The American Society of Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) has announced its 2019 Cut Flowers of the Year. Chosen by the group’s 1600 members, the criteria for the awards are the varieties’ ease of culture, productivity and marketability.
Recipient of the the 2019 Woody Cut of the Year, Proven Winners ColorChoice Quick Fire Hydrangea paniculata, shares the honor with Fresh Cut Flower of the Year, Daucus carota ‘Dara’, Bulb Cut Flower of the Year, Anemone coronaria ‘Galilee White’, and Cut Foliage of the Year, Eucalyptus gunnii ‘Silver Drop’.
The 2019 Woody Cut of the Year, Quick Fire Hydrangea paniculata stands out for its early blooming capability, flowering a month before other panicle hydrangeas. The plant’s large, lacecap blooms open pure white, then turn pink, then transform to an extremely dark rosy-pink in the fall. Its flowers, which can be used fresh or dried, are well-distributed across the plant and held up on very strong stems.
Bred by Mark Bulk in Boskoop, Netherlands, Quick Fire blooms on new wood, making this plant extra hardy (it can withstand temps to -40°F/C) even after harsh winters.