Why yes, AAS does now conduct yearly trials for herbaceous perennials and vegetatively propagated annuals.
Diane Blazek, AAS-NGB
Since 2016, All-America Selections has offered our respected and long-standing trialing process for varieties other than just annuals and edibles from seed. There are now a good number of vegetatively propagated AAS Winners and in summer 2019, the first herbaceous perennials winners were announced. All vegetative entries are trialed in containers and all perennials entries are trialed over 3 winters to judge for that ever-important winter hardiness.
Your customers are sure to love the following recently announced Winner varieties that were trialed throughout North America by professional, independent, volunteer judges who grew them next to comparisons that were already considered best-in-class (best-in-garden).
Sombrero Baja Burgundy Echinacea
This coneflower, or echinacea, with its vibrant, deep violet-red blossoms will add a bold accent to any sunny garden or container. The flower color is stunning and is perfect for cut flower designs too. After being trialed over three tough winters, the AAS Judges noted that Sombrero® Baja Burgundy stood out with hardiness (Zone 4), its sturdy branching and its amazing blooming habit.
Rudbeckia x American Gold Rush
American Gold Rush’s bright, golden-yellow flowers with black centers and arched petals are a gorgeous garden addition. This compact cultivar has smaller foliage and shorter height compared to other rudbeckia varieties making it perfect for use in container gardening while being incredibly easy to grow. Hardy to Zone 4, American Gold Rush is a pollinator magnet. One of the winning traits for American Gold Rush is that it was bred for its resistance to Septoria leaf spot. This cultivar showed no signs of the fungus even in wet, humid conditions.
Coleus Main Street Beale Street
The first-ever coleus to be named an AAS Winner! Main Street Beale Street coleus is an outstanding variety exhibiting deep red foliage that holds its color extremely well in the garden. The rich color doesn’t fade, bleach or get spotty as the season moves into late summer. The lush, bushy plant grows uniformly and as a huge bonus, does not flower until very late in the season – up to 6 weeks later than the comparisons! A unique feature of this coleus is that it can be successfully grown from full sun to full shade, making it an ideal foliage item for anywhere in the garden.
What is AAS?
All-America Selections is the oldest and most well-known non-profit plant trialing organization in North America. Our All-America Selections Winners have been tested for garden performance by a panel of expert judges. The AAS Winners offer gardeners reliable new varieties that have proven their superior garden performance in Trial Grounds across North America, thus, our tagline of “Tested Nationally and Proven Locally®”.
When you purchase an AAS Winner, “The Proof is in The Plant”, you know that it has been put through its paces by an independent, neutral trialing organization and has been judged by experts in their field. The AAS Winner label is like a stamp of approval. AAS Winners are bred and produced without using genetic engineering, commonly referred to as genetic modification or GMOs.