2017 "Best of" Annuals

The top award for the 2017 flower trial had eye catching color combined with great vigor for exceptional flower power. Varying shades of red, rose, pink and yellow were ever changing to create a dynamic appearance. The flowers of the CHAMELEON® series are selected for their ability to change color as environmental conditions change which was evident in this selection. Blooming continued strong all summer and into September. Plants maintained a uniform growth habit that enveloped the container as a ball of flowers.

This plant is an excellent selection for the senses and texture in a garden. It had stout, large, fuzzy panicles of dark rose/bronze rising high above the plant. The arching foliage had wide blades and plants were very uniform with a unique caramel/copper color during the summer. This plant would create a very dramatic look in the landscape or in a large container.

These plants resulted in a great overall appearance with a very uniform rounded growth habits and strong flowering all over. Flowers had a unique color and were on top of the foliage for maximum flower power.

The mass of sunny yellow flowers were very showy and with a deeper shade of yellow than 'Beauty Yellow'. Entire series was impressive with flower power and uniformity. Plants did not stretch and were low maintenance as they "buried their dead" spent blooms.

Great vigor combined with strong flowering resulted in an outstanding overall appearance. Plants had a nice round habit that was very uniform. Flowers covered the plant evenly from top to bottom. It was a great plant that just keeps getting bigger and better all the way to a killing frost.

The shiny bronze foliage made an excellent contrast with the prolific rose colored flowers. Plant vigor was impressive in the shade and the glossy foliage was large. Flowers were noted for standing above the foliage and that they did not require any deadheading. Entire series performed well.

Attractive dark foliage looked good even without flowers. However, the bright red flowers really stood out against the dark foliage and really made an impressive overall appearance. Plants were very uniform and helped make it the winner of this category for the second year in a row.

Vibrant red plumes maintained color all season for long season display. Dark foliage was another important feature that really made the flowers stand out. Plants and flowers had good structure and did not lodge.

Foliage was very eye catching with high contrast between the inner shades of dark red and the vivid bright green margin. Plants were large and upright in habit but with small foliage. There were no signs of bolting even in mid-September.

This plant was the winner in this category for the second year in a row due to prolific blooming, good structure and high contrast of flower color. Plants had good heat tolerance and kept blooming strong all season. Dark purple angelonia were combined with golden yellow lantana that made a beautiful contrast of light and dark. With a little imagination, it resembled the stars in the night sky.

This entry was reminiscent of heather and was a great plant to add a delicate texture to the garden or container. Small flowers and fine foliage combined to make plants with excellent uniformity and appearance. Dark foliage was a nice contrast to the flowers which had a more intense color than other plants in the series.

The stunning display of flowers was a perfect combination of color, large blooms and prolific flowering. The "cactus" shape flowers had soft shades of lavender and white which would also make good cut flowers. The vigorous plants maintained uniform growth and resisted lodging with strong stems throughout the season. This had won awards multiple times in the past five years and has proven itself again in 2017.

Dark, rich red flowers had great contrast against the emerald green foliage. Flower heads were large and bloomed all season. Plants showed good heat tolerance and were very uniform. Some consider it to be the industry standard for Zonal Geraniums.

This entry was noted for being a novel white and rose bicolor that had large umbels held high above the foliage for maximum show. Plants had good vigor with foliage that had a good zonation for added interest.

An impressive overall visual effect was created by robust plants and abundant large flower heads with rich red flowers and dark flower stems. Intense flower color held strong even in the high light of Colorado. Growth habit was exceptionally uniform. It is considered more of a European style of geranium with smaller plants and large flower heads. Flower color was iridescent and the overall effect was show stopping.

This variety held up to the heat all summer and still looked good in mid-September. Growth habit maintained a nice round shape. Flowers were abundant with a strong blue color that was very attractive.

Flower color was very unique with a nice chocolate colored eye and flowers wera a good contrast with the foliage color. Plants were compact and uniform.

Soft shades of pink flowers had a touch of cream creating a very romantic appearance. Flowering was prolific in the container and made a solid blanket of color in the ground. Plants maintained growth habits with great uniformity.

Compact plants had large blooms with a great uniform growth habit. Flowers were a very intense shade of red that really grabbed attention. This selection showed good heat tolerance as well as being a good pollinator friendly plant.

Dark lavender flowers covered the plants and remained fresh looking with no fading even into mid-September. Plants had great uniformity, did not stretch and seemed to be disease resistant. Vigor was very good while maintaining a controlled growth habit.

This variety has one multiple awards in the past or always in contention. As one evaluator stated, it is “forever wonderful”. Plants were extremely vigorous and produced a mountain of pink flowers that were stunning even from a distance. It made a great plant for landscape or large containers. It also was disease resistant.

Compact plants had a nice rounded growth habit that were covered with blue flowers. The flowers were held above the foliage and had a striking blue color that really contrasted nicely with the foliage. It had an excellent appearance throughout the entire season.

Flower display was impressive not only due to the abundant spikes of rich, deep blue flowers but also because they were significantly longer than most other Salvia. Plants were all very uniform and the flowers looked fresh even in mid-September. It was an obvious favorite of the bees and a good pollinator plant.

Compact plants with great uniformity were a solid mound of pink flowers and a lot of color. Not much foliage was visible but the dark green foliage made a good contrast with the bright flowers. Blooms faded attractively fade from pink to near white for added interest. This variety has won this class in other years and has proved it superiority again in 2017. Evaluators were impressed with the entire SunPatiens® series but ‘Compact Coral Pink’ was the best.

Plants were grown in container and were covered with a beautiful canopy of large, soft lavender flowers with a white eye. The many flowers kept “burying their dead” and stayed fresh looking throughout the summer. The growth habit was very uniform.

Strawberry colored flowers had a dark eye and were very showy with good contrast. Color did not fade and it was a low maintenance plant. Plants were relatively large and very uniform.

    Great foliage color and uniformity made this a great accent plant for the border with its compact spreading growth habit. The dark burgundy (nearly black) foliage was heat tolerant and looked perfect all season long. Foliage color had a multi-dimensional appearance due to a lighter ruby color on the underside.

    Fiery orange, yellow and red colors were prolific and spectacular. Plants had great vigor and the dense mounding habit enveloped the container as a ball of flowers with a large “wow” factor. Plants remained uniform all season and never flopped open. Flowers opened up darker and faded to a nice yellow.

    New breeding has created this entry with superior heat tolerance and growth habit. Plants formed a very compact, uniform blanket of orange flowers that was very impressive. Beautiful double flowers were a bright, cheery orange with shades of apricot yellow. Superior heat tolerance was observed on these plants keeping the flowers looking great in July and August.

    This is another in the CHAMELEON® series that had both spectacular flowers and great growth habit. Flowers were a very attractive mix of soft shades of plum and yellow which change shades depending on the changes in the climate. Flower color was very unique and pleasing. Vigorous plants created a uniform ball of flowers in the container.

    Rich, deep red flowers were prolific on plants with a strong upright growth habit. Vivid colors poped out against the dark green foliage. It could be used as both a perennial or as an annual with abundant flowers the first year. It was a good low maintenance plant that did not require deadheading to maintain its appearance.