Each year, the All-America Selections (AAS) tests and introduces new flowers and vegetables to home gardeners. These plants have proven themselves to do well in trials across North America. The AAS winner label is like a stamp of approval. This year, there were three vegetables winners and three flower winners.
The descriptions were taken from All-America Selections material.
Pepper Pot-a-peno F1 – this is a fun new jalapeno pepper with a compact habit perfect for growing in containers or hanging baskets. The plentiful small, green jalapeno fruits have a traditional spicy zip that is great in any dish where you want a little punch of spice. It is earlier to mature than other jalapenos giving a head start on the garden harvest. A unique trait of Pot-a-peno is how the fruit hangs down beneath the plant making it very easy to harvest without damaging the appearance or productivity of the plant. In addition, the dense foliage canopy makes for an attractive addition to the patio.
Squash Goldilocks F1 – in the trials, this was a vigorous plant with high yield, disease tolerance, and a rich nutty flavor. With its bright orange color and uniform shape, it can also double as an ornamental decoration.
Echalion Crème Brulee (BGS-270) F1 – this is the first ever shallot to win the AAS. The single-centered bulbs have a bright coppery pink outer skin and a pretty rosy-purple interior with thick rings. The sweet tender bulbs are earlier to mature than the comparisons and have a slight citrusy flavor when eaten raw. This is a fantastic variety for the home gardener as well as fresh market growers.
Celosia Kelos® Candela Pink – an AAS judge described this entry as the “Energizer Bunny” that just kept blooming! Judges loved the bright pink blooms that rose above the foliage, almost like a tall, tapered candle. Unique, showy plumes of pink flowers kept their color all season long and the judges agreed that it was a perfect filler plant to add height and interest to a combination container planting. However, it could also be useful in mass plantings, borders, and general garden use. Another added bonus: it works well as a dried flower.
Leucanthemum Sweet Daisy Birdy – a beautiful perennial with robust, long-lasting blooms and carefree longevity in gardens. In the trials, it demonstrated excellent cold and heat tolerance and maintained a tidy, sturdy habit over the three-year trial. The flowers are large and pure white in color, appearing earlier in the season than the comparison varieties. Leucanthemums, also known as Shasta Daisies, are used for both cut flowers and garden highlights while also providing food and habitat for many kinds of pollinators.
Zinnia Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor – a beautiful new bicolor addition to the popular Profusion series of zinnias. This gorgeous zinnia starts the season with a bold vibrant red center ring surrounded by golden yellow outer petals. As the season progresses, the aging flowers morph into soft, beautiful shades of apricot, salmon, and dusty rose. This zinnia continued to bloom new flowers over old so there was never a decline in the beauty presented.
For full details of the 2021 All America Selection winners, including descriptions and ordering information, visit www.all-americaselections.org
Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 620-244-3826.
K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.