University of Vermont Extension 
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Winter, Spring News Article


Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont

Each year the best of the new flowers grown from seeds are judged, and the winners given the All-America Selections (AAS) designation.   This year there are four award-winning flowers including a salvia, a petunia, and two impatiens.
To be an AAS winner, flowers must show improvements over any similar existing cultivars (cultivated varieties).  In the past they were only ones deemed worthy across North America.  While there are still these “national” winners, there are now regional winners as well—those performing particularly well in a particular region.  This year, for the first time, winners also can include those not grown from seeds but rather by cuttings—so called “vegetative” cultivars.  These can’t be started from seeds, rather you have to buy plants.
There are two vegetative winners for 2015, both impatiens.  Impatiens Bounce Pink Flame is striking with its masses of bright pink flowers with hints of red.  It grows well in shade or sun.  Use it massed, along edges of beds, in containers, or hanging.

Bounce impatiens makes a mound from 12 to 18 inches tall, and spreading up to 18 inches wide.  Although it resembles the typical shade impatiens in flowers and habit, it is completely downy mildew resistant.  This is the recent disease that has all but wiped out typical shade impatiens from the marketplace and gardens. 
The second impatiens vegetative AAS winner for 2015 is Sunpatiens Spreading Shell Pink.  Sunpatiens have performed well for us in Vermont, and I expect this new one will too.  These impatiens also grow well in sun or filtered shade, and are resistant to downy mildew.  The soft pink flowers cover the mounded plants, which can reach one to two feet tall, and spread to about 18 inches wide. Use it planted in masses, in containers, or hanging.
Salvia Summer Jewel White is a seed-grown national winner for 2015.  It is the third color in this series (Red winning in 2011 and Pink in 2012) of Texas sage.  They differ from the more common bedding salvia in having longer stems with smaller flowers, getting 18- to 24- inches tall.  The red and pink are quite attractive to hummingbirds and bees (as this one reportedly is too), and have proven good growers with bloom all season here in Vermont.
Petunia Trilogy Red is another seed-grown national winner for 2015.  It is a rich, vibrant red addition to this series of petunias.  This series has compact, dome-shaped habits with large flowers (up to two and one-half inches wide), and blooms all season.  A plant can reach one to two feet high, and a couple feet across. Trilogy Red tolerates and rebounds well after rains, and is good in beds, containers, and hanging.
 If you didn’t find or try some of the seven AAS winner for 2014, you might look for them as well this coming season in seed racks at garden stores, seed catalogs, and online.  These included a sunflower (Suntastic Yellow), orange petunia (African Sunset), a beardtongue or penstemon (Arabesque), a South African daisy or osteospermum (Akila Daisy White), Sparkle White gaura, New Guinea impatiens Florific Sweet Orange, and Serenita angelonia.

More on these flowers, other past winners, and the eight winning vegetables for 2015, can be found at the AAS website ( You can see how flowers have performed locally at our AAS display garden at the Burlington Waterfront Park, with ratings and photos online (

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