Reader’s Choice Award: Benary’s ‘Arizona Apricot’

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Benary’s ‘Arizona Apricot’ gaillardia held off Selecta’s 3D osteospermums and Suntory’s Sunvillea bougainvilleas in online voting at GreenhouseGrower.com to claim the 2011 Reader’s Choice award.

A 2010 AAS Winner, this bright addition to the Arizona series fills in fast and flowers its first year. ‘Arizona Apricot’ is a tough-as-nails perennial that thrives under a wide variety of climactic conditions. It flowers as early and uniformly as ‘Arizona Sun’ and continues blooming well into the fall with masses of apricot flowers.

With a well-branched, compact habit, it is easy to produce and display plants that will compete with annual color at retail.

The Reader’s Choice award had a new twist this year. For the first time, breeders were given the opportunity to enter their new introductions. Entries were divided into three categories: annuals, perennials and the catch-all best-of-the-rest category, which encompasses vegetables, tropicals, woody ornamentals and blooming potted plants.

Twenty-eight entries were received in all, and a portion of all entries will benefit the Jack Williams scholarship fund. The other award entries, aside from the three finalists, are as follows:

Annuals
–Akila osteospermums, PanAmerican Seed
–Angelonia ‘Serena Blue,’ PanAmerican Seed
–Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Cherry Star,’ Proven Winners
–Dahlia ‘Dahlinova Hypnotica Lavender,’ Fides
–Dianthus ‘Diana Lavender Picotee,’ Hem Genetics
–Dragone begonias, Dömmen
–Magnum New Guinea impatiens, Dömmen
–Monarch Mediano ageratums, Plantpeddler
–Petchoa ‘SuperCal Pink Ice,’ Sakata Ornamentals
–Sun Harmony impatiens, Danziger
–Under The Sea coleus collection, Hort Couture

Perennials
–Anemone ‘Pretty Lady Diana,’ Blooms of Bressingham
–Asiatic lily ‘Tiny Spider,’ Lily Looks
–Dianthus ‘Barbarini Pink,’ Syngenta Flowers
–Hemerocallis ‘Primal Scream,’ Proven Winners
–Garvinea gerbera series, Florist de Kwakel
–Iberis ‘Masterpiece,’ Pacific Plug & Liner
–Mariposa scabiosas, Skagit Gardens
–Veronica ‘Blue Bomb,’ Growing Colors

Best Of The Rest
–Brassica (flowering kale) ‘Glamour Red,’ Takii
–Cucumber ‘Gold Standard,’ Burpee Home Gardens
–Friller standard cyclamen, Syngenta Flowers
–Lilac ‘Bloomerang Purple,’ Spring Meadow Nursery
–Orchid ‘Blue Mystique,’ Silver Vase
–Tropical hibiscus ‘Bonaire Wind,’ Keepsake Plants

Before this new entry system, the Industry’s Choice award finalists were also named finalists for the Reader’s Choice award, which was then voted upon by GreenhouseGrower.com readers.

Kevin Yanik is the former managing editor of Greenhouse Grower.
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