A new variety of zinnia developed by Sakata Seed, Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor Zinnia, has been awarded gold medals at two of the world’s top flower competitions: All-America Selections (AAS) in the US and Fleuroselect (FS) in Europe. This is the first gold medal awarded by AAS in 17 years, and this is the first time in the industry in 17 years that a single variety has been a gold medalist at both AAS and FS.
Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor Zinnia is notable for its distinct red and yellow coloration — the first time this coloration has been achieved in an interspecific zinnia hybrid. Conventional varieties have included bicolored flowers, but such varieties have not had consistent coloration, instead becoming monochromatic or having blurred color depending on the cultivation climate and sunlight.
Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor Zinnia produces distinctly bicolored flowers that last longer under diverse conditions, and that consistency has earned it high praise from AAS, which grew and evaluated the flowers in various climate zones throughout the U.S. The variety also received high acclaim at both flower competitions not only for the features of the Profusion series, including compactness of plant habit, good flowering count, disease resistance, and continuous flowering habit, but also for the unique characteristic of gradual color changes from bicolored to shades of apricot, pink and rose as the flowers age.
Profusion zinnias are interspecific hybrids that were commercialized in 1999. Profusion varieties have won numerous awards at AAS and FS, and they are still popular worldwide leading zinnia varieties more than 20 years after introduction. With this dual gold medal win, Sakata aims to further expand sales of the entire Profusion series.
All-America Selections (AAS) and Fleuroselect (FS) are global flower competitions who have a long history based in the U.S. and Europe, respectively. What both competitions have in common is that they evaluate novel varieties that have never been seen before. In particular, no variety had won the AAS gold medal since 2004. As of Dec. 7, 2020, the Profusion series boasts a lineup of more than 10 varieties worldwide. In the past, Profusion Cherry (1999), Profusion Orange and Profusion White have also won medals at AAS. It is rare for more than one variety in the same series to win awards.