2015 "Best of" Annuals

Best of Show - Sun New Guinea Impatiens ‘Sunpatiens® Spreading Tropical Orange’ from Sakata

This winner was near perfection in every way. Electric orange flowers were vivid and had a great contrast against the beautiful foliage. Plants maintained a high level of flower power all season. It had impressive vigor while the growth habit was very uniform. Foliage was very attractive all by itself with a dark green edge and bright yellow center. Plants grew well in full sun but would also be adaptable to light shade.

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Best Novelty – Celosia ‘Dragon's Breath’ from Sakata

This plant garnered a lot of praise even before it started flowering for its beautiful burgundy colored foliage. Flowers formed late but were definitely worth the wait as they had a two-toned combination of burgundy and hints of fluorescent purple that seemed to glow. The vigorous plants had good garden presence all season. It would make a great textural accent for combination plantings.

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Best New Variety - Lobularia ‘Raspberry Stream’ from Danziger

Extreme flower power was combined with an intense raspberry color for an impressive flower display. The unique raspberry flower color was also noted for a nice cream colored eye for a slight two-toned effect which was very attractive. Overall it had a very uniform growth habit which held its shape and the plants maintained a clean appearance all season. Bees loved it and it also had a nice, sweet fragrance.

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Best Angelonia - ‘Archangel Dark Rose’ from Ball FloraPlant

This plant makes a great item for the landscape with dense, compact branching and abundant flowering. Flowers had large florets and a unique “antique rose” color that produced a lot of flower power.

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Best Begonia boliviensis - 'Sparks Will Fly' from Ball Ingenuity

A very unique appearance was created by this plant with beautiful dark foliage and a very uniform growth habit. The dark foliage made a great contrast for the numerous small orange/red flowers interspersed throughout. Flowers had a unique shape and the foliage also had a unique two-tone color to it.

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Best Begonia semperflorens - 'Whopper Red Green Leaf' from Ball Ingenuity

Beauty is combined with adaptability which makes this plant a great choice for many different landscape situations. Plants were vigorous with vibrant green foliage and had abundant red flowers which created a stunning image of vitality. Sun and shade tolerant, these plants are also adaptable for high altitude gardens and a good shade alternative to the recent downy mildew problem on seed impatiens.

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Best Calibrachoa - ‘Superbells® Evening Star’ from Proven Winners

Plants were grown in a container and besides being a massive ball of flowers and color it was also noted for unique flower color that would shimmer in the sunlight. Flower color seemed to be made up of three different shades of purple with a dark eye. The growth habit was very uniform and the flowers also were noted for opening up earlier in the day than many other Calibrachoa.

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Best Coleus - ‘ColorBlaze® Apple Brandy’ from Proven Winners

The overall appearance was characterized by excellent uniformity and high contrast foliage. Leaves had attractive, jagged leaf margins which combined well with the jagged pattern on the leaf. Plants did not have any flowering and maintained a good appearance all season.

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Best Combo - ‘Trixi™ Fairy’ from Selecta

This was a unanimous winner for “Best Combo” and was also considered in the voting for “Best New Variety” and “Best of Show”. Flowering was excellent from all three different Scaevola in the mix for a very nice color blend. Described as a “waterfall of color”, the white and lavender was combined with a nice strong pink. The mix of the three varieties of Scaveola was also very uniform in growth habit.

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Best Dahlia - ‘XXL Sunset’ from Red Fox by Dummen Orange

Abundant flowers had very beautiful tropical shades of mango and pineapple color. Plants were uniform and vigorous. The cactus flower type would serve a dual purpose as both a landscape plant and a cut flower.

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Geranium (Interspecific) - ‘Big Ezee Neon’ from Red Fox by Dummen Orange

Large, vigorous plants produced large umbels of flowers that made a very attractive display of color. Flowers were a vivid watermelon color which was very unique and added to the overall flower power.

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Geranium (Zonal) - ‘Allure™ Purple Rose’ from Ball FloraPlant

Bright green foliage made a beautiful contrast with the electric rose flower color. Blooms were very abundant and constant all season. Plants were vigorous and very uniform.

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Best Impatiens - ‘Big Bounce™ Lavender’ from Selecta

The entire ‘Big Bounce’ series was noted as being superior since it had four varieties ranked in the top five but the Lavender selection was selected as the best. Large lavender flowers covered the large, mounding plant. It appeared to be resistant to downy mildew and is sure to brighten up a shady area.

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Best Lobelia - ‘Hot® Night Blue’ from Westhoff

Brilliant blue flowers were very abundant and had an especially deep, rich color. Plants had a trailing growth habit and had a long lasting bloom period. Flowering continued through all types of weather including the heat of the summer and looked very good even in September.

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Best Lobularia - ‘Lavender Stream’ from Danziger

Abundant flowers and uniform growth habit made this plant near perfect. Flower color was a vibrant lavender color which looked beautiful even as it faded. The ‘Stream’ series had two other selections that placed in the top five and is a tribute to the strength of the entire series. Besides combining well with other flowers, it is also bee friendly and fragrant.

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Best New Guinea Impatiens - ‘Magnum Red Flame’ from Red Fox by Dummen Orange

Large red flowers were a standout because of their vivid shade of red and depth of color. Plants were vigorous, large and very uniform.

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Best Osteospermum - ‘4D Lemon Ice’ from Selecta

Plants had prolific flowering of beautiful soft primrose colored flowers. Blooms were unique with a double center of small yellow anemone type petals that also kept the flower from closing creating a longer flowering period. Plants were uniform and had very attractive foliage even throughout the hot summer days.

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Best Petunia (Veg Mound) - ‘Perfectunia® Orange Morn’ from Westhoff

Flowers were unique with a very beautiful soft orange color complemented by a white and yellow eye. Plants had prolific flowering as well as being very uniform. It was noted that blooms still looked very good even as they faded. This flower would make a good choice for a cottage garden.

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Best Petunia (Veg Spread) - ‘Cascadia Indian Summer’ from Danziger

Unique flower color made this a winner along with impressive vigor and a multitude of flowers. Blooms had a fascinating blend of colors that included shade of peach, orange and yellow that is a true color breakthrough. This plant was also a winner in previous years and has proven to be a dependable favorite.

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Best Petunia (Seed Spreading)- ‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn’ from American Takii

Bright pink flowers faded to a soft pink and created an impressive bicolor effect. The cascading growth habit looked great in a pot but also was equally attractive in the ground. Vigorous plants bloomed all along the stem and were blanketed with flowers .

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Best Portulaca - ‘Cupcake Yellow Chrome’ from Red Fox by Dummen Orange

Plants were vigorous and very uniform. Bright yellow flowers made a nice contrast with the foliage. Flowering was constant throughout the season with minimal irrigation.

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Best Salvia splendens - ‘Mojave Improved Red’ from Flora Nova

Flaming red flowers were stout and had good staying power so they did not require any deadheading all season. Plants were vigorous and uniform for a great visual effect overall.

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Best Sun New Guinea Impatiens - ‘SunPatiens® Spreading Tropical Orange’ from Sakata

This winner was near perfection in every way. It was also selected as the “Best Of Show” winner. Electric orange flowers were vivid and had a great contrast against the beautiful foliage. Plants maintained a high level of flower power all season. It had impressive vigor while the growth habit was very uniform. Foliage was very attractive all by itself with a dark green edge and bright yellow center. Plants grew well in full sun but would also be adaptable to light shade.

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Best Salvia farinacea - ‘Cathedral™ Shining Seas’ from Michell's

Bountiful and beautiful bi-color flowers had shades of lavender blue and white that combined for a striking effect. Prolific flowering continued throughout the summer even during the hot days. Plants had good vigor and were a favorite of bees.

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Best Verbena - ‘Endurascape™ Hot Pink’ from Ball FloraPlant

A great plant for the landscape with a vigorous spreading growth habit and covered with many “bright, bright, bright pink” flowers. Plants were very uniform as well as resistant to mildew.

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Best Vinca - ‘Mega Bloom Deep Lavender’ from Ameriseed

Almost all Vinca looked great in 2015 but the ‘Mega Bloom’ series placed four entries in the top five rankings. The ‘Mega Bloom’ series had a good range of colors but the deep lavender selection was rated the best for its large flowers and vigorous plants. Plants appeared to be resistant to phytophora.

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Best Zinnia - ‘Zahara® Double Fire’ from PanAmerican Seed

Flower power was extreme due to prolific and very double flowers with fiery orange color. Plants had good vigor and performed well in the heat. It was also a past All-America Selections program winner so it performed well in many other places across the country.

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Other Outstanding Plants

    Angelonia ‘Alonia™ Pink Romance’ from Danziger

    Dark green plants with phenomenal upright growth habit were equally matched by impressive flowering. Large, pink blooms had a burgundy and white eye which created added interest and a romantic feel. Both flowering and growth habit were very uniform.

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    Lantana ‘Lucky Sunrise Rose’ from Ball FloraPlant

    This has been an award winner in the past and has become a perpetual favorite. The brightly colored flowers were very prolific and the dark foliage color really made the flower color “pop”. Plants were vigorous but maintained a uniform growth habit.

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    Petunia (Seed Spread) ‘Tidal Wave Silver’ from PanAmerican Seed

    Plants were covered with so many flowers it was difficult to see the foliage. Vigor was phenomenal and has the potential to “consume small pets and children”. This would be a perfect choice for all season color. It has been a highly ranked variety for years.

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    Verbena ‘Meteor Shower’ from Proven Winners

    Delicate, tiny flowers formed balls of blooms held up high on tall stems that would create a nice effect in cottage gardens. Flowering was prolific and long lasting. Plants were well branched and uniform with an upright growth habit that was knee-high.

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