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A first: AAS awards presented to vegetatively propagated varieties

November 18, 2014
By Dave Harrison


Nov. 18, 2014 — After more than 80 years of using only seed-propagated varieties, All-America Selections (AAS) began trialling vegetatively propagated varieties early this year.

The result? AAS has granted AAS Winner status to two impatiens that performed exceptionally well in the AAS container trials for vegetatively propagated annuals:

• Impatiens SunPatiens® Spreading Shell Pink.


• Impatiens Bounce™ Pink Flame PPAF ‘Balboufink.’

In addition, there are 10 seed varieties that have earned the AAS Winner designation.

Regional Winners are:

• Pepper Hot Sunset F1 (Southeast, Heartland and Great Lakes).

• Tomato Chef’s Choice Pink F1 (Southeast and Great Lakes).

National Winners are:

• Basil Dolce Fresca.

• Pepper Pretty N Sweet F1.

• Pepper Flaming Flare F1.

• Pepper Emerald Fire F1.

• Squash Bossa Nova F1.

• Squash Butterscotch F1.

• Petunia Trilogy Red F1.

• Salvia Summer Jewel White.

“The AAS Judges, Board of Directors and staff are extremely excited to enter this new phase where we are now representing a wider cross section of the horticulture industry. This ushers in a whole new facet of our national trialing program,” said AAS president Ron Cramer.

Brokers and growers can purchase these varieties immediately. Consumers will find these Winners for sale in the coming months as supply becomes available from suppliers. AAS Winners will also be available as young plants in lawn and garden retail stores next spring, in time for the 2015 gardening season.

Click here for a complete list of trial grounds and judges can be found here.

Click here for a complete list of all AAS Winners since 1932 can be found here. Note that the AAS Winners are now sortable by Flowers from Seed, Flowers from Cuttings and Vegetables.


Impatiens SunPatiens® Spreading Shell Pink
AAS 2015 Ornamental Vegetative Winner
National Winner

The truly unique genetic background of SunPatiens® Spreading Shell Pink delivers unsurpassed garden performance with season-long, soft pink flowers that never slow down. Strong roots take hold quickly after transplanting and these impatiens thrive under high heat, rain and humidity. The AAS judges loved these vigorous spreading plants that keep their shape all summer, plus, they do just as well in full sun as in shade. These low-maintenance plants are perfect for gardeners looking for impatiens that are resistant to downy mildew.

Available in plant form only. Bred by Sakata Ornamentals.

Impatiens Bounce™ Pink Flame PPAF ‘Balboufink’
AAS 2015 Ornamental Vegetative Winner
National Winner

Bounce impatiens provides gardeners with shade garden confidence. Bounce looks like an Impatiens walleriana in habit, flower form and count, but is completely downy mildew resistant, which means this impatiens will last from spring all the way through fall. Bounce Pink Flame boasts of a massive amount of stunning, bright pink bicolor blooms with tons of color to brighten your garden, be it in shade or sun. And caring for impatiens has never been easier: just add water and they’ll “bounce” right back!

Available in plant form only. Bred by Selecta.

Pepper Hot Sunset F1
AAS 2015 Edible Winner
Regional Winner (Southeast, Heartland and Great Lakes)

For banana, or wax pepper lovers who desire a prolific and earlier harvest of delicious and spicy (650 Scoville units) fruits, Hot Sunset is for you. Large, healthy, vigorous plants are disease-free and produce tasty and attractive fruits all season-long. The AAS Trial judges noted what a great taste this thick-walled pepper has, not like other hot peppers where all you get is heat. We think this tasty morsel should be featured on a TV cooking show where chefs compete to bring out the best in this goodie, whether it’s prepared fresh, grilled, roasted or pickled, it’s sure to win over even the most particular foodie!

Bred by Seminis Vegetable Seeds

Tomato Chef’s Choice Pink F1
AAS 2015 Edible Winner
Regional Winner (Southeast and Great Lakes)

First we introduced Chef’s Choice Orange as an All-America Selections Winner and now we have her sister, Chef’s Choice Pink – another tasty beauty in beefsteak tomatoes. Indeterminate potato leaf plants yield large (often more than one pound) fruits with a sweet, meaty flesh. This hybrid is easier to grow than most beefsteaks so don’t be timid, give it a try. The reward will be healthy disease-resistant plants and a large harvest of tasty, attractive pink fleshed tomatoes reminiscent of heirloom varieties.

Bred by Seeds by Design Inc.

Basil Dolce Fresca
AAS 2015 Edible Winner
National Winner

If there was an AAS category for an edible plant with ornamental value, this AAS Winner would fit that classification. Dolce Fresca produces sweet tender leaves that outshone the comparison varieties while maintaining an attractive, compact shape that’s both versatile and beautiful. Use the leaves as you would any Genovese basil and we hear it makes an excellent pesto. After harvest, the plant was quick to recover and kept the desired ornamental shape that’s perfect for containers, borders or as a focal point. Great for gardeners looking for drought tolerant, hearty plants, foodies interested in a new and better basil and anyone who wants that Mediterranean taste added to their cuisine.

Produced by: PanAmerican Seed.

Pepper Pretty N Sweet F1
AAS 2015 Edible Winner
National Winner

Look…in the garden! Is it an ornamental pepper? Is it edible? Yes to both! Now we can tell consumers that an ornamental pepper CAN be eaten and it tastes fantastic! It’s time for new terminology to describe this multi-purpose plant…how about an “Ornamedible?” Pretty N Sweet is just that: a sweet, multi-colored pepper on a compact 18” plant that is attractive to use in ornamental gardens and containers. Against the comparisons, Pretty N Sweet was earlier, more prolific (you can harvest weekly in peak season) and has a much sweeter taste with more substantial pepper walls to enjoy fresh or in your favorite pepper dish.

Bred by Seeds by Design.

Pepper Flaming Flare F1
AAS 2015 Edible Winner
National Winner

Most Fresno peppers are considered rather finicky plants that typically grow better in warm and dry climates. The fact that Flaming Flare is an AAS National Winner means it performed well in all AAS trial sites. The fruit is ideal for making chili sauces and the heat of that sauce will increase depending on how late in the season the peppers are harvested. Flaming Flare is an exceptional pepper that was sweeter tasting than similar Fresno types and consistently produced larger fruits and more peppers per plant. Yet another AAS Winner that culinary gardeners should consider for their kitchen gardens.

Bred by Seminis Vegetable Seeds.

Pepper Emerald Fire F1
AAS 2015 Edible Winner
National Winner

A grill master’s delight! At 2,500 Scoville units, this is the hottest pepper in this year’s pepper winners but it boasts extra large and very tasty jalapeno fruits that are perfect for stuffing, grilling or using in salsa. Emerald Fire produces gorgeous, glossy green peppers with thick walls that have very little cracking, even after maturing to red. Gardeners will appreciate the prolific fruit set on compact plants that resist disease better than other similar varieties on the market.

Bred by Seminis Vegetable Seeds.

Squash Bossa Nova F1
AAS 2015 Edible Winner
National Winner

The beautiful dark and light green mottled exterior of this zucchini is more pronounced than other varieties on the market, which sets it apart and makes the fruits easier to see during a long and prolific harvest. Compact plants produce fruits earlier in the season and continue producing for three weeks longer than comparison varieties. During taste tests, the AAS judges deemed the smooth flesh texture and sweet, mild taste much improved over other summer squash. Culinary gardeners will delight in adding this variety to their 2015 vegetable plans.

Bred by Seminis Vegetable Seeds.

Squash Butterscotch F1
AAS 2015 Edible Winner
National Winner

This adorable small-fruited butternut squash has an exceptionally sweet taste and at just 1.25 pounds, is the perfect size for just one or two servings. Compact vines are space-saving for smaller gardens or those who just want to fit more plants into the space they have. This is another AAS Winners that is perfect for container gardens and will resist powdery mildew later in the season. Culinary tip from a squash enthusiast: pierce the skin then microwave whole squash for about 12 minutes, cut in half, spoon out the seeds, and enjoy!

Bred by Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Petunia Trilogy Red F1
AAS 2015 Bedding Plant Winner
National Winner

The Trilogy petunia series has a new color with this stunningly rich, vibrant red version! Trilogy petunias are known for their compact dome-shaped habit sporting large non-fading blooms throughout the season. The plants cover and recover themselves in upright blooms providing a constant mass of color in flower beds, baskets, and containers. Gardeners in high heat areas will appreciate the heat-tolerance of this variety and all gardeners will like how quickly Trilogy recovers after a rain.

For growers, judges noted there was less need for PGRs and on the bench, the controlled growth habit meant tidier plants that were easier to  separate and ship.

Bred by Takii & Co., Ltd.

Salvia Summer Jewel White
AAS 2015 Bedding Plant Winner
National Winner

A third colour in the popular Summer Jewel series, white brings a much-needed color to compact salvias. This dwarf sized, compact plant has a prolific bloom count throughout the summer. As a bonus, the blooms appear almost two weeks earlier than other white salvias used as comparisons. Judges noted how the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds loved the larger flowers, making it perfect for a pollinator garden. Because of the compactness and number of flowers, Summer Jewel White is great for large landscaped areas, as well as containers and small beds.

Commercial growers now have an excellent compact white salvia coccinea and will appreciate the earliness, uniformity and excellent pack performance.

Bred by Takii & Co., Ltd.

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