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 Varieties that are genetic breakthroughs are continuously improved and sometimes even superseded.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...
Sedum-Pillow-Talk

February 20, 2018

12 New Poinsettias and Succulents for Holiday Sales, Crafting, and Landscaping

Poinsettias and succulents are both in-demand products with today’s consumers. Here’s a look at some of the newer introductions available for retail sales in 2018 and 2019.

Read More
Pepper-Mexican-Sunset

February 19, 2018

All-America Selections Names Latest Variety Winner, Announces New Display Gardens and Judges

All-America Selections (AAS), the 85-year-young non-profit plant trialing organization, had a very busy month of January.

Read More

February 6, 2018

20 Trends That Dominated at TPIE

If you're looking to stay on top of the current trends to stay ahead of the competition and increase value to your clients by helping them stay at the forefront of their industry, check out some of the new products and ideas we saw trending at TPIE this year.

Read More
Latest Stories
Sedum-Pillow-Talk

February 20, 2018

12 New Poinsettias and Succulents for Holiday Sales, Cr…

Poinsettias and succulents are both in-demand products with today’s consumers. Here’s a look at some of the newer introductions available for retail sales in 2018 and 2019.

Read More
Pepper-Mexican-Sunset

February 19, 2018

All-America Selections Names Latest Variety Winner, Ann…

All-America Selections (AAS), the 85-year-young non-profit plant trialing organization, had a very busy month of January.

Read More

February 6, 2018

20 Trends That Dominated at TPIE

If you're looking to stay on top of the current trends to stay ahead of the competition and increase value to your clients by helping them stay at the forefront of their industry, check out some of the new products and ideas we saw trending at TPIE this year.

Read More

February 4, 2018

2017 University of Wisconsin Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trials results for the University of Wisconsin's West Madison Ag Research Station display gardens in Verona, WI.

Read More

February 2, 2018

2017 Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Field Trials…

Check out the 2017 field trials results for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Ohio.

Read More
Youngs-Plant-Farm-Landscape-bed

January 31, 2018

2017 Young’s Plant Field Trials Results

Check out the field trials results for Young’s Plant Farm in Auburn, AL.

Read More

January 30, 2018

Grow High-Quality ‘Lyra’ and ‘Mirage&…

Syngenta Flowers' Technical Services Manager Karl Trellinger gives production recommendations for growing high-quality 'Lyra' and 'Mirage' poinsettias.

Read More
Poinsettia-Mirage-Red-Syngenta-Flowers

January 30, 2018

Growing Tips for ‘Mirage’ and ‘Lyra’ Poinsettias

Both varieties are easy to grow without any special requirements, can handle all climates, and perform well under low light conditions.

Read More
Welby-container-trials

January 29, 2018

2017 Welby Gardens Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Welby Gardens in Denver, CO.

Read More
Ornamental pepper 'Sedona Sun'

January 28, 2018

2017 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Jackson, TN.

Read More
Zinnia-Magellan-Orange

January 27, 2018

2017 University of Minnesota Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for The University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center Horticulture Display Garden in Morris, MN.

Read More
Scaevola-Surdiva-Blue-Violet

January 25, 2018

2017 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Result…

Check out the 2017 field trial results for the Pike Creek Horticulture Center, Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
Raker calibrachoa trial

January 24, 2018

2017 Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants Field Trial Res…

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Raker-Roberta's Young Plants in Litchfield, MI.

Read More
2018 Costa Open House

January 23, 2018

2018 Costa Open House: Standout Plants and Products

See what plants and products caught our eye at the Costa Farms open house in Miami, FL.

Read More
shade-trials-OKSU

January 22, 2018

2017 Oklahoma State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City, OK.

Read More
Pennisetum-Feathertop_Feature-Image_NDSU

January 21, 2018

2017 North Dakota State University Field Trials

Check out the 2017 field trial results for North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences in Fargo, ND.

Read More
Mixture-of-Begonia-Megawatt-and-Whopper-series_OSU

January 19, 2018

2017 The Ohio State University Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for The Ohio State University/Chadwick Arboretum in Columbus, OH.

Read More
Sedeveria-Lilac-Mist-feature

January 19, 2018

Hot-Selling Succulents Remain Hip, With No End in Sight

Succulents continue to fascinate people of all ages and gardening abilities. Perhaps that’s because they still have the right stuff to attract attention.

Read More