All-America Selections has announced the first winners from its three-winter Herbaceous Perennials Trial. The trial, in partnership with the Perennial Plant Association (PPA), was launched in 2016 with five entries grown against 10 similar comparisons. PPA’s input and assistance was instrumental in creating a multi-year trial in which plant characteristics were evaluated and rated.
Each new AAS Winner was trialed throughout North America by 24 professional, independent, volunteer judges (many of whom came from the PPA membership roster) who grew them next to comparisons that are considered best-in-class. Only those entries that performed better than the comparisons are granted the AAS award designation.
The first two AAS Herbaceous Perennial Winners are:
• Echinacea ‘Sombrero Baja Burgundy’ (Darwin Perennials)
• Rudbeckia x ‘American Gold Rush’ (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)
Echinacea ‘Sombrero Baja Burgundy’ adds a bold accent to sunny gardens with its vibrant, deep violet-red blossoms. The beautiful flower color is without equal among coneflowers and is perfect for cut flowers. After being trialed over three tough winters, AAS judges noted this standout’s hardiness, sturdy branching, and floriferous blooming habit. Birds and pollinators flock to its deer-resistant beauty, making it a dual-purpose plant. Gardeners will enjoy prolific blooms from mid-summer until first frost. Growers can enjoy a naturally well-branched plant that ships easily and has excellent retail presentation.
The bright, golden-yellow flowers of ‘American Gold Rush,’ with black centers and arched petals, are a gorgeous addition to any garden. This compact, upright domed-shaped beauty has narrow 2-inch wide hairy foliage bred for its resistance to Septoria leaf spot. This hybrid shows no signs of the fungus even in wet, humid conditions. Blooming from July to September, with some color up until frost, this cultivar has smaller foliage and shorter height compared to other rudbeckia varieties. Incredibly easy to grow and pollinators love it, it is destined to be the new rudbeckia staple for gardens and landscapes.
Unlike the traditional seed trials, entries in the very first Herbaceous Perennial Trial could be recent introductions, so many will notice these varieties have been on the market for a few years. Now these two varieties can be designated and marketed as AAS Winners, a boon to their already good popularity.
Learn more at https://all-americaselections.org/winners.