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ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS FOR 2005
aristata ‘Arizona Sun’ - Flower Award Winner
This ‘Arizona Sun’ is red and yellow. Each three-inch single flower is mahogany
red with bright yellow petal edges. The bright colors are similar to the desert
sun in Arizona. Like many annuals, plants produce flowers continuously. Even the
spent blooms are attractive as tufts of seed. When grown in a full-sun garden,
‘Arizona Sun’ is a compact plant reaching only 8 to 10 inches tall, spreading
about 10 to 12 inches. Gaillardia aristata a.k.a. blanket flower, is
native to the Great Plains and usually considered a perennial. ‘Arizona Sun’
performed as an exceptional plant the first year grown from seed. This AAS
Winner may over-winter, depending upon the severity of winter. ‘Arizona Sun’
flowers can be cut and used for summer bouquets. They may attract butterflies to
the garden in search of nectar.
Kiss Blueberry’ - Flower Award Winner
The first blue-flowered
Catharanthus rosea is an AAS Winner named ‘First Kiss Blueberry.’ The large
2-inch single blooms have a darker eye which accentuates the violet blue color.
For decades breeders have been diligently working towards a blue Vinca. Now
‘First Kiss Blueberry’ fills the color void. Gardeners will look for ‘First Kiss
Blueberry’ plants to add to their collection. Proven to be heat and drought
tolerant, mature plants will be about 11 inches tall and spread 16 inches, given
adequate growing conditions. Easy to grow from plants, ‘First Kiss Blueberry’
can be grown in patio containers or combination planters.
‘Magellan Coral’ Flower Award Winner
‘Magellan Coral’ blooms are
radiant. They illuminate the garden. The fully double, dahlia flowered 5- to
6-inch blooms gleam with brilliant coral petals. The flower quality and color
are superior to other Zinnia elegans. In addition to the color, ‘Magellan
Coral’ plants are brimming with luminous blooms. Consistent flower production is
an improved quality. Earliness to bloom is another exceptional trait. From
sowing seed to first bloom requires only 6 to 9 weeks. Mature zinnia plants will
reach about 15 to 17 inches tall and spread 15 to 19 inches, depending upon
growing conditions. Like all zinnias, ‘Magellan Coral’ will perform best in a
full-sun growing location. This AAS Winner is adaptable to container culture. In
the garden, ‘Magellan Coral’ is undemanding, needing little maintenance.
Eggplant F1 ‘Fairy Tale’ -
Vegetable Award Winner
‘Fairy Tale’ is a petite plant with
decorative miniature eggplants. The fruit appearance is as luscious as the
taste. ‘Fairy Tale’ eggplants are white with violet/purple stripes. The fruit
are sweet, non-bitter, with a tender skin and few seeds. Another superior
quality is the window for harvest. The elongated oval eggplants can be picked
when quite small at 1 to 2 ounces or they can be left on the plant until
double the weight, and the flavor and tenderness remain. ‘Fairy Tale’
eggplants are recommended for marinating and grilling whole. The harvest can
begin in just 49 to 51 days from transplanting. The petite plant reaches only
2˝ feet tall and wide, perfect for container gardening. An eggplant has not
won an AAS award since 1939, so ‘Fairy Tale’ is truly an exceptional new
Tomato F1 ‘Sugary’ -
Vegetable Award Winner
‘Sugary.’ The name says it all. Judges raved
about the sweet tomato flavor. The half-ounce dark pink fruit has a sugar
content of 9.5%, higher than most others. The fruit is produced in clusters
like grapes and can be eaten like them. ‘Sugary’ tomatoes have a distinct
shape; they are oval with a pointed blossom end. In addition to the flavor,
‘Sugary’ plants produced a high yield with a noticeable lack of cracked fruit.
Look for ripe fruit on the strong semi-indeterminate vines within 60 days from
transplanting into warm, prepared garden soil or large containers. Plants are
vigorous and may need pruning to contain growth. ‘Sugary’ should set a new
standard for “cherry” size tomatoes with sweet flavor.
Winter Squash F1 ‘Bonbon’ -
Vegetable Award Winner
‘Bonbon’ is a Cucurbita maxima with three improved traits. They are
restricted habit, earliness and superior eating qualities. ‘Bonbon’ has an
upright, semi-bush habit needing less garden space. Mature vines spread about
8 feet. When ‘Bonbon’ plants are transplanted into a full-sun garden, look for
ripe fruit within 81 days; a full week earlier than other varieties. ‘Bonbon’
squash has thick orange flesh and when cooked delivers sweet flavor (hence the
name ‘Bonbon’) and creamy texture loaded with vitamin A. The “boxy” shaped
dark green squash is painted with silver stripes and weighs about four pounds.
Easy to grow, ‘Bonbon’ is not highly susceptible to diseases and is adaptable
to any location where squash is grown.