Two herbaceous perennials named AAS Winners

August 06, 2019
Written by All-America Selections (edited)
All-America Selections has announced the first winners from their three-winter Herbaceous Perennial Trial: Echinacea Sombrero Baja Burgundy and Rudbeckia American Gold Rush.

This trial, in partnership with the Perennial Plant Association (PPA), was launched in 2016 with five entries grown against 10 similar comparisons. Proper plant characteristics were evaluated and rated during this multi-year trial.

Each of the new AAS Winners were trialed throughout North America by twenty-four professional, independent, volunteer judges (many of whom came from the PPA membership roster) who grew them next to comparisons that are considered best-in-class. Only those entries that performed better than the comparisons are granted the AAS award designation.

Unlike the traditional seed trials, entries in the very first Herbaceous Perennial Trial could be recent introductions, so many will notice these varieties have been on the market for a few years. Each AAS Winner is marketed through social media, public relations and trade shows and are proudly grown in 190 AAS Display Gardens across North America.

Growers, retailers and consumers will find these AAS Winners for sale now or as supply becomes available through the distribution chain.

Echinacea Sombrero® Baja Burgundy
AAS 2020 Herbaceous Perennial Winner
National Winner
echinacea sombreroBred by Darwin Perennials, Sombrero Baja Burgundy’s vibrant, deep violet-red colour is unique among coneflowers and perfect for cut flower use. After being trialed over three tough winters, AAS Judges noted this standout’s hardiness, sturdy branching, and floriferous blooming habit. This variety attracts birds and pollinators while being deer-resistant, making it a dual-purpose plant. Gardeners will enjoy prolific blooms from mid-summer until first frost.

A naturally well-branched plant, this variety is expected to ship easily with excellent retail presentation.

AAS® Winner Data
• Genus species: Echinacea hybrida
• Common name: Coneflower
• Flower size: 3 inches
• Color: Burgundy
• Plant height: 18-20 inches
• Plant habit: Upright
• Garden location: Full sun
• Garden spacing: 18-24 inches
• Hardiness zone: 4-9
• Closest comparisons on market: PowWow Wild Berry, Purple Emperor

Rudbeckia American Gold Rush
AAS 2020 Herbaceous Perennial Winner
National Winner
rudbeckia gold rushBred by Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, American Gold Rush rudbeckia features bright, golden-yellow flowers with black centers and arched petals. This compact, upright domed-shaped variety has narrow two-inch wide hairy foliage bred for its resistance to Septoria leaf spot.
This hybrid shows no signs of the fungus even in wet, humid conditions.

Blooming from July to September, with some colour up until frost, this cultivar has smaller foliage and shorter height compared to other rudbeckia varieties. Easy to grow and pollinators-friendly. Destined to be the new rudbeckia staple for gardens and landscapes.

AAS® Winner Data
• Genus species: Rudbeckia x
• Common name: Black Eyed Susan
• Flower size: 2-3 inches
• Color: Golden yellow
• Plant height: 22-24 inches
• Plant habit: Upright mounding
• Garden location: Full sun
• Garden spacing: 18-24 inches
• Hardiness zone: 4-9
• Closest comparisons on market: Little Goldstar, Goldsturm

Bench cards and variety markers can be downloaded from the AAS website.

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