The 2013 Finalists For The Medal Of Excellence Industry’s Choice And Editor’s Choice Awards

Pentas 'Starcluster Lavender'

Each year, hundreds of new plants are introduced, all chosen for their beauty, uniqueness, toughness or grower-friendliness. Which ones really stand head and shoulders above the rest? The Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence Industry’s Choice, Editor’s Choice and Readers’ Choice

This year, we are proud to honor Sakata with the 2013 Industry Achievement Award, and Dümmen with the Excellence in Marketing Award for its Confetti program.

Awards recognize outstanding new introductions each year. The awards help to highlight notable plants as well as recognize the efforts of the breeders who developed them. In addition, the Industry Achievement and Excellence in Marketing Awards recognize individuals and companies that have made outstanding contributions to the industry.

■ The Metrolina Team: Abe Van Wingerden, Sim McMurry, Mark Yelanich  

■ The Welby Gardens Team: Al Gerace, Marty Gerace, John Gerace, Mandy Foster

■ The Mast Young Plants Team: Jim Raterink, Laura Robles, Brian Weesies

■ The Raker Team: Susie Raker, Steve Reed  

■ Vaughn Fletcher, McHutchison

■ Mike Duvall, Home Depot  

■ Allan Armitage, University of Georgia  

■ Robin Siktberg, Greenhouse Grower

How It Works
Three Medal of Excellence awards are
presented for breeding:

● The Readers’ Choice Award is voted on by our readers, who vote both online and at the OFA Short Course in July. Breeders submit their top plants for consideration for this award. Voting is now open at

● The Editor’s Choice Award is chosen
by Greenhouse Grower’s editor, Robin Siktberg.

● The Industry’s Choice Award is selected by a panel of industry experts who attended Spring Trials and saw the introductions
in person.

● The finalists for the Industry’s Choice and Editor’s Choice Awards are listed here. Visit to see all of the panelists favorites. Winners of all three awards will be announced July 15 at the Evening of Excellence at the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. Make plans now to attend!

Finalists For The 2013 Industry’s Choice And Editor’s Choice Awards
We are pleased to recognize the following plants as finalists for the Industry’s Choice and Editor’s  Choice Awards, along with a selection of comments from the panelists about why they think each plant is deserving of recognition.

Petunia ‘Sweetunia Johnny Flame’ (Dümmen)
Nominated for Industry’s Choice
“This stand-out color is a sport of ‘Black Satin’ and is sure to be a hit at retail.” — The Mast Young Plant Team

“The flower size was impressive, and with its unique bloom coloration it was a distinctive eye catcher.” 
— The Welby Team
Antirrhinum Candy Showers Series (Sakata)
Nominated for Industry’s Choice

“The breeding is significant. It’s the first-ever trailing snapdragon from seed. 
— Vaughan Fletcher, McHutchison

“Finally, a series of snaps for easy-to-produce baskets.”
— Mike Duvall, The Home Depot

“I loved this series because of the excellent pendulous habit, allowing one more group of plants to slide into the basket and container market that has become so important.” 
— Allan Armitage, University of Georgia

Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame’ (presented by Cultivaris, bred by Thompson & Morgan)
Nominated for Industry’s Choice and Editor’s Choice

“A majestic, eye-catching plant with dark green foliage and a beautiful spike of rose flowers with an orange throat.” 
— Vaughn Fletcher, McHutchison

“This breeding breakthrough was developed by crossing a digitalis and a digitalis relative native to the Canary Islands called isoplexis. The result is a plant with awesome eye-catching color that blooms non-stop.”
— The Mast Young Plants Team

“It has a distinct growing habit that is multi-branched with an exotic flower color.”
— The Raker Team

Pentas Starcluster Series (Syngenta Flowers-Goldfisch Vegetative)
Nominated for Industry’s Choice and Editor’s Choice

“The stems are strong, the plants are vigorous and the flowers are large.” 
— Allan Armitage, University of Georgia

“This product will help northern growers have access to this great plant.”
— The Raker Team

Petunia ‘Cha-Ching Cherry’ (Ball FloraPlant)
Nominated for Industry’s Choice and Editor’s Choice

“‘Cha-Ching Cherry’ was an eye catcher! We turned the corner and said, ‘Wow!’” 
— The Welby Team

“Bi-color petunias are not new to the marketplace, but this particular one has a unique pattern and look that our team liked.”
— The Metrolina Team

Begonia ‘Shadow King Green-pink Tips’ (Green Fuse)
Nominated for Editor’s Choice
“There’s always a need for outstanding, beautiful shade plants, and this one offers vigor and versatility for combination planting.”
— Robin Siktberg, Greenhouse Grower

Petunia ‘Surfinia Heavenly Blue’ (Suntory)
Nominated for Editor’s Choice
The vigor and flower impact of ‘Heavenly Blue’ is amazing. The wavy petals and truly lovely color of the flowers are sure to please consumers.”
— Robin Siktberg, Greenhouse Grower

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