AAS Top Annuals for 2006

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Top Annuals for 2006

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AAS Top Annuals for 2007
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Here are the All America Selections winners for 2006.  Lots of purples and golds this year!

Watch for young plants available at local garden centers in spring. 

Links are provided for seeds available online. 

Check back to see if additional suppliers will carry seeds and plants.


Dianthus F1'Supra Purple'  
Dianthus F1'Supra Purple'

Dianthus F1 ‘Supra Purple’
Bedding Plant Award Winner

'Supra Purple' fills garden space with color. This dianthus is a cross between various species and the result is a strong plant that will flower under hot summer growing conditions. 'Supra Purple' plants remain under a foot in height, but they are vigorous and continue flowering through the growing season. The growing season in the South could be fall and early winter. A long flowering period was one of the superior traits observed by AAS Judges. 'Supra Purple' plants adapt to different growing conditions. They are recommended for containers and rock gardens. They will add continuous bloom to a perennial border, which may need more color. 'Supra Purple' was tested as an annual and won the award based on the first year performance, but similar to other dianthus, it may over winter and flower next spring.

The 'Supra Purple' single flowers have highly fringed petal edges which are perfect for decorations. Add them to salads, bouquets, or float some on water for an eye-catching centerpiece. The color is closer to a rosy-purple than the dark, almost black-purple, seen on some plants. 'Supra Purple' may become one of your favorite new annuals.

Genus species: Dianthus interspecific
Common name: Dianthus, China Pink
Unique qualities: New flower color and heat tolerance
Flower size: 1 1/2 inches
Form: Single with highly fringed petal edges
Color(s): Purple (towards rosy-purple)
Plant height: 11-12 inches
Width: 10 inches
Garden Spacing: 10-12 inches
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 12 weeks
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Purple Bouquet,' 'Telstar Purple'
Diascia F1 'Diamonte Coral Rose'  
Diascia F1 'Diamonte Coral Rose'Diascia F1 ‘Diamonte Coral Rose’
Cool Season Bedding Plant Award Winner

'Diamonte Coral Rose' is an improved variety in a class that was relatively unknown five years ago. Diascia is native to South Africa, like gerbera and dimorphotheca. 'Diamonte Coral Rose' exhibits earliness, freedom of bloom and hybrid vigor as improved traits. There is a connection among all three because as a breeder creates a hybrid, these multiple qualities are the breeding objectives. Hybrid vigor results in a long blooming season and profuse flowering which judges observed during the trial. 'Diamonte Coral Rose' is a frost tolerant annual. The plants perform well during the hot summer growing season and under cool growing conditions, such as the fall and winter seasons in southern locations. The category, Cool Season Bedding Plant Trial, means 'Diamonte Coral Rose' was tested at southern sites during the winter, and won the award.
Diamonte Coral Rose' flowers are tubular with backward pointing spurs. The five-lobed blooms have broad lower lobes.
''Diamonte Coral Rose' plants have a spreading habit and are perfectly designed for any container. Planting them close to the lip will encourage the plant to cascade over the side. Needing a full sun growing location, 'Diamonte Coral Rose' combines well with other cool tolerant annuals, such as snapdragons or dianthus. Exceptional garden performance can be expected from 'Diamonte Coral Rose.'

Genus species: Diascia intergerimma
Common name: Diascia
Unique qualities: Earlier flowering, better branching, and length of flowering period.
Flower size: 3/4 to 1 inch
Form Spike
Color(s): Coral rose
Plant height: 10 inches
Width: 18 inches
Garden Spacing: 12 inches
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 60-70 days
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Pink Queen,' 'Rose Queen'
Nicotiana F1 'Perfume Deep Purple'  
Nicotiana F1 'Perfume Deep Purple'Nicotiana F1 ‘Perfume Deep Purple’
Bedding Plant Award Winner

'Perfume Deep Purple' flowers are shaped like stars. The stars shine at night and this is when 'Perfume Deep Purple' begins its performance. The unique quality is the strong fragrance which scents the air in the evening. The fragrance is not wasted during the day when many people are working. The nightly release of the perfume will entice gardeners to relax and linger in their gardens. Consider 'Perfume Deep Purple' as natural aromatherapy. The rich, lavish deep purple flower color is another unique trait, distinct from other nicotianas. 'Perfume Deep Purple' is easily grown from seed, young green bedding plants or flowering pot plants. Nicotiana, named for Jean Nicot, who introduced tobacco to the French Court, needs a sunny location and is perfectly adaptable to container culture.
'Perfume Deep Purple' does not require pinching, pruning or deadheading to maintain a crown of starry blooms all summer. Quite heat tolerant, plants need minimal maintenance. Only water and fertile soil are needed for 'Perfume Deep Purple' to bloom profusely all summer. Grow stars in your garden this summer - plant 'Perfume Deep Purple.'

Genus species: Nicotiana x sandarae
Common name: Flowering tobacco
Unique qualities: Fragrance and color
Flower size: 2 inches
Form: Single, star-shaped
Color(s): Purple
Plant height: 20 inches
Width: 18 inches
Garden Spacing: 20-24 inches
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 9 weeks
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Nicki Mix,' 'Domino Light Purple'
Ornamental Pepper 'Black Pearl'  
Ornamental Pepper 'Black Pearl'Ornamental Pepper ‘Black Pearl’
Flower Award Winner

'Black Pearl' is a handsome plant with black foliage. But the standout quality is that 'Black Pearl' looks better as the summer season progresses. The plants branch, producing more clusters of black, pearl-like, shiny peppers. The plant grows taller and wider developing into a black pyramid shape without pinching, pruning, or grooming. 'Black Pearl' is exceptionally heat tolerant and requires minimal water and fertilizer. It is easy to grow from seed, bedding plants or pot plants with fruit set. There are no serious insect or disease problems. As the plant matures, the black peppers turn red, adding a new color to the plant. While edible, the peppers are very hot. Use with care! Black foliage is very trendy and 'Black Pearl' delivers true black leaves to the full sun garden. 'Black Pearl' is an effective background plant particularly with silver, white or pastel flowering annuals in the foreground.
Never out of bloom, 'Black Pearl' has already been selected as a "most popular" new plant by consumers visiting a trial ground. Its foliage, color and low care will attract many gardeners and "non-gardeners" to 'Black Pearl.' It performs exceptionally well in containers and deserves to be featured as the centerpiece.

Genus species: Capsicum annuum
Common name: Ornamental Pepper
Unique qualities: First black-leaved ornamental pepper. Black peppers mature to red.
Fruit: 3/8 inch shiny round peppers 3/4 inch diameter - very hot taste
Color(s): Lilac flowers
Plant height: 18-20 inches
Width: 16-19 inches
Garden Spacing: 18-20 inches
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 20-24 weeks to first fruit
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Explosive Ember,' 'Pretty in Purple'
Salvia farinacea 'Evolution'  
Salvia farinacea 'Evolution'Salvia farinacea ‘Evolution’
Flower Award Winner

'Evolution' is the first Salvia farinacea with lilac flower spikes. From a distance, 'Evolution' flowers are several shades lighter than its closest comparison. This new color is desirable for garden use as it widens the color choices for "blue" annuals. Belonging to the mint family, ‘Evolution' is easy to grow. Gardeners can begin with seed, young bedding plants or flowering potted plants with the confidence that 'Evolution' will provide continuous color from early summer to the first hard frost. Treated as an annual in the North, 'Evolution' may be a perennial in frost-free areas. Native to Texas, Salvia farinacea is heat and drought tolerant. 'Evolution' is low maintenance. No deadheading is needed for all-season color. Relatively disease and pest free, 'Evolution' will perform best in a full-sun location.

There are two more advantages that 'Evolution' offers gardeners. The plants are quite adaptable and can be grown in patio containers or ceramic pots. The lilac flower spikes can be cut, dried and used as everlasting flowers for bouquets, decorations or craft projects. 'Evolution' deserves a sunny spot in an annual or perennial garden for its non-stop color.

Genus species: Salvia farinacea
Common name: Mealycup sage
Unique qualities: New color - lilac
Flower size: 1/2 inch
Form: 5 to 7 inch flower spikes
Color(s): Lilac
Plant height: 16 to 20 inches
Width: 14 to 16 inches
Garden Spacing: 18 inches
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 100 days
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Rhea,' and 'Victoria Blue'

Viola F1 'Skippy XL Red-Gold'


Viola F1 'Skippy XL Red-Gold'Viola F1 ‘Skippy XL Red-Gold’
Cool Season Bedding Plant Award Winner

'Skippy XL Red-Gold' is the first Viola cornuta to earn the prestigious AAS Award. Three improvements were exhibited in AAS trials. The unique combination of colors is first to be observed. 'Skippy XL Red-Gold' flowers are ruby red with a violet red shading below the golden yellow face containing whiskers. This combination is found on 'Skippy XL Red-Gold' only. The flower shape and size are definitely improved. The round 1 1/2 inch flower is similar to a pansy, and larger than many viola blossoms. The lasting and enduring flower color provided by 'Skippy XL Red-Gold' is another notable trait. The freedom of bloom is attributed to the plant's ability to bud and flower under a wide range of temperatures. It is this adaptability that results in continuous bloom. Skippy XL Red-Gold' was tested across the US and Canada, but unlike other trials, this AAS winner was tested in the South during the fall and winter seasons.
'This is the time for peak performance. 'Skippy XL Red-Gold' achieved this exceptional garden performance to win the AAS award. 'Skippy XL Red-Gold' can be relied on for flower color whether it is grown in an annual or perennial border, window box or patio planter. Gardeners can expect superior performance from 'Skippy XL Red-Gold.'

Genus species: Viola cornuta
Common name: Viola
Unique qualities: Color combination, strong garden performance, flower size
Flower size: 1 1/2 inches
Form: Single
Color(s): Ruby red with violet red shading below the golden yellow face
Plant height: 6 inches
Width: 8 inches
Garden Spacing: 8 inches
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 10 weeks
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Sorbet Babyface Ruby & Gold,' 'Panola Royal Purple'
Zinnia F1 'Zowie! Yellow Flame'


Zinnia F1 'Zowie! Yellow Flame'Zinnia F1 ‘Zowie! Yellow Flame’
Flower Award Winner

'Zowie! Yellow Flame' is the first semi-tall zinnia with a unique bicolor pattern. Each bloom flames with a scarlet-rose center and yellow petal edges. There is no other zinnia with this fiery design. In addition, this bicolor pattern is consistent from one plant to another. As expected, there are more desirable traits from 'Zowie! Yellow Flame.' Gardeners will be glad to learn 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' is easy to grow from seed, young bedding plants or flowering potted plants. 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' will prove its long flowering season with dazzling blooms from early summer to final killing frost. During this season-long color, 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' blooms can be cut for bouquets. The University of Maryland conducted cut flower trials and found 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' had a vaselife of up to two weeks.
'Zowie! Yellow Flame' is highly recommended for containers because plants are heat and fairly drought tolerant. With zinnia plants in containers, gardeners will find less time is spent watering. 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' functions well as the tall centerpiece plant surrounded by other full-sun annuals, such as yellow marigolds or purple-leaved foliage plants. Gardeners can depend on 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' to illuminate any garden plantings.

Genus species: Zinnia elegans
Common name: Zinnia
Unique qualities: New flower colors, consistent Semi-double bloom, long vaselife as cut flower
Flower size: 3-4 inches
Form: Semi-double
Color(s): Flame - yellow with scarlet-rose center
Plant height: 24-29 inches
Width: 26-27 inches
Garden Spacing: 24 inches
Length of time from sowing seed to flower: 8 weeks
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Whirligig Mix,' 'Sun Red'
Carrot F1 'Purple Haze'


Carrot F1 'Purple Haze'Carrot F1 ‘Purple Haze’
Vegetable Award Winner

'Purple Haze' is the only imperator-shaped purple carrot. Purple is a very trendy color and gourmet chefs are always looking for a new vegetable color. 'Purple Haze' has a purple exterior and orange interior. Circles of cut 'Purple Haze' carrots have two distinct colors: a halo of purple with a bright orange center. The best appearance of 'Purple Haze' will be raw in salads or cole slaw. When cooked in water, the purple color will fade. When carrots are cooked quickly, as in a stir-fry, the purple color will remain. Best of all, 'Purple Haze' tastes great. It has a sweet flavor no matter what color.

'Purple Haze' is easy to grow from seed. Sow seed in prepared soil as early as possible. Place seed 1/2 inch deep and cover with soil. The garden soil should be rich, loose, deeply worked with excellent drainage to grow 12-inch long, straight carrots.
Expect germination in 14-21 days. Thin seedlings to be 2 inches apart. The purple pigment is influenced by soil temperature and drainage. The strongest purple color will occur when plants are grown at 59-68°F. For gardeners with heavy clay soil, growing 'Purple Haze' carrots in patio containers is a snap. Use the same growing directions as soil, but water more frequently, since the soil in containers has a tendency to dry out more rapidly.

Genus species: Daucus carota L.
Common name: Carrot
Fruit size: 12 inches long, 2-inch shoulder; 7 oz.
Color: Purple exterior, orange interior
Plant type: Upright
Width: 16 inches
Garden spacing: 2 inches apart
Unique qualities: Color, sweeter than other purple carrots
Length of time from sowing seed to harvest: 70 days
Closest comparison(s) on market: F1 'Cheyenne,' F1 'Bolero' ('Beta Sweet' seed was not available for use as comparison)
Cilantro 'Delfino'


Cilantro ‘Delfino’ Cilantro ‘Delfino’
Vegetable Award Winner

'Delfino' is an aromatic, edible herb, and unlike other coriander has unique, fine fern-like foliage. 'Delfino,' like all cilantro, offers gardeners two distinctly different flavors in one handsome plant. 'Delfino' is easily grown, preferring a full sun location. The branching plant produces more leaves, resulting in a higher yield of this edible herb. The leaf flavor is similar to a strong parsley taste with citrus. The fine 'Delfino' foliage is perfect for recipes, such as salsas, requiring finely chopped leaves. Less chopping is needed. Store fresh 'Delfino' foliage with stems in a glass of water. By changing the water often, foliage remains fresh for a week.

'Delfino' plants will bolt, or flower, at higher temperatures. The small white blooms are delicious with a flavor similar to the foliage.
Add cut flowers to salads. Luckily, the flowers are produced abundantly. Allow some flowers to "go to seed," which is coriander. The seed is formed in small pods, which will dry, harden and turn brown. When brown, they are ripe and ready to harvest. Use seed whole or crushed for a citrus flavor in homemade soup or chili. 'Delfino' is a dual nature herb - two flavors in one plant that is adaptable to container gardening. Plant 'Delfino' next to the edges so it cascades over the lip of the pot, adding the handsome texture to a full sun container garden.

Genus species: Coriandrum sativum
Common name: Cilantro (plant) Seed is coriander, used for seasoning. AKA Chinese parsley
Height: About 20 inches
Garden spacing: 10 - 20 inches
Unique qualities: Fine fern-like foliage - later to bolt (go to seed)
Length of time from sowing seed to harvest: 50-55 days
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Santo,' 'Jantar,' 'Leisure'
Pepper F1 'Carmen'


Pepper F1 ‘Carmen’ Pepper F1 ‘Carmen’
Vegetable Award Winner

'Carmen' is an improved sweet pepper with an unusual shape. Most gardeners think of a bell shape when "sweet" peppers are mentioned. Not so any more. 'Carmen' is an Italian bull's horn type which refers to its elongated shape, about 6 inches long. The medium thick flesh is the sweetest when it is ripe red, but 'Carmen' peppers are sweet even when immature or green. One of the improved traits is the earliness to ripe red. Gardeners can look for red peppers about 75 days after transplanting into warm garden soil. The other improved traits are sweet flavor and high yield. The yield of a pepper plant is determined by its adaptability. 'Carmen' proved to be widely adaptable, flowering and setting fruit over a wide temperature range. Like all peppers, 'Carmen' will produce the highest number of peppers when grown in full sun and given proper nutrients and water.
'Carmen' plants are productive with an upright, medium height of 28 to 30 inches. This plant size is perfectly adaptable to larger patio containers. Grow 'Carmen' plants with sun-loving, trailing annuals such as verbena to drape over the edge. This is the most trendy combination planter - growing edibles and annuals together. 'Carmen' is easy to grow in gardens or larger sized containers.

Genus species: Capsicum annuum
Common name: Pepper
Fruit size: 2 1/2 inches wide, 6 inches long - about 5 ounces
Color: Green maturing to dark crimson red
Plant type: Upright bush
Width: 16 inches
Garden spacing: 18 inches apart
Unique qualities: Sweeter taste, earlier maturity, widely adapted
Length of time from transplanting to harvest: 75 days, red ripe
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Giant Marconi,' 'Spanish Spice'
Pepper F1 'Mariachi'


Pepper F1 ‘Mariachi’ Pepper F1 ‘Mariachi’
Vegetable Award Winner

'Mariachi' is named after the Mexican regional musical band that became popular in Jalisco, Mexico in the mid-1800's. Both the band and the pepper are festive and colorful, reminding us to enjoy our outdoor living spaces and gardens. 'Mariachi' is a beautiful plant, deserving a sunny location in an annual or perennial flower bed. 'Mariachi' sets fruits and produces an abundant crop of high quality, mild chile peppers. The chile peppers are pendant, meaning they will hang below the stem. It is a fleshy pepper that ripens from creamy white to rose, then red. Some people may wait for the mature red pepper, but because its flavor is delicate and complex, having fruity undertones reminiscent of melons, the gardeners will harvest them at the creamy white stage. 'Mariachi' peppers are moderately pungent, with Scoville readings in the 500 to 600 range when grown under non-stressful conditions. Add stress, such as extremely hot weather or overly dry soil, and Scoville readings may rocket.
'Mariachi' chiles can be used in salsas or sauces and are especially flavorful when roasted whole on the grill or under the broiler. 'Mariachi' peppers can be used in many dishes, either raw or cooked, but the reason to grow vegetables is the exceptional taste and highest nutritional value - fresh from your garden.

Genus species: Capsicum annuum
Common name: Pepper
Fruit size: About 4 inches long by 2 inches wide, 1.5 ounces
Color: Creamy white, ripening to rosy red, then red
Plant type: Upright bush
Width: 20 inches
Garden spacing: 20-24 inches
Unique qualities: Larger fruit than comparison, higher yield, better color
Disease tolerances: TMV strain Po (tobamovirus)
Length of time from transplanting to harvest: About 66 days
Closest comparison(s) on market: 'Santa Fe Grande,' 'White Fire,' 'Healthy'

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