University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
MORE 2010 ALL-AMERICA WINNERS
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
A previous article described four of the new
All-America flower winners for 2010 that had previously been
chosen. Now, added to this group are several additional
flowers and a globe-shaped watermelon. All prefer a well-drained soil
sun for best performance.
The All-America Selections
program is an awards program for new flower and vegetable
from seeds, which must bloom the first year in the case of
flowers. In the past, winners were released to display
gardens a year prior to their public introduction for sale. This
year marks the first time winners are being
released for sale as they are announced.
The four flower winners previously
selected for 2010 include the compact, yellow blanket flower 'Mesa
Yellow'. 'Twinny Peach' is a snapdragon
with butterfly, double peach flowers-- a snapdragon without flowers
snap when pinched! 'Endurio Sky Blue
Martien' is the latest viola winner, flowers under an inch across and a
blue. 'Zahara Starlight Rose' is a new
zinnia, about a foot tall, that stands out with its white flowers and
contrasting rose-red centers.
most recently announced award winners for 2010 include two more zinnias
Zahara series-- 'Double Zahara Cherry' and 'Double Zahara Fire'.
The former is of course a cherry pink, the
latter is a rich reddish orange, and both are double with many
petals. All three winners in this series of zinnias
are about a foot high and wide, with flowers 2 inches or more
across. Being a cross of more than one species, this
Zahara series has good resistance to leaf spot and powdery mildew
Plan on a couple months from sowing to first flowers.
There is a marigold winner this
year, the first one in several years.
'Moonsong Deep Orange' is a hybrid African type. Some prefer to
call these American marigolds,
as this genus is originally from Mexico to South America, not
Africa. This marigold gets about a foot high, and
should be spaced about a foot apart. Its
dense, double flowers are a deep orange and about 3 inches
across. Start seeds 4 to 6 weeks before the last
frost when you can plant outside. Unlike
many newer annuals you find for sale now that need lots of fertilizer,
fertilizer for this one will give lots of green leaves with few
All-America winners can include
perennials, if they bloom from seeds the first year. Such is the
case for the hardy coneflower (Echinacea
purpurea) 'PowWow Wild Berry', if the seeds are sown in
January. The rose-purple flowers are abundant on the
branched, low plants only 2 feet high or less.
The branching, more so than in other coneflowers, results in a longer
period of bloom as well as more bushy habit.
The only vegetable winner for this
year is a globe-shaped watermelon.
'Shiny Boy' has red flesh, dark seeds, a sweet tropical flavor, and a
crisp texture. It is a vigorous hybrid,
with vines growing up to 12 feet and fruit reaching 20 pounds.
Start checking fruit for ripeness about 75
days from transplanting. It tolerates
severe weather, and can be grown in vertical gardens (with proper
given, of course, for the fruit such as a mesh bag or cloth sling).
Look for seeds in mail-order catalogs,
and seed racks this spring at your local garden store. For more
details on these and past
All-America winners, visit their website