Garden Gems

Garden Gems

Since day one, All-America Selections (AAS) has prided itself on identifying and promoting superior-performing varieties and raising the bar for future introductions. Varieties that are genetic breakthroughs are continuously improved and sometimes even superseded.

After 75 years, which ones withstand the test of time on their own merits? Being very particular, AAS has identified five that stand out above the rest for performance and their longevity and recognition in the marketplace. All are F1 hybrids. These are the All-America Classics:

Dianthus ‘Ideal Violet’

Introduced in 1992, ‘Ideal Violet’ colors a garden with 1 1/2-inch, single violet blooms. It was bred for cold and heat tolerance in France. The breeder, Guy Lassartesse bred ‘Ideal Violet’ while exploring crosses between D. chinensis (China pink) and D. barbatus (Sweet William). This variety was the first dianthus to receive the AAS Bedding Plant Award and is offered by PanAmerican Seed.

Pansy ‘Majestic Giants Mix’

Introduced in 1966, Sakata Seed’s ‘Majestic Giants Mix’ were the first pansies that did not require cool temperatures for flower initiation. This breakthrough allowed for Southern growers to sow in the summer without an artificial cooling treatment. The breeder, Sukeo Miyazaki of Sakata, met his objectives to create a hybrid plant with consistently large flowers. The wide range of colors have made them a consumer favorite.

Petunia ‘Ultra Crimson Star’

Bred by Mathilde “Tilly” Holtrop of Goldsmith Seeds, ‘Ultra Crimson Star’ features pure white stars centered on huge, crimson grandiflora flowers. In 1988, it was the first AAS Bedding Plant Award winner, in which annuals are tested in the greenhouse and the garden. ‘Ultra Crimson’ passed this test with improved traits such as earliness and the consistent star pattern on flamboyant 3- to 4- inch blooms.

Petunia ‘Wave Purple’

Flower judges were awestruck when they saw petunia entry 92F17 in 1992. Unlike all other petunias, this entry did not grow vertically but grew along the soil like an ivy groundcover. Finally, in 1995, the petunia was introduced as an AAS Winner named ‘Wave Purple.’ It was bred by Daigaku Takeshita of Kirin Brewery Co. and marketed by PanAmerican Seed. ‘Wave Purple’ renewed interest in the entire genus of petunias.

Tomato ‘Big Beef’

Introduced in 1994, ‘Big Beef’ answered gardeners’ dreams of a large, beefsteak-type tomato that was early and loaded with disease resistance. Almost foolproof, ‘Big Beef’ can be harvested about 73 days from transplanting into warm garden soil. Breeder Colen Wyatt at Seminis Vegetable Seeds was one of the most successful home garden vegetable plant breeders in the last half of the 20th century.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Gomphrena Truffula Pink (Proven Winners)

April 24, 2018

Armitage Talks Favorites From Danziger and Proven Winners

From annuals that look like they came out of a Dr. Seuss book to breeding marvels in perennials and shrubs, the visits to Danziger and Proven Winners at California Spring Trials were exciting, to be sure. Here are some of Dr. A's favorites.

Read More

April 24, 2018

Proven Winners Reveals Marketing Efforts for 2018-2019 at CAST 2018

For the first time, the brand has generated one billion consumer impressions, and plans to keep that momentum going with a number of ambitious programs.

Read More

April 24, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plant Intros from Proven Winners and Danziger

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Proven Winners and Danziger.

Read More
Latest Stories
Gomphrena Truffula Pink (Proven Winners)

April 24, 2018

Armitage Talks Favorites From Danziger and Proven Winne…

From annuals that look like they came out of a Dr. Seuss book to breeding marvels in perennials and shrubs, the visits to Danziger and Proven Winners at California Spring Trials were exciting, to be sure. Here are some of Dr. A's favorites.

Read More

April 24, 2018

Proven Winners Reveals Marketing Efforts for 2018-2019 …

For the first time, the brand has generated one billion consumer impressions, and plans to keep that momentum going with a number of ambitious programs.

Read More

April 24, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plant Intros from Pr…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Proven Winners and Danziger.

Read More

April 20, 2018

California Dreaming Takes on a Whole New Meaning at CAS…

At California Spring Trials 2018, the Greenhouse Grower team witnessed the revitalization of a company, plus some awesome merchandising displays, and efforts toward automation.

Read More

April 19, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Intros from Syngenta…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Syngenta Flowers, Hishtil, Jaldety, Cohen Propagators, Nir Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, and Sunset Western/Southern Living Plants.

Read More

April 19, 2018

CAST 2018: Dr. A’s Favorites From Syngenta Flowers, Bai…

From an exciting perennial to a new white begonia, Allan Armitage says these showstoppers deserve recognition.

Read More
GG-and-Benary-Team

April 19, 2018

Spring Trials Rookie Inspired by Connections

The Allan Armitage Scholarship recipient has added a number of industry connections during his time at California Spring Trials, and discusses what that means to him and his career.

Read More
Benary 2018

April 18, 2018

At CAST 2018, Sakata Captures Consumer Attention Spans,…

More than halfway through the California Spring Trials, the Greenhouse Grower team had a busy but fantastic day seeing dozens of our friends at American Takii and Benary, and spending time talking about the industry's past and its bright future.

Read More

April 18, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Varieties to Watch F…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from American Takii, Hilverdakooijj, Hem Genetics, Thompson & Morgan, Sakata Ornamentals, and Ernst Benary of America.

Read More

April 18, 2018

How the Horticulture Industry’s Past Shaped Its P…

Andrew Scheldorf, the winner of Dr. Allan Armitage’s California Spring Trials Scholarship, says the stories of plant origins help ground our industry to the people and places that have changed us.

Read More

April 18, 2018

Dr. A Weighs in on His CAST Favorites From American Tak…

Here are some of the top variety introductions for 2019 that have pleased Dr. A during California Spring Trials 2018.

Read More
Dummen-Christmas-Decorating

April 17, 2018

Dümmen Orange’s New Gamechanger, Plants for All S…

Greenhouse Grower's California Spring Trials Team headed north on Day 3, with stops at Dümmen Orange in picturesque San Luis Obispo and Floricultura in fertile Salinas.

Read More
Verwer-Dahlias

April 17, 2018

Syngenta Flowers Acquires Netherlands-Based Dahlia Bree…

Syngenta Flowers has reached an agreement with Verwer Dahlia BV to acquire the company’s dahlia assortment and breeding program. Both companies expect to finalize the acquisition in the coming weeks.

Read More

April 17, 2018

Armitage Scholarship Winner Weighs in on Plant Breeding…

Andrew Scheldorf, the winner of Dr. Allan Armitage’s California Spring Trials Scholarship, says breeders' persistence in making small and large breeding improvements is a testament to their passion and dedication to excellence.

Read More

April 17, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: Stand-Out New Plants fro…

Check out these new plant introductions from the California Spring Trials 2018 trail featuring breeding from Dümmen Orange , Westhoff, Beekenkamp, and Plug Connection.

Read More

April 17, 2018

Allan Armitage’s Noteworthy 2018 Plant Intros fro…

Here are some of the top variety introductions for 2019 that have pleased Dr. A during California Spring Trials 2018.

Read More
Artemisia-Plant-Display-at-Terra-Nova

April 16, 2018

CAST 2018 Provides Fresh Inspiration for Infusing Marke…

The  second day of California Spring Trials took the Greenhouse Grower Team to GroLink in Oxnard, CA, and then up the coast to Windmill Nursery in Buellton. Here are some of the marketing, display, trend, and people highlights we saw at those locations, as well as some beautiful scenery from our evening in Pismo Beach.

Read More
Lavender-Madrid-Lavish-Green-Fuse-Botanicals

April 16, 2018

Allan Armitage’s Spring Trials Favorites From Green Fus…

Here are some of the top variety introductions for 2019 that have pleased Dr. A during California Spring Trials 2018.

Read More