University of Vermont Extension
Winter, Spring News
Department of Plant and Soil Science
2010 ALL-AMERICA WINNERS
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
Four flowers from among the top
new introductions for this coming year have won the All-America
award for 2010. They include a blanket flower, viola, snapdragon, and
The All-America Selections
program is an awards program for new flower and vegetable
from seeds, that must bloom the first year in the case of
introductions are tested first at 40 trial
locations in the United States and 6 in Canada.
Those that perform best, and are improvements over similar varieties
they exist) are awarded this designation.
'Mesa Yellow' is a blanket flower (Gaillardia
x grandiflora) about one foot tall and across (more in warmer
with single yellow flowers. It is the
first hybrid blanket flower from seed, has more flowers than usual for
species, and is more compact so doesn't get floppy. Being a
mound habit makes it a good
choice for mixed container plantings. It
blooms a couple of weeks earlier than other blanket flowers too. The
are large, about 3 inches across, are attractive to butterflies, and
followed by globe-shaped seed heads. Plants bloom in about 4 months
'Twinny Peach' is a snapdragon (Antirrhinum
majus) without the snap. If you've
held the typical snapdragon flowers you know that pushing on their
them open, then snap shut when released.
But not this one, as it is a double or "butterfly" type, hence
the twinny name. Another
unique feature of this new snapdragon is the flower color, a lovely
blend of peach, orange, and light yellow.
'Twinny Peach' only reaches about a foot high and half that across, and
blooms in 10 to 12 weeks from sowing.
Violas are small versions of
pansies, flowers being under 2 inches wide generally. 'Endurio
Blue Martien' (Viola cornuta)
is the latest viola winner (last year 'Rain Blue and Purple' was a
flowers being under one inch across.
They are single, a nice sky blue with darker markings near the center
and some petal edges. The spreading and
mounding plants reach about 6 inches high and twice that wide.
are especially attractive in window
boxes, planters, and hanging baskets. Figure on about 9 weeks
until the first flowers appear.
The final winner for 2010 is my
favorite, a bicolor in a new series of zinnias (Zinnia marylandica).
'Zahara Starlight Rose' stands out with its
white flowers and contrasting rose-red centers, especially I find at
dusk. In addition to this unique color are its
resistance to leaf spot and powdery mildew diseases. Plants are
for zinnias, only about a foot
tall and wide, with flowers a little over 2 inches wide. They
well along walks, edges of beds,
massed, or in containers. It needs about
2 months to bloom after sowing.
Ask your local garden store or
greenhouse if they will carry these All-America selections this year,
you may need to start them yourself from seeds.
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