Greenhouse Canada

Les Exceptionnelles 2022 unique characteristics shine

Combining beauty and high-performance

August 3, 2022  By Annie Champagne

Begonia Viking Explorer Rose on Green Leaf

More popular than ever, the Exceptionnelles trials received more than 12,000 votes from the public last summer in four major gardens: Montreal Botanical Garden, Daniel A. Séguin Garden in St-Hyacinthe, Roger-Van den Hende Garden in Quebec City, and Domaine Joly-de Lotbinière. The plants that stood out also passed the test of 16 professional evaluations according to very specific criteria, such as resistance to diseases and insects, flower or fruit appearance, and visual impact. Les Exceptionnelles 2022 were then carefully selected by our two expert committees (annuals and vegetables) among the plants that received the most votes from the public and performed the best.

The public and expert’s choices for 2022 present unique and complementary characteristics while having one thing in common: unparalleled performance at the four trial gardens. These 13 exceptional plants are a guarantee of quality and success for consumers and municipalities who choose them to garnish their flower beds and containers!

Let’s discover these nine annuals and four vegetables that combine beauty, performance and productivity:


Begonia Viking Explorer Rose on Green Leaf (1)
This begonia produces extra-large pink flowers that covers a very glossy green foliage. Thanks to its Viking blood, this begonia is extremely resistant to all the changes of temperature. It is ideal for mass plantings, hanging baskets and large containers.

BidensStellar Orange Star (2)
The bright golden-yellow flowers of this cultivar feature an orange star pattern that adds punch to its delicate foliage. In addition to this spectacular two-tone flowering, this plant plays an essential role by attracting pollinators such as bees.

Bracteantha Bracteata Granvia Gold (3)
The large scaly flowers of this cultivar look like crepe paper and present a remarkable luminous yellow with an orange heart. This plant has a high tolerance to mildew and heat. The flowers can be harvested to use as dried flowers.

Celosia Spicata Kelos Candela Pink (4)
This regional All-America Selections 2021 winner surprised in the Exceptionnelles trial gardens with its truly unique flower spikes above its burgundy green foliage. This celosia is ideal for container arrangements and borders of flowerbed. Deer resistant.

Centaurea Mercury (5)
This is the perfect plant for decorative leaves amateurs. Its long, greyish, silky bright leaves are wavy. The plant forms a compact mound and performs equally well in full sun or shade. This disease and insect resistant plant is ideal for showcasing bright flowers.

Coleus Scutellarioides ColorBlaze El Brighto (6)
Coleus are renowned for bringing bright colors and textured foliage to gardens: ColorBlaze El Brighto presents a unique pattern with a purple and red center highlighted by a yellow border. Well branched and bushy, this coleus is as comfortable in containers as in ground, outdoor or indoor.

Lantana Camara Shamrock Rose Balshamose (7)
Shamrock lantanas form a beautiful mound with an abundance of flowers; ideal for hanging arrangements. This small ornamental shrub is resistant to summer drought. Its dark green foliage is aromatic when crumpled. The flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. 

Petunia Crazytunia Mayan Sunset (8)
If you are looking for distinctive colors and patterns, you will appreciate the truly mesmerizing shades of coral, pink and orange of Crazytunia Mayan Sunset petunia. This vigorous petunia will eventually form a pretty mound of cascading flowers ideal for hanging baskets.

Zinnia “Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor” (9)
This zinnia won an All-America Selections gold medal and a Fleuroselect gold medal in 2021. What makes the flowering of this winning plant irresistible is that as it ages, the flower develops magnificent shades of salmon, apricot and pink. These gradual color changes are unique to this zinnia. 

Capsicum annuum Candy Cane Chocolate Cherry (10)
The variegated foliage of this pepper is very distinctive and gives it an ornamental appearance ideal for containers. Its funny-looking fruits begin to show light and dark green stripes before turning red and chocolate. The sweet taste of this pepper makes it an excellent snack.

Citrullus lanatus Moon and Stars (11)
Watermelons have been cultivated for around 4,000 years. The ‘Moon and Stars’ watermelon was introduced in 1926 in New Jersey and features a dark green rind splashed with yellow spots, which adds an artistic touch to its look. Its seedless round fruits, with pink sweet flesh, generally weigh from 4 to 7 kg, and if the season is good, much more!

Ocimum Basilicum Everleaf Thai Towers (12)
This new basil has a beautiful upright and columnar port and is disease resistant. The purple of its sturdy stems contrasts nicely with its dark green leaves which are quite large. Its aromatic leaves evoke a Thai anise aroma. The flowering is very late, which allows a much longer use of the leaves compared to most selections.

Phaseolus Vulgaris Amarillo (13)
This selection produces very fine yellow beans which are tasty. The fruits should be picked young, as they are at their best. This plant is sensitive to the cold, so it is necessary to wait until the risk of frost has passed. Fruit maturity occurs after 53 days. This plant acts as an excellent organic fertilizer to enrich your soil. 

Since 2006, Les Exceptionnelles has been the 100% Quebec horticultural assessment program. In 2022, the program will be on hold so that the team behind it can reflect on what to do next. Due to this break, there won’t be any winners in 2023. 2022 winners will be displayed in many gardens throughout Quebec.

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