six winners selected for inclusion in the perennial program have been tested and trialed in more than 25 different trial locations throughout North America, and have been proven to have outstanding garden performance. The three classes featured in the program are well-known to consumers and in are in the top 10 most popular perennials - meaning quick acceptance by consumers.
For growers doing a traditional over-wintered perennial program, the printed pots will be available if ordered before September 15, 2013. For annual growers wanting to offer perennials as part of their color assortment, all six of these varieties are first year flowering perennials and can be shipped in flower, and since color sells at retail, this means a quicker turnover and higher sales.
Winners range from the 2002 Winner, Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ to the most recent 2013 Winner Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’. All feature the beautiful rayed petal flowers so popular with today’s gardeners and will return year-after-year for continuing garden impact. Growers and brokers can plan now to include these six AAS Winners in their perennial programs for 2014, creating a collection of award-winning perennials with proven garden performance.
AAS printed containers are now available in two sizes from Summit Plastic. Growers and garden centers can choose the red, white and blue pots in either the 1 quart or 2.5 quart size. Minimum quantities must be met and orders must be placed by September 15, 2013. Mock-ups can be viewed at either the AAS or Summit booth at the OFA Short Course.
2002 AAS Winner
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’
This Rudbeckia hirta contains a blend of sunset colors; yellow, orange, bronze, mahogany and shades of these colors. The 3 to 4-1/2 inch flowers are double or semi-double and long lasting as cut flowers. Best when grown in the full sun, 'Cherokee Sunset' plants are about 24 to 30 inches tall, spreading about a foot. Many plants are self-supporting and others may need staking. 'Cherokee Sunset' offers gardeners a blend of autumn colors and late season garden performance. Flowering profusely the first year, 'Cherokee Sunset' may over-winter in northern gardens.
2003 AAS Winner
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’
This robust rudbeckia has distinctive blooms. The light green central cone blends beautifully with the golden-yellow petals, which are tipped primrose yellow. The 5-inch blooms on branching plants that mature at about 3 feet tall make a strong statement in any full-sun garden. Easy to grow and maintain, 'Prairie Sun' is a memorable plant in any perennial, annual or cut flower garden. Flower stems are sufficiently long for quality cut flowers. 'Prairie Sun' plants become a forceful focal point in any large container.
2010 AAS Winner
Echinacea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’
This AAS Winner differs from other coneflowers for flower color, branching and plant size. The incredibly vivid deep rose-purple flowers retain color longer. This first year flowering perennial has superior performance including a basal branching habit that results in more flowers per plant. Expect rapid and uniform flowering at a day-length of 14 hours. Reaching a mid-height of 20-24 inches in the full sun garden, it will bloom continually without deadheading or grooming.
2010 AAS Winner
Gaillardia ‘Mesa Yellow’ F1
The first F1 gaillardia from seed delivers a more uniform plant with more flowers than other varieties. This vigorous drought, wind and rain resistant plant won’t get loose and floppy. Attractive neatly mounded plants reach 16 to 18 inches tall and spread 20 to 22 inches in full sun. Bright yellow 3-inch daisy like flowers won't fade. First year flowering perennial (to zone 5) blooms in spring 120 days from sowing seed.
2011 AAS Winner
Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’
AAS Winner Gaillardia 'Arizona Apricot' offers a new color for this class. Blooms are lighter in color than traditional gaillardia with yellow edges that deepen to a rich apricot center. 'Arizona Apricot' is free-flowering, blooming heavily the first year, covering the plant with bright blooms that look great in mass. This long-flowering perennial is hardy in USDA Zones 2-10, is relatively maintenance free, and drought-tolerant once established. Gardeners will want to remove old flowers to encourage additional blooming.
2013 AAS Winner
Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’
This stunning first-year flowering echinacea captures the spirit of the North American plains by producing a delightful mix of flower colors from rich purple, pink, red and orange tones to lighter yellows, creams and white. This wide range of flower colors on well branched, durable plants are sure to please the color preferences of any gardener. As an added bonus, ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ does not require a lot of water and offers a wide range of uses from the perennial border, in a mass landscape planting, in a butterfly garden or as a cut flower.
For more information about the perennials in this program, contact Diane Blazek, All-America Selections at firstname.lastname@example.org or at booth #1935 at the OFA Short Course. A list of all AAS Winners can be found at: http://www.aaswinners.com/winners/index.cfm