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New perennials trials ready to root

April 9, 2015  By Diane Blazek

April 9, Downers Grove, IL – All-America Selections (AAS) has a long, 80-plus-year history of being the only independent North American trialing organization that works with new varieties and then grants branded awards to the best performers.

The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) is a trade association composed of growers, retailers, educators, landscape designers and contractors that are professionally involved in the herbaceous perennial industry.

Together, the two organizations have determined the details necessary to conduct a thorough and horticulturally sound perennial trial. PPA actively endorses this new AAS trial.


The perennial trial will follow many of the basics of the recently launched AAS Vegetative Ornamental trial.

Entries accepted will be herbaceous perennials propagated from seed, cutting, tissue culture or bare root. A seed entry can be trialed against a vegetative or TC comparison and vice versa. Entries will be trialled next to comparisons, in order to continue the AAS legacy.


The primary difference with the AAS Herbaceous Perennial trial is that it will be a three-winter trial allowing the AAS judges to measure and record winter survivability and subsequent growing season performance. Other AAS trial entries will continue to be trialed over one growing season.

Breeders who wish to have their herbaceous perennials tested for first-season performance can continue to use the one-season trial. All other herbaceous perennials would be placed in the three-year perennial trial.

For the long-term, entries have to be new, never-before-sold, but, after submission to the AAS Herbaceous Perennial Trial, they may be introduced commercially. After the trial is completed, if the entry scores high enough to be become an AAS Winner, after criteria is met and the announcement is made by AAS, the breeder may then market that variety as an AAS Winner.

However, for the first entry year (entries submitted by July 1, 2015), AAS will accept entries that have been on the market for 12 months or less.

The pilot program of trialing perennials will begin immediately with entries due July 1, 2015. Those entries will be sent to approximately 24 trial sites beginning in early 2016.

The first AAS Winners from the Perennial Trials will be announced in 2019.

For additional information, contact Diane Blazek at or 630-963-0770.

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