2016 "Best of" Annuals

Perfection came covered with white flowers in 2016. This plant had continuous blooms all through the growing season and looked fresh even during the summer heat. Plants maintained excellent uniformity and continuous growth helped “bury the dead” so that no dead heading was required.

Flowers were abundant and had many citrus tones but predominately noted for a good dark red. This plant was unique for combining both the red flower color with a very uniform growth habit. Blooming started early in the season and was noted that it doesn’t cycle in and out of flowering like other lantanas.

Fantastic foliage color gave this plant great interest as soon as it was planted in the garden. Foliage was a dramatic combination of red and silver with large jagged edges. A good choice for shady areas as it has iridescent foliage with the occasional beam of sunlight. Plants were well branched and also do well as an indoor plant.

    Large flower spikes and a deep rose flower color gave this plant a lot of flower power. This plant is a great item for the landscape with dense, compact branching, glossy foliage and abundant flowering. It has won in this category in the past and has proven itself again in 2016.

    Dark foliage makes a great contrast with the bright orange flowers. Large flowers were semi-double and very abundant on vigorous plants. This plant is a good choice for containers.

    Plants were characterized by their extreme vigor and prolific flowering. The dark foliage was very glossy and made a great contrast with the bright red flowers. Plants maintained excellent uniformity even with the vigorous growth. It is a good plant for either sun or shade areas.

    Flowers had a unique color combination that helped this entry receive a very high rating. Bloom color was similar to that of a pomegranate around the edges. Then it developed into a very rich, dark center with a small speck of bright yellow in the throat. Plants had a very uniform growth habit that was stunning in combination with the flowers in a container.

    Tall, beautiful plants with dark red foliage made a dramatic combination with brilliant scarlet flowers that resembled a candle flame at the top of the plant. Plants were around five foot tall and very uniform.

    Deep burgundy foliage and flowers in small scarlet plumes made both a beautiful color and textural combination. Plants were compact and very uniform and made an impressive overall appearance.

    Unique foliage was eye-catching because of a combination of a vibrant pink/rose leaf color and a very interesting leaf shape with ruffled edges. Foliage color held up well to sun without fading. Plants had controlled vigor and a nice dense canopy.

    Dark purple angelonia were combined with golden yellow verbena that made a beautiful contrast of light and dark. With a little imagination, it resembles the stars in the night sky. The combination looked good both early and late in the season and never slowed down during the heat of the summer.

    Huge blooms captured attention not only because of their size but also because of the beautiful coloring that included all the shades of the sunset. Plants were vigorous and did not have any mildew late in the season.

    Impressive overall visual effect was created by robust plants and abundant large flower heads with a dramatic dark shade of red. Intense color held strong even in the high light of Colorado. Growth habit was exceptionally uniform.

    Coral colored flowers appeared especially bright against the unusually dark foliage created by a heavy reverse zonation. Plants were very uniform and covered by flowers. Plant seemed to have a somewhat “old fashioned” look due to the single petals and smaller umbels. However, they had great flower power due to the abundant flowers.

    This entry is a multi-year winner in this category due to its dependable vigorous plants which was continually covered in flowers throughout the growing season. The soft lavender colored flowers had an iridescent quality that really made them stand out. Plants had a perfect mounding growth habit.

    Uniform plants had foliage of dark purple with shades of bronze that created mix of color for added interest. This variety stood out from the rest due to the large leaves that stood upright and a unique leaf shape which made it a plant to add texture in the landscape.

    This variety was impressive due to its ability to look great all season long. Most lobelias fade out in the heat mid-summer but this variety still maintained a dense mound of abundant medium blue flowers even into September. Growth habit was very compact and tight in addition to being very floriferous.

    Flowers were extra-large and the orange color “popped” against the dark green foliage. Plants had a compact growth habit with dense foliage and had a very uniform appearance.

    Despite the name, this variety had impressive flower power even in the shade. Salmon color flowers were very attractive and even looked good as they faded to white with age. They were vigorous plants which grew tall but had great uniformity.

    Bright pink flowers had uniform flowering and were good for attracting pollinators. Plants liked the heat and tolerated the cool nights. Abundant flowering created a good overall appearance.

    Plants were covered by a blanket of deep purple flowers that continued to bloom strong even into September. The floriferous plants had growth habits that were very uniform and showy.

    ‘ColorRush™ Pink’ broke through the heavy competition in this class to come out the winner in 2016. The large spreading plants were very uniform and covered with a deep pink flowers. Foliage was dark green but hard to see due to the solid canopy of flowers.

    Vigorous plants spread across the ground and had flowers with an impressive rich, burgundy red color. Blooms maintained deep color without fading. Plants were uniform and did not open up in the middle.

    Flowers were more scarlet than cherry colored but were still very showy with a double center. Plants were floriferous and very vigorous with a spreading growth habit. Flowers opened significantly earlier in the day compared to others in the trial.

    Prolific, bright cherry red flowers were large and made a great hummingbird attractant for the garden. Abundant branching made a very attractive, full plant. Plants maintained good growth habit.

    Great vigor made this Scaevola the biggest in its class. White flowers were very numerous and showy. Flowering began early on in the season and kept well into September. It had a strong mounding habit that works well in baskets.

    Beautiful soft coral colored flowers sat on top of the foliage for maximum visibility. Flowering was so abundant that foliage was barely visible but did show an attractive dark green that provided the perfect backdrop to the flowers. Plants were perfectly uniform and appeared to have no problem growing in full sun.

    This entry out-performed all other Verbenas for continuous flowering throughout the season. The large pink and white bicolor flowers were very abundant and formed a very uniform blanket of color. Flower power was enhanced due to the blooms being held high above the foliage and plants were self-cleaning.

    This class had a lot of competition but this variety won out with great uniformity and large blooms. White flowers had a small pink eye giving it a “polkadot” effect which added interest. Plants were full and had a good foliage color.

    Long lasting appeal was created not only because of the prolific flowering but it covered the plants from the top all the way to the bottom. Vibrant shades of orange and red had a nice fade to a softer orange. Uniform plants were low maintenance and required no dead heading as the new flowers seemed to “bury its dead”.

      The cherry red color marked the entry of a new color class for Angelonia. The unique color was also combined with extra-large flower spikes and dark foliage that contrasted nicely with the blooms. Plants were very healthy and uniform.

      This makes a great landscape plant but also looked amazing in the container. Impressive plant vigor and uniformity was second only to the prolific display of intense red flowers. Also, it was reported to do well even at 8,000’ altitude.

      Another multi-year award winner, ‘Lucky Sunrise Rose’ was again impressive in 2016 with a great combination of bright colors and superior flowering. Plants had excellent, dense growth habits and great vigor. Flower color contrasted nicely with dark green foliage. It would be a good choice for either a basket or in the landscape.

      Not only did this plant survive in Colorado, it thrived and produced a mat of striking pink flowers. Growth habit was very dense and uniform. Flower color was vibrant with no fading.