B. Rosie Lerner
Purdue Extension


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All-America Selections New Flowers and Vegetables for 2005

If you're looking to add some new bold and beautiful colors to your garden next season, All-America Selections (AAS) has selected some outstanding new plants for 2005. These new cultivars have been judged superior in their class, based on their performance in test gardens all over the country.

Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' is a dwarf perennial blanket flower that packs loads of blossoms in its first season from seed, making it just as useful as an annual bedding plant. Reaching just 8-10 inches tall, 'Arizona Sun' bears 3-inch, single mahogany-red daisy-type blooms with bright-yellow petal edges and continues to bloom all summer.

Vinca 'First Kiss Blueberry' is the first cultivar of annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus) with violet-blue flowers. The sun-loving plants will reach about 1 foot tall with a slightly wider spread. Good for containers or the flowerbed, 'First Kiss Blueberry' should provide summer long color.

Zinnia 'Magellan Coral' is an improved selection of Z. elegans, featuring fully double, coral-colored dahlia-flowered blooms, 5 to 6 inches across. Despite the large blooms, the sturdy plants should not require staking. 'Magellan Coral' flowers continuously all season but covers old, spent blooms with new foliage so that the plant requires little dead-heading. Expect plants to reach 15 to 17 inches tall with an equal spread.

Eggplant 'Fairy Tale' yields clusters of sweet, tender, miniature white eggplants with violet/purple stripes. Reaching only 2 1/2 feet tall, 'Fairy Tale' was bred for container gardening but will also perform fine in more traditional gardens. Fruits should be ready to harvest in about 50 days from transplanting

Squash 'Bonbon' is a hybrid buttercup-type, featuring an upright, semi-bush growth habit and early production of 6-inch fruits about 80 days from transplanting. 'Bonbon' has sweet flavor and smooth, string-less texture.

Tomato 'Sugary' is a sweet, cherry-size tomato with a reddish-pink color and teardrop shape. 'Sugary' can be expected to set fruit clusters throughout the growing season, due to its vigorous, semi-determinate habit. Caging is recommended.

AAS winners are selected from many new cultivars, based on performance in the garden, as well as in the greenhouse. Although no plant offers a guarantee of success in an individual garden, the AAS winners have proven themselves worthy over a broad range of growing conditions. Try these new selections alongside your old standbys so you'll have a means of comparison. AAS winners should be available through local garden centers and mail-order catalogs next spring. For more information about these and previous years' winners, point your Web browser to


Writer: B. Rosie Lerner
Editor: Olivia Maddox