Natural Selections

Natural Selections

AAS Selects 2009 Winners

All-America Selections (AAS) has announced four winning varieties for 2009, including three vegetables and a viola.

Eggplant ‘Gretel’ is the earliest white eggplant. The glossy pure white fruits are produced in clusters and can be harvested in 55 days when three to four inches long. Bred by Seminis Vegetable Seeds, the mature plant reaches three feet tall and wide and is perfectly adapted to the trend of growing vegetables in containers.

‘Honey Bear’ squash is a compact, bushy plant that is powdery mildew-tolerant, allowing the delicious winter acorn squash to be grown in smaller space gardens. Bred by the University of New Hampshire, plants produce three to five dark green acorn squash weighing about a pound. ‘Honey Bear’ mature plants are two to three feet tall and spread four to five feet.

‘Lambkin’ melon was bred by Known-You Seed Company Ltd. as a gourmet breakfast or dessert for people who love melon. Its distinctive visual feature is its smooth, yellow skin with green mottling. The oval-shaped melon matures early, about 67 to 75 days from transplanting. The thin rind surrounds sweet, aromatic white juicy melon. ‘Lambkin’ melons store better than other melons, enabling gardeners to enjoy the unique flavor longer.

Finally, ‘Rain Blue And Purple’ viola changes from purple and white to purple and blue as it matures. This results in a spreading pool of cool blue shades. ‘Rain Blue And Purple’ plants will spread 10 to 14 inches, making them perfect for container plantings or spaces between stepping stones. Bred by Tokita Seed Co. Ltd., it exhibits heat and cold tolerance.

For more information, go to www.all-americaselections.org

Fleuroselect Selects 2009 Winners

Fleuroselect recently chose three cultivars, Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Red,’ Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina White’ and Prunella grandiflora ‘Freelander Blue’ as its Gold Medal Winners for 2009.

‘Ballerina Red’ and ‘Ballerina White,’ which were both bred by Kieft Seeds Holland, were awarded for a few reasons. They’re both able to produce an abundance of beautiful ball-shaped flower heads on short, strong stems from June to September, and they have increased compactness and uniformity in their plant and flowering. The perennials are also heat tolerant.

‘Freelander Blue’ is compact, uniform and flowers early with its new trendy color. It tends to bloom from May to October, and it follows ‘Freelander Mixture,’ which was awarded the 2006 Fleuroselect Gold Medal for being the first annually flowering Prunella grandiflora. The new cultivar was bred in France by Clause.

For a complete list of Gold Medals awarded by Fleuroselect, an international organization that provides a unique platform for 90 companies involved in breeding, producing and distributing ornamentals, go to www.fleuroselect.com/goldmedal.

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