2011 "Best of" Annuals

Best New Variety – Lantana ‘Bandana Rose Improved’

from Syngenta Flowers The vibrant multicolor flowers on this Lanata looked good even as they aged. Plants have a uniform “tidy” growth habit with healthy green foliage. Another superior feature is that it produces virtually no fruit or seeds and saves its energy for a constant show of blooms.

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Novelty – Hibiscus ‘Mahogany Splendor’

from PanAmerican Seed Plant has impressive vigor and beautiful dark mahogany colored foliage. It is adaptable to both drought/heat as well as growing in ponds as a water plant. It is a fast grower with a height of 3-5’ and a great choice for the back of a border. Flowering was non-existent in our trial but was selected as a winner because as one evaluator stated, it had plenty of “boom without bloom”.

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Best Angelonia – ‘Carita Purple 09’

from Syngenta Flowers Plants in the ground looked great and even better in the container. Outstanding features included the many flowers with a deep, rich purple color on an attractive, vigorous plant.

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Best Begonia (tuberous) – ‘Rhine Dragone Pink Hope’

from Dummen USA Abundant bright pink flowers did not fade and complimented the uniform growth habit of this variety. Plants were more disease tolerant than many others in the trials. The entire series were good performers. They were all the heimalis type of begonia.

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Best Bidens - ‘Sunbeam

from Ball FloraPlant Vigorous plants maintained a compact habit and good uniformity while being extremely floriferous. Bright yellow blooms covered the plants which created a yellow carpet on the ground, but would also look great in a container.

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Best Calibrachoa – ‘Callie White 11’

from Syngenta Flowers Plants were grown in a container and had a very attractive growth habit. Flowering was even all over the plants and bloom was consistent all season long.

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Best Combo – ‘Kwik Kombo Fire and Ice Mix’

from Syngenta Flowers Evaluators were impressed with the good mix of bright flower colors as well as similar growth habits. Bloom times were also matched and constant throughout the summer.

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Best Dahlia – ‘Hypnotica Lavender’

from Fides North America Flowers were prolific and large relative to plant size. Blooms were a dark lavender color which faded to an attractive pale lavender color. Plants were vigorous, uniform and did not have any mildew even in September.

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Best Euphorbia – ‘Diamond Frost’

from Proven Winners The non-stop flowering was best described by one evaluator as “white frothy wonderfulness”. The overall appearance was quite uniform in both growth habit and flowering. It can fit many different roles in the garden such as in mass plantings or as a specimen. It is drought tolerant and tolerates full sun.

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Best Impatiens (seed) – ‘Impreza White’

from PanAmerican Seed The heavy flower count and bright white flowers on this variety made an impressive display. Growth habit and flowering was very consistent on each plant. Entire Impreza series is bred to have less vertical stretch and a more spreading habit.

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Best Gaillardia – ‘Galya Yellow Spark’

from Danziger The flower petals had a unique trumpet shape and were abundant with an eye-catching apricot color. The apricot center of the flower would fade to yellow along the edge. Plants were vigorous with clean foliage even into mid-September.

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Best Geranium (ivy) – ‘Cascade Acapulco Compact’

from Syngenta flowers Exceptional vigor and prolific flowering created an almost perfect ball in the container. This variety with pink and white flowers has always been a strong performer in CSU’s trials.

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Best Geranium (seed) – ‘Pinto Premium Salmon’

from Syngenta Flowers This entry was noted for a uniform growth habit with impressive vigor and uniformity. Flowering was strong and consistent throughout the summer. The entire Pinto series was praised for their superior qualities as seed geraniums.

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Best Geranium (zonal) – ‘Calliope Dark Red’

from Syngenta Flowers Everything about this geranium was impressive – from the large, uniform plants to the abundant, rich dark red blooms. A full growth habit was attributed to the very good branching habit when established in the landscape. Flower size was also noted to be larger than most zonal Geraniums.

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Best Ipomoea - ‘Desana Bronze’

from Suntory Flowers, LTD. Grown in both the ground and a container, evaluators noted that this vigorous variety doesn’t “take over” the surrounding area. The plant itself had beautiful, heart shaped foliage that emerges as a dark purple which change to an attractive bronze as it ages.

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Best Lantana – ‘Bandana Rose IMP’

from Syngenta Flowers This plant had vibrant multicolor flowers that looked good even as they aged for a long lasting garden presence. Plants had a uniform, “tidy” growth habit with healthy green foliage. Another superior feature is that it produces virtually no fruit or seeds and saves its energy for many flowers.

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Best Lobelia – ‘Techno Heat Electric Blue’

from Syngenta Flowers This vegetative propagated plant was noted for being a great early season performer. It had better heat tolerance than the seed propagated lobelias. Unique bright blue flowers combined well with dark green foliage on this standout variety.

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Best Marigold – ‘Narai Orange’

from AmeriSeed Inc. Perfectly shaped orange flowers had a nice carnation look and a heavy petal count. Blooms kept a nice crisp, fresh look and did not rot in the center. Plants were vigorous and uniform.

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Best New Guinea Impatiens – ‘Super Sonic Magenta 08’

from Syngenta Flowers Large plants had many flowers with an attractive deep magenta color. Both plant growth habit and blooming were uniform.

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Best New Guinea Impatiens (sun) – ‘SunPatiens Compact Blush Pink’

from Sakata Seed American, Inc. The pink flowers and dark foliage created an eye-catching contrast on uniform, floriferous plants. Flowers were noted for having a beautiful color that aged gracefully. This New Guinea performed well even after hottest August on record.

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Best Osteospermum – ‘Margarita Cool Purple’

from Fides North America Dark, deep purple flowers combined with uniform dark green foliage made this entry a winner. Even in September, this variety maintained a healthy appearance and were loaded with many flowers and buds.

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Best Petunia (seed-spreading) – ‘Easy Wave Neon Rose’

from PanAmerican Seed Large blooms with a “day-glow” color made this entry hard to miss even from a distance. Plants were vigorous and had a good spreading growth habit. This variety also did well in other trials and won an American Garden Award.

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Best Petunia (veg-mini) – ‘Littletunia Sweet Dark Pink’

from Danziger This entry impressed the evaluators with the abundant long-lasting flowers and a dark pink color. Plants had controlled vigor resulting in an excellent uniform growth habit.

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Best Petunia (veg-spreading) – ‘Supertunia Vista Bubblegum’

from Proven Winners This annual is a perennial favorite. It has been a “Best Of” winner for multiple years and always has exceptional vigor and prolific blooming. Plants had so much vigor that they rose above the other petunias with a mound of bright pink flowers.

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Best Portulaca – ‘Pazzaz Tangerine’

from Danziger This variety featured a unique flower color and abundant blooms on vigorous, uniform plants with Purslane type foliage. This genus required a lot of sun for the flower to open.

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Best Salvia greggii – ‘Sally G Flamingo’

from Danziger Abundant pink blooms accented vigorous upright plants to create this standout. This variety is a great choice for xeric gardens and attracts hummingbirds.

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Best Torenia – ‘Rose Moon’

from Danziger Plants had good vigor and it was noted that held true for all the other cultivars in the series. Flower color was an attractive soft rose and blooming was strong even in the cooler September nights and arid Colorado climate. It grew well in shade but is also reported to be tolerant of sun.

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Best Verbena (mounding) – Tapien Salmon’

from Suntory Flowers, LTD. At peak bloom it was difficult to see foliage due to abundant flowering. When the foliage does peak through, it has a beautiful, delicate, fine texture. The salmon colored flowers were still showy in September. Growth habit was vigorous and uniform.

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Best Verbena (trailing vigorous) – ‘Costa del Sol Pink’

from Paul Ecke Ranch Flower color was a great deep pink color with a nice crisp appearance. This broadleaf type of Verbena was grown in a container and had impressive color. Plants did not have any leaf miner or any signs of powdery mildew which occurred on some other varieties.

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Best Zinnia – ‘Double Zahara Fire’

from PanAmerican Seed Prolific flowering and a radiant scarlet/fire-orange petal color captured the attention of evaluators. Blooms were a good double petal variety that created a nice, full appearance to each flower.

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Nicotiana ‘Whisper Mix’

from Floranova Light pink and white flowers sway in the air on tall stems which gave a delicate and fanciful feel to a garden. It can make a great landscape plant or it can be used in the back of a border. Plants had basal leaves with good vigor and healthy appearance.

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Pennisetum ‘Skyrocket’

from Eason Horticultural Resources The showy variegated foliage and vigor made this an exceptional plant. The graceful pink plumes added great texture. Leaf blades were a medium green with a white-striped margin. The plant as a whole was low maintenance.

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Phlox ‘Astoria Peach’

from Suntory Flowers, LTD. The soft peach flower color combined with prolific flower power throughout the entire summer made this an obvious standout. Plants had good uniformity and vigor.

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Zinnia ‘Queen Red Lime’

from Benary Unique flower color was the primary feature of this variety. It also earned a lot of comments for vigor, prolific blooms and uniform plants. Flowers had a unique coloring due to young center petals starting out as a lime green color and maturing to a mauve color on the outer petals. The tall statuesque growth habit make it a good cut flower. Plants were noted for being powdery mildew resistant.

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