All-America Selections Announces First Group of 2012 Winners

November 11, 2011 - 10:58

All-America Selections has announced the first of the newest group of AAS Winners. Following a trial period where these new, never-before-sold varieties are "Tested Nationally and Proven Locally," the group of horticulturists, who volunteer their time as the AAS Judges, have submitted their recommendations and scores from this year's trials.


All-America Selections (AAS) has announced the first of the newest group of AAS Winners. Following a trial period where these new, never-before-sold varieties are "Tested Nationally and Proven Locally," the group of horticulturists, who volunteer their time as the AAS Judges, have submitted their recommendations and scores from this year's trials. Only those entries with superior garden performance are selected to receive an AAS Award.

The 2012 AAS bedding plant winner is salvia 'Summer Jewel Pink' bred by Takii & Co, Ltd. Sister to earlier AAS Winner salvia ‘Summer Jewel Red’, this dwarf-sized, compact plant has a prolific bloom count throughout the growing season. The blooms appear almost two weeks earlier than the other pink salvias used as comparisons. Commercial growers will appreciate the earliness, excellent pack performance, uniformity and it is a hummingbird attractant.

The flower plant winner is ornamental pepper 'Black Olive' bred by Seeds By Design. The judges said this entry performed especially well in the southern gardens where heat was a major presence during the 2011 trials. All season long this ornamental pepper kept its upright habit with nicely draping leaves and dark purple/black fruit that appeared in small clusters along the stems. As summer progressed, the fruits matured to red giving a beautiful contrast against the dark purple foliage and bright purple flowers.

Floranova Ltd.’s pepper ‘Cayennetta’ F1 was one of this year’s vegetable winners. This mildly spicy pepper is easy to grow, even for novice gardeners. The 3 to 4-inch chili pepper yielded bigger fruits from a very well branched upright plant and required no staking. It has good cold tolerance as well as dense foliage cover to protect the fruits from sun scorch and it handled extreme heat very well.

Watermelon ‘Faerie’ F1 was also selected in the vegetable category. Bred by Known-You Seed Co., this non-traditional watermelon has a creamy yellow rind with thin stripes yet and a sweet pink-red flesh with a high sugar content and crisp texture. The vines are vigorous but spread only to 11 feet. Each 7 to 8-inch fruit weighs only four to six pounds. Professional growers will appreciate the disease and insect tolerance as well as the prolific fruit set that starts early and continues throughout the season.

With this announcement, these varieties become available for immediate sale. Commercial growers can inquire with their seed suppliers. AAS Winner tags are available from several tag suppliers. Consumers will find these seeds for sale in the coming months as supply becomes available with catalog companies, in seed packets, from mail order companies and various websites. AAS Winners will also be available as young plants in lawn & garden retail stores next spring.

For more information, visit www.all-americaselections.org.

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