Each year we highlight some of the latest introductions that merit planting in landscapes.
All-America Selections (AAS) entries are trialed in more than 80 different locations throughout North America and those trials are conducted by professional, independent, volunteer judges who grow new, never-before-sold entries next to comparisons that are considered best in class. Only those entries that have superior performance are granted the AAS award designation. These AAS Winners are not exclusive and can be found through your favored broker, grower or supplier. For more information, visit aaswinners.com.
Begonia Viking Explorer Rose on Green F1 (pictured above) AAS Ornamental Seed Winner Gold Medal Winner
Erase that seafaring conqueror image and replace it with this Gold-Medal-winning, garden-faring beauty that performs exceptionally well and has high-impact color. This trailing begonia “explores” the garden by spreading and spilling its branches over the edges of hanging baskets and containers. Prolific rose-colored flowers stand out against the glossy green foliage, and do so all season long. It has a strong tolerance to heat and many diseases, as well as both wet and dry conditions. “Stellar performance for containers” stated one AAS Judge. “Good plant with season-long integrity,” said another.
Celosia Flamma Orange AAS Ornamental from Seed Winner National Winner
Get ready to bring some fiery orange color with Flamma (“The Flame”) celosia. This compact variety has numerous branches, each with a strong flower plume, as well as secondary blooms, which give a long show of color. AAS Judges were impressed with the superior performance and how well it stood up to hot, humid and rainy conditions during the trial season. Not only does Flamma have exceptional heat tolerance, but also stuns with its early flowers that won’t fade. Whether you decide to grow this in beds or in containers (it was trialed in both) you will have a great show of orange color all season long.
Sunflower Concert Bell F1 AAS Ornamental from Seed Winner National Winner
Concert Bell puts on quite a performance with a unique flower presentation of multiple clusters of 10 to 12 flowers on an erect columnar stem. Beautiful golden-yellow blooms appear earlier than the comparisons. Each plant grows to a very uniform height of 5 to 6 feet and if used as a cut flower, makes an instant, ready-made bouquet from just one cut. Excellent seed germination makes this beauty very easy to grow, and is perfect for continuous sowing to keep blooms going through the end of summer. Concert Bell was trialed in a year of adverse weather conditions, and multiple judges commented on its durability and sturdiness even through strong storms and winds.
Verbena Beats is an incredible new series of verbena that is an incredible plant that performs all summer long. The AAS judges raved about how early to flower Purple+White was, making it a pollinator magnet all season long. The unique purple-and-white bicolor blooms maintain a nice, attention-getting pattern and thrives even during severe heat stress. A bonus is how Verbena Beats Purple+White is resistant to powdery mildew making it easier to grow and maintain.
Verbena bonariensis Vanity AAS Ornamental from Seed Winner National Winner
It’s not every day we see a new variety of a classic cottage garden plant, but Vanity is one to wow. Not only does this type of verbena create a pollinator paradise, but also the compact habit makes it sturdier and easier to maintain. Deep blue/purple flowers are 1-1.5” across and continue to attract butterflies day in and day out. Vanity prides itself on performing well in hot dry conditions while remaining a showy garden plant. Once you try Vanity, you will feel the same as the AAS judge who stated, “This entry was my favorite in all of this season’s entries!”
Zinnia Queeny Lemon Peach AAS Ornamental from Seed Winner Regional Winner – Northeast, West /Northwest
Zinnia Queeny Lemon Peach is an easy-to-grow annual with vigorous, healthy plants covered with stunning 2-4” blooms. The lemon-yellow bloom color with dark peach center is consistent across multiple plants; plus, it’s a perfect height to use as a cut flower if you want to bring the beauty indoors. As the blooms age, they have a reverse fading habit that presents beautiful color shades that start as a bright lemon yellow, moving to a buff or light coral color. Another bonus is that the plants continue to bloom all summer without deadheading, and stand up well in summer heat.
TERRA NOVA NURSERIES
Brunnera ‘Alexandria’ features brilliant mirror-silver leaves of great size and vigor with tiny clouds of sky-blue flowers floating above the foliage as it emerges in the spring. This variety works as a wonderful shade accent plant and is idea for containers, mass plantings and borders.
Heucherella ‘Peach Tea’
Heucherella ‘Peach Tea’ showcases large, peachy-red leaves, contrasting beautifully with its cream-white flowers. It is vigorous and compact with a mounding growth habit, yet gives off a delicate glow in the landscape. This Evergreen perennial has also been ideally bred for borders, containers and mass plantings.
Kniphofia POCO ‘Citron’
Kniphofia POCO ‘Citron’ is a lovely, citrusy addition to the immensely popular POCO Series of Kniphofia. This variety’s short, dense spikes emerge a creamy lime green color followed by a shift to fresh lemon. Buds then transition to canary yellow and end up a light butter crème. Poco ‘Citron’ pumps out huge numbers of blooms from summer to fall, and performs exceptionally as a container plant or beds and borders.
Leucanthemum ‘Mt Hood’
Leucanthemum ‘Mt Hood’ – featuring large, double flowers composed of ice-crystal-like petals – has an ideal mounding habit and produces an enormous number of flowers throughout the season. The plant reblooms with tremendous vigor; each layer of flowers covers the previous bloom cycle, and multiple layers of blooms extend the season. It also presents amazing landscape value for borders, mass plantings and containers.
Sedum ‘Conga Line’
Sedum ‘Conga Line’ showcases strong, upright stems covered in multicolored foliage — shifting from green and purple to warm burgundy tones during flowering — topped with lovely peach, coral and cream flowers in late summer. This perennial is a champion pollinator attractor and has a short and compact habit that keeps it neat and tidy in the landscape.
Monrovia collaborates with plant breeders around the world to introduce improved plant varieties to North America. Visit Monrovia.com to learn more.
Potentilla fruticosa ‘Hachapp’ PPAF
Loads of beautiful yellow blooms with dramatic salmon-hued edges cover the shrub from top to bottom. Deer- and rabbit-resistant, this Monrovia exclusive blooms continuously throughout the summer. Full sun, 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 3 -8.
Skye Daylily Series
Skye Daylilies provide dependable summer beauty. Each of the five varieties in this series repeatedly blooms throughout summer. They also offer a tidy, compact habit, as well as disease resistance and drought tolerance. Grows to 18 inches tall and wide; Zones 4-11.
Blazing Skye is a clear yellow with a dramatic burgundy eye and matching burgundy ruffled edges.
Radiant Skye boasts big blooms in varying hues of pink with a strong yellow eye.
Saffron Skye is a bold, solid yellow with frilly edges.
Stormy Skye features soft pink blooms with a bold burgundy eye and ruffled burgundy edges.
Titan Skye has brilliant orange frilly petals with a bright yellow eye.
Little Joker Physocarpus
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Hoogi021’ PP #27,986
Little Joker Ninebark offers dramatic, deep burgundy-purple leaves that add beauty to the landscape from early spring through fall. In late spring and early summer, Little Joker produces pollinator-friendly, pale-pink button that contrast its dark leaves. This compact shrub is exceptionally disease resistant and drought tolerant, requiring little maintenance. Grows to 4 feet tall and wide, Zones 4-8.
Little Darling Lilac
Syringa ‘SMSDTL’ PP #31,830
Recent breeding work has improved lilacs, offering varieties that flower more than once and stay more compact. Little Darling Lilac, a Monrovia exclusive, offers even more to love with double the blooming power. Lovely purple blossoms cover the plant in the spring, with a bonus flush of flowers in the fall, offering twice as much color and scent to enjoy, for a lot longer. True to its name, Little Darling really stays compact, which makes it a great choice for today’s smaller landscapes. Bee and butterfly friendly, this variety is a great addition to any landscape. Zones 4-8, growing 2 to 4 feet tall and wide.
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Minbla3’ PPAF
The search for the perfect dark foliage ninebark might just be over. After trialing dozens of varieties, Monrovia’s craftsman introduced Darkstar Ninebark. Available exclusively from Monrovia, Darkstar adds beautiful drama with gorgeous burgundy new growth that ages to the deepest, dark purple. Darkstar’s leaves are larger than typical Ninebark foliage giving the plant a fuller more open look in the landscape. This compact variety grows to about 5 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. Perfect for the back of the border or as dramatic statement plant. Full to partial sun, Zones 4-8.
Butterscotch Baby Spirea
Spiraea japonica ‘MINSPIZ02’ PPAF
Butterscotch Baby Spirea goes through color transformations that make it truly captivating. New growth emerges a warm, caramel-butterscotch that transitions to a bright chartreuse green in summer. Bright-pink flowers sit atop the green backdrop. In the fall the caramel-red color returns. Butterscotch Baby keeps a very compact, mushroom-cap like habit growing only 1.5 feet high and 2 feet wide. Full sun, Zones 4-9.
Nitty Gritty Groundcover Roses
Low-growing roses can be a wonderful way to add sparkle to the landscape. Nitty Gritty features bright, color-saturated blooms that flower throughout the season. The entire Nitty Gritty collection makes it easy to grow roses, with fuss-free, own-root, low-maintenance plants. They require little to no pruning and are self-cleaning. Zones: 4-9.
Coco Chill Weigela
Weigela florida ‘VBL1’ PPAF
Colorful and compact, Coco Chill Weigela offers dark, dramatic foliage with contrasting bright-pink flowers. This Weigela blooms from spring through summer for season-long interest and tops off at 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-8.
Sweetmaroon Myrtle offers a multi-sensory experience in the garden. Stunning glossy, deep-maroon foliage sits as a backdrop for fragrant white spring flowers. The leaves of this Monrovia exclusive also provide a beautiful scent when crushed or sheared. In the fall, the foliage transitions to a brilliant, bright red. This evergreen shrub stays compact, reaching only 4 feet tall and wide, making it a wonderful option for drought-tolerant hedges or back border plantings. Zone 8-10.
Lilla Smoke Bush
Cotinus coggygria ‘Lilla’
Lilla Smoke Bush wraps a wonder of seasonal transitions into one shrub. Moody, purple-red leaves highlight pink plumes of flowers in the summer. As fall sets in, the foliage creates a show of orange, coral, and red hues. Lilla is a dwarf form of ‘Royal Purple’ Smoke Bush, growing only to 4 feet tall and wide. This Monrovia exclusive is recommended for Zones 4-8.