All-America Selections Winners for 2015

All-America Selections has announced the winners for 2015. Look for the red, white and blue logo of All-America Selections on seed packets in retail stores, plant tags in bedding plants in garden centers or nurseries, or in mail-order catalogs this spring. Success is almost guaranteed with these varieties of reliable new flower and vegetable varieties. Some cultivars are designated as AAS Regional Winners, but most are National Winners. All-America Selections (AAS) began trialing vegetatively propagated varieties this year for the first time.

aaslogoThe non-profit All-America Selections (AAS) organization was founded in 1932 to foster the development, production and distribution of new and better horticultural and agricultural varieties, species, strains and kinds in and for North America. AAS winners are superior new annual flower and vegetable plants recognized for significant achievements – a promise of gardening success. Only the very best varieties receive this prestigious award. All AAS winners have been tested for home garden performance in more than 60 independent test sites, each under the responsibility of an AAS judge, all over the United States and Canada. Gardeners can rely on AAS Winners to perform in their garden because of these unbiased, independent tests. Most of the time only one to three flower varieties and the same number of vegetables get this award each year, and sometimes none qualifies. This year there are two Vegetative Winners (both impatiens), three Regional Winners (all vegetables that are appropriate for the Great Lakes Region) and ten more Nationals Winners, including 8 vegetables and 2 flowers.

The National AAS winners for 2015 are:

AAS Flower Award Winner: Impatiens SunPatiens® Spreading Shell Pink

Impatiens SunPatiens® Spreading Shell Pink

Impatiens SunPatiens® Spreading Shell Pink

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.

Impatiens x hybrida
Common name: SunPatiens
Light needs: Sun or shade
Water needs: Normal
Deadheading: No
Staking: No
Foliage color: Dark green
Plant habit: Mounded
Plant height: Over 24 inches
Garden spacing: 14-18 inches
Bloom time: Late spring to frost
Bloom color: Solid pink, coral
Bloom size: 2-3 inches
Weather Tolerance: Heat,rain,wind
Hanging Basket: Yes
Closest comparisons on market:
NGI Sun Harmony Pink, SunPatiens® Compact Blush Pink


AAS Flower Award Winner: Impatiens Bounce™ Pink Flame PPAF ‘Balboufink’

Impatiens Bounce" Pink Flame PPAF Balboufink

Impatiens Bounce” Pink Flame PPAF ‘Balboufink’

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!

Impatiens x hybrida
Common name: impatiens
Light needs: Sun or shade
Water needs: Normal
Deadheading: No
Staking: No
Foliage color: Green
Plant habit: Mounded, spreading
Plant height: 10-24 inches
Garden spacing: 16-18 inches
Bloom time: Late spring to frost
Bloom color: Bicolor pink
Bloom size: 1 1/8 inches
Closest comparisons on market:
New Guinea Impatiens Celebration Rose Star, Magnum Blue


AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Basil ‘Dolce Fresca’

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Basil Dolce Fresca

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Basil ‘Dolce Fresca’

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 great Mediterranean taste added to their cuisine.

Ocimum basilicum
Common name: Basil
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Season Type: Warm season
Staking: No
Foliage color: Green
Plant habit: Bushy, compact
Plant height: 10-24 inches
Garden spacing: 10-12 inchesDays to harvest: 60-80
Fruit flavor: Sweet tender leaves
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Italian Large Leaf’, ‘Minette’


AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Lettuce ‘Sandy‘

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Lettuce Sandy

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Lettuce Sandy

The first AAS winning lettuce since 1985, Sandy is an attractive oakleaf type lettuce with a multitude of sweet tasting frilly dark green leaves. Not just pretty and tasty, Sandy has exceptional disease resistance, especially to powdery mildew and is slow to bolt. Use Sandy as cut and come again baby leaf, or grow to full maturity for loose salad heads. The uniformly mounded loose heads are well adapted to both raised beds and containers. When planted with cool season flowers, Sandy will add an abundance of interesting texture to patio containers. Sandy is the second AAS Winner that is available as organic seed. Can be planted in patio containers with cool season edible flowers to enjoy. Typically not bitter when heat-stressed. Sandy has exceptional bolt resistance and is especially resistant to Powdery Mildew disease. Can be used for baby leaf cut and come again or grown to full maturity for loose salad heads.

Lactuca sativa
Common name: Leaf lettuce
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Season Type: Cold season
Foliage color: Dark green
Plant habit: Loose heads
Plant height: 10-12 inches
Garden spacing: 10 inches
Days to harvest: 30 (baby) – 50
Fruit flavor: Sweet in cool season
Container: yes
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Green Salad Bowl’, ‘Pannisse’


AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper ‘Emerald Fire’ F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Emerald Fire F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper ‘Emerald Fire’ F1

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. Emerald Fire is a strong and vigorous hybrid jalapeno plant that sets a large amount of concentrated fruit. This high yielding X3R variety produces tasty extra large hot jalapenos that are great for fresh and canning uses.

Capsicum annuum
Common name: Jalapeno pepper
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Season Type: Warm season
Foliage color: Dark green
Plant habit: Spreading, upright
Plant height: Over 24 inches
Garden spacing: 18-24 inches
Days (transplant): 90
Fruit color (harvest): Dark green
Fruit Shape: Large bullet shape
Fruit Size: 3.3” x 1.2”
# Fruits/Plant: 25-30
Disease Resistance: Xanthomonas campestris Race 1-3 (X3R), PVY PO
Closest comparisons on market: ‘El Jefe’, ‘Chichimeca’


AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper ‘Flaming Flare’ F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Flaming Flare F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Flaming Flare F1

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.

Capsicum annuum
Common name: Fresno pepper
Plant habit: Upright
Plant height: Over 24 inches
Garden spacing: 18-24 inches
Days (transplant): 75
Fruit color (harvest): Brilliant red
Fruit Shape: Triangular pointed
Fruit Size: 3.75” x 1”
# Fruits/Plant: 15+
Disease Resistance: TMY PO
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Havasu’, ‘Fresno’


AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper ‘Pretty N Sweet’ F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Pretty N Sweet F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Pretty N Sweet F1

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.

Capsicum annuum
Common name: Sweet pepper
Plant habit: Bushy
Plant height: 10-24 inches
Garden spacing: 12-14 inches
Days (transplant): 60
Fruit color (harvest): Orange, red and yellow
Fruit Shape: Small, conical
Fruit Size: 1 to 1.5 inches
# Fruits/Plant: 100+
Disease Resistance: TMW
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Sweet Pickle’, ‘Yum Yum Mix’


AAS Bedding Plant Award Winner: Petunia ‘Trilogy Red’ F1

AAS Bedding Plant Award Winner: Petunia Trilogy Red F1

AAS Bedding Plant Award Winner: Petunia Trilogy Red F1

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 bounces back 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.

Petunia x atkinsiana
Common name: Petunia
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Foliage color: Green
Plant habit: Mounded, spreading
Plant height: 10-24 inches
Garden spacing: 20-25 inches
Bloom time: Late spring to frost
Bloom color: Solid red
Bloom Size: 2.5 inches
Weather tolerance: heat, rain
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Easy Wave Red’, ‘Ramblin Red’, ‘Trilogy Scarlet’


AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Radish ‘Roxanne‘ F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Radish Roxanne F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Radish Roxanne F1

Roxanne is a hybrid radish with uniform bright red color and a beautiful creamy white interior. Roxanne is a great tasting radish with no pithiness or bleeding even at a larger size. This radish stays firm and solid even when oversized, and holds well in the garden. Roxanne grows well in a wide range of climates, as verified by our judges who have trial grounds all over North America. In mild climates Roxanne can be sown at intervals in fall and winter for harvest during these seasons. This radish can easily be grown in a pot at least 4 inches deep. A very pretty and tasty radish! Nice bright red color with beautiful creamy white interior. Nice shape, size and uniformity.

Raphanus sativus
Common name: Radish
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Season Type: Warm season
Plant height: 10-24 inches
Garden spacing: 1.5-2 inches
Days (sowing seed): 27
Fruit color (harvest): Red skin, white interior
Fruit Size: up to 1.5 inch diameter
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Cheriette’, ‘Rover’


AAS Bedding Plant Award Winner: Salvia ‘Summer Jewel White‘

AAS Bedding Plant Award Winner: Salvia Summer Jewel White

AAS Bedding Plant Award Winner: Salvia Summer Jewel White

A third color 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.

Salvia coccinea
Common name: Texas sage
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Foliage color: Green
Plant habit: Compact, upright
Plant height: 10-24 inches
Garden spacing: 10-12 inches
Bloom time: Late spring to fall
Bloom color: White
Bloom Size: 0.5 inches
Weather tolerance: heat,rain,wind
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Snow Nymph’, ‘Summer Jewel Red’


AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Squash ‘Bossa Nova’ F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Squash Bossa Nova F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Squash Bossa Nova F1

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.

Cucurbito pepo
Common name: Squash
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Season Type: Warm season
Foliage color: Dark green
Plant habit: Bushy
Plant height: Over 24 inches
Garden spacing: 4.5 feet
Days to harvest (seed): 30-45
Days to harvest (transpl): 25-40
Fruit color (harvest): Very light green skin with irregular dark rhomboid patches
Fruit Shape: Standard bulb squash
Fruit Weight: 8 to 10 ounces
# Fruits/Plant: Very prolific
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Greyzini’, ‘Ishtar’


AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Squash ‘Butterscotch’ F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Squash Butterscotch F1

AAS Vegetable Award Winner: Squash ‘Butterscotch’ F1

This adorable small-fruited butternut squash has an exceptionally sweet taste perfect 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: pierce the skin then microwave whole squash for about 12 minutes, cut in half, spoon out the seeds, and enjoy!

Cucurbito moschata
Common name: Butternut squash
Plant habit: Compact
Garden spacing: 5-6 ft2/plant
Days to harvest (seed): 100
Days to harvest (transpl): 85
Fruit color (harvest): Tan
Fruit Shape: Butternut with straight neck, 6” long x 3” wide
Fruit Weight: 1.25 pounds
# Fruits/Plant: 4+
Disease resistance: powdery mildew
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Early Butternut’, ‘Metro’


The Great Lakes Regional winners for 2015 are:

AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Pak Choi ‘Bopak’ F1
(Northeast, Great Lakes, Mountain/Southwest)

AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Pak Choi Bopak F1

AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Pak Choi Bopak F1

In the history of AAS, Bopak F1 is the first Pak Choi to become an AAS Winner! Bopak matures early and the tender leaves with crisp sweet stalks taste great. It’s a tasty addition to Oriental recipes and the tender leaves can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches. Swap stalks for celery sticks, add to soups and stews, or grill on the barbecue. Plant every couple of weeks for a longer harvest. Stop planting when the weather turns hot, then start new plants in late summer for fall harvest. May be harvested as a baby Pak Choi as well as grown to full size. This classy plant will make an attractive “thriller” for patio pots and containers. Compact plant habit for close spacing and early maturing. Variety matures about 5 days earlier than other varieties. As well as cooking in Oriental recipes, the tender leaves can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches. Swap stalks for celery sticks, add to soups and stews, grill on the barbecue. Very nice flavor even into the warmer weather. Attractive upright, uniform, and dense plant. Early maturing when harvested as baby pak choi. Great for home gardener with limited space.

Brassica rapa chinensis
Common name: Bok choy
Light needs: Full sun, partial sun
Water needs: Normal
Season Type: Cold season
Plant habit: Compact, upright
Plant height: 10-24 inches
Garden spacing: 10 inches
Days to harvest (seed): 650
Fruit color (harvest): Dark green leaves with white petioles
Fruit Size: 8” high, 4” wide at base
Fruit Weight: 1.5-2 pounds
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Joi Choi’, ‘Win-Win Cho’


AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper ‘Hot Sunset’ F1
(Southeast, Heartland and Great Lakes)

AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Hot Sunset F1

AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Hot Sunset F1

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!

Capsicum annuum
Common name: Hot wax pepper
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Season Type: Warm season
Plant habit: Spreading, upright
Garden spacing: 18-24 inches
Days to harvest (transpl): 85
Fruit color(harvest): Yellow to red
Fruit Shape: Elongated banana shape finishing with a point
Fruit Size: 7.25 x 1.5 inches
Fruit Weight: 1.6 ounces
Disease Resistance: Xanthomonas campetsris Race 1-3, TSWV
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Stoked’, ‘Inferno’


AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Tomato ‘Chef’s Choice’ Pink F1
(Southeast and Great Lakes)

AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Tomato Chefs Choice Pink F1

AAS Regional Vegetable Award Winner: Tomato Chefs Choice Pink F1

Very large yields of 12-14 ounce pink beefsteak tomatoes. The prefect acid to sugar balance in this tomato make it a must for any home chef. Consider stewing or canning these beautiful tomatoes. Indeterminate potato leaf plants have good disease resistance to fusarium, alternaria, nematodes, tobacco mosaic virus, crack and scab.

Solanum lycopersicum
Common name: Tomato
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Dry to normal
Season Type: Warm season
Plant habit: Requires staking
Garden spacing: 18-20 inches
Days to harvest (transpl): 110
Fruit color (harvest): Pink
Fruit Shape: Flattened deep globe
Fruit Size: 6-7 inches
Fruit Weight: 12-14 ounces
Disease Resistance: TMV, A, Scab, F, V, Crack
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Pink Brandymaster’, ‘Brandy Boy’


Additional Information: