New Variety Award Winners Announced At Farwest 2016

The 2016 New Varieties Showcase at the Farwest Show in Portland, OR, featured 55 new trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and vines on display. But based on a judging panel made up of industry experts, ‘BabyCakes’ Blackberry and Hydrangea ‘Lavalamp Sublime’ stood out from the crowd.

The judging panel selected ‘BabyCakes’ Blackberry for Best in Show honors, while show attendees chose Hydrangea ‘Lavalamp Sublime’ for the People’s Choice Award.


The 2016 showcase featured plants with interesting shapes, colors, growth habits, and other characteristics, all displayed in an attractive format.

“Every year, the New Varieties Showcase offers nursery professionals a chance to see the best in new plants, and this year was no exception,” says Allan Niemi, Director of Events for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, which produces the Farwest Show. “We had one of our largest assortments of new plants, with 55 in the lineup.”

‘BabyCakes’ Blackberry is a dwarf, thornless blackberry bush bred by the University of Arkansas and jointly selected by Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc. and the University of Arkansas. It was introduced by Fall Creek and is available from Alpha Nursery, Bailey Nurseries Inc., Fisher Farms LLC, and Monrovia.

Hydrangea ‘Lavalamp Sublime’ was hybridized by Kolster BV in The Netherlands, and is available from Van Belle Nursery Inc.

In addition to the Best in Show award winner, the judges chose three other plants for honorable mention status.
• ‘Purple Pillar’ Rose of Sharon was discovered by Marinus Adrianus Cornelis van Aart and introduced by Proven Winners Color Choice Flowering Shrubs. It is available from Van Essen Nursery Co. and Fisher Farms.
• ‘First Editions Sunset Magic’ Crape Myrtle was hybridized by Jeff Beasley, Michael A. Dirr, Mark Griffith, Rhonda Helvick, and Oren McBee in Watkinsville, GA, and introduced by Bailey Nurseries Inc. It is available from Bailey Nursery.
• ‘Cherry Berries’ Wintergreen was hybridized by Gurjit Sidhu, Sidhu & Sons Nursery, and introduced by Briggs Nursery. It is available from Briggs Nursery.

There were three runners-up in the balloting for the People’s Choice Award. They were:
• ‘Cherry Berries’ Wintergreen.
• ‘First Editions Sunset Magic’ Crape Myrtle.
Hibiscus ‘Hot Shot Hollywood,’ which was bred by Lannes Nursery in Toulouse, France, and introduced by J. Berry Nursery. It is represented by UpShoot LLC and is available from Fessler Nursery Company.

For more information on these plants, and all 55 of the plants that were featured in this year’s Farwest New Varieties Showcase, go to