University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS 2007 WINNERS
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
Each year the best new flower and vegetable selections that bloom or
fruit the first year from seeds are judged in the All-America Selections
program. Those that are proven best across the country in trials as new,
or an improvement over existing varieties, are given the coveted
All-America Selections award. This year the winners include three
flowers and one vegetable.
Fresh Look Gold Celosia, or plumed cockscomb, joins its fellow and
previous winners Fresh Look Red and Yellow. Reaching about a foot high,
and almost that across, its dense golden plumes last well through the
season with no browning. These plumed celosia, and this series in
particular, are some of my favorite annual flowers as they are carefree
with virtually no pests or problems. Just give them some fertility (they
are not as demanding as many new annual flowers), full sun, and a
well-drained soil. If starting them from seed, figure about 110 days
from sowing to first flowers.
Opera Supreme Pink Morn Petunia is one of the newer trailing types, with
many smaller flowers (two inches or more wide). Flowers are bright pink
with white centers, and a yellow deep center or “throat”. These three
colors make it a “morn” type. These colors, with a silvery cast, are eye
catching from a distance.
Plants of this petunia flower continuously, with no need to “deadhead”
or remove spent flowers, or cut back as was needed with older
selections. In good locations, a plant can cover three feet, at about
six inches high, keeping down weeds and covered with flowers. They grow
best in full sun and a well-drained soil. Figure on spacing plants about
18 inches to two feet apart, and sowing seeds about three months or more
Pacifica Burgundy Halo is another vinca, or annual periwinkle, to win
this award in recent years. Flowers are a gorgeous burgundy with
contrasting white center, the first such color combination in this genus
of flowers. This vinca also has early flowers, good branching, and in my
north country trials flowered through the season. Many older vinca need
lots of heat in order to flower well.
As with the other annual flowers, vinca needs full sun and a
well-drained soil. This annual, however, is quite drought tolerant when
established and needs less water. Keeping under a foot high, plants
should be spaced about eight to ten inches apart. Figure about two
months from sowing to first flowers.
Holy Molé pepper is the only vegetable award winner this year. It is a
pasilla-type pepper, the type used to make molé sauce. It won over other
selections being earlier to fruit, vigorous, and with a high yield of
fruits. One reason for the high yields is the resistance bred into this
selection to two common viruses that cause peppers to be shorter and
with less fruit.
Immature green peppers can be harvested about three months from
transplanting, and are seven to nine inches long. Left on the plant, the
peppers turn a dark chocolate color. Their taste
is nutty and tangy. With plants staying between one and two feet high,
space them about two feet apart. Full sun and a well-drained soil are
needed, and the hotter the site the better. Sow seeds indoors early in
order to transplant larger plants outdoors, as they need about four
months from sowing to flowering.
Return to Perry's Perennial