2017 Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Field Trials Results

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Ohio trialed 40,000 plants of approximately 350 varieties in 2017, evaluating them both in-ground and in containers. Nearly 2 million visitors enjoyed the Zoo this year, its highest attendance ever. And, thanks to the Herculean efforts and skill of the Cincinnati staff, the zoo experienced a miracle in the form of a baby hippo named Fiona, who survived a significantly premature birth.

The weather was cooler than usual, with higher than normal rainfall in the spring. A very hot and dry spell followed in September and into October. Evaluations are carried out four times during the season by staff, volunteers, and master gardeners using two main criteria: 1) How well the plants grow; and, 2) How good they look. Flowers are not counted and height is not measured, the staff simply asks the evaluators to base their rating on how the plants impact them.

Best Annuals

Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’
Begonia Cocktail Series
Coleus Flamethrower Series
Coleus ‘Premium Sun Pineapple Sunrise Surprise’
Coleus ‘Premium Sun Watermelon’
Dianthus ‘Jolt Cherry’
Impatiens ‘Bounce Violet’
Impatiens ‘Divine Lipstick’
Impatiens Sunstanding Series
Pentas ‘Graffiti Lipstick’
Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Improved’
Ipomoea ‘Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight’
Zinnia ‘Zahara XL Fire’

Hall of Fame Performers

After 12 years of trialing annuals at the zoo, the plants on this list have proven to be top performers year after year.

Begonia Dragon Wing Series
Begonia Whopper Series
Canna ‘Australia’
Coleus ‘Dark Star’
Coleus ‘Dipt in Wine’
Coleus ‘Lifelime’
Coleus ‘Redhead’
Coleus ‘Religious Radish’
Coleus ‘Sedona’
Cyperus ‘Baby Tut’
Dahlia ‘Mystic Illusion’
Ipomoea ‘Margarita’
Ipomoea ‘Illusion Garnet Lace’
Ipomoea ‘Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Red’
Lantana ‘Little Lucky Pot of Gold’
Lantana ‘New Gold’
Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’
Pennisetum ‘Rubrum’
Pentas ‘Northern Lights Lavender’
Petunia ‘Vista Bubblegum’
Petunia ‘Vista Silverberry’
Zinnia Star Series
Zinnia Zahara Series

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