2020 All-America Selection Flower Winners

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2020 All-America Selection Flower Winners
Sarah Browning, Nebraska Extension Educator
2020 All-America Selection Flower Winners
Coleus ‘Beale Street’ is the first coleus to ever be chosen as an All-America Selection. Image by All-American Selections.

This year the All-America Selections (AAS) celebrates 88 years of testing and introducing improved flowers and vegetables. AAS was founded in 1932 to foster the development, production and distribution of new and improved horticultural and agricultural varieties of flowers, bedding plants and vegetables in North America. Plants are evaluated at a network of over 50 trial gardens and grown in 190 display gardens across the United States and Canada. Selection as an AAS Award winner recognizes a flower or vegetable for significant achievements, proven to be superior to all others on the market.

In 2020, AAS announces three national flower award winners. To see pictures of these and other great plants visit the All-America Selections website.

Coleus ‘Beale Street’ is the first coleus to ever be chosen as an All-America Selection. It’s part of the Main Street coleus series, featuring ten plants with attractive foliage colors and patterns. Beale Street has deep red foliage, which retains its color even in late summer. It doesn’t fade in strong sun or get splotchy as the leaves age. Plants are tolerant to rain, heat and wind, and are also very late to flower - 6 weeks later than comparison coleus - meaning less deadheading for you!

A unique trait of this plant is it performs well in both sun and shade. Plants develop into a uniform bushy shape, with good natural branching and strong stems. Beale Street will thrive in almost any soil conditions, as long as they are provided with plenty of water and fertilized every 2 to 3 weeks.

Plant height is 24-36 inches; use a garden spacing of 12-16 inches. Plants work well as a taller background layer in landscape beds or in containers. Beale Street is an annual in Nebraska gardens, but coleus can easily be propagated for home use through stem cuttings in late summer.

Unfortunately, Beale Street may not be available until 2021, but look for other selections in the Main Street series this spring at your local nursery.

Echinacea 'Sombrero® Baha Burgundy'Echinacea ‘Sombrero® Baha Burgundy’is a beautiful new hybrid perennial coneflower, with vibrant deep violet-red blossoms. Flowers are 3 inches across. The beautiful flower color is without equal among coneflowers and is perfect for cut flowers. After being trialled over three tough winters, the AAS Judges noted this standout’s hardiness, sturdy branching, and floriferous blooming habit. Birds and pollinators certainly flock to this deer-resistant beauty making it a dual-purpose plant. Gardeners will enjoy prolific blooms from mid-summer until the first frost.

Grow plants in full sun locations. Once established, plants are tolerant to frost, heat, rain and wind. Plant height is 18-20 inches; use the same garden spacing. As a medium height ornamental, Sombrero® Baha Burgundy works well planted toward the front of landscape beds. It can also be used in containers, but will require extra winter protection to ensure survival. Hardy to Zone 4.

Available from Burpee Seed and Park Seed.

Close up picture of Rudbeckia 'American Gold Rush'.Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’. This cheery black-eyed Susan was bred for its resistance to Septoria leaf spot, an extremely common leaf spot disease, which turns the lower leaves of many rudbeckias black by late summer. Plants show no signs of the disease, even during wet humid conditions. This compact rudbeckia blooms from July through September and is loved by pollinators!

Picture of Rudbeckia 'American Gold Rush'.Plant in full sun, with well-drained soil. Water new transplants in for the first week or two depending on weather. Mulch around the base but not on top of the crown or foliage. Once established plants are drought and heat tolerant. Plant height is 22-24 inches, with spread of 18-24 inches. Hardy to Zone 4.

Available from Harris Seeds and Select Seeds.

Images from All-America Selections.

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