B. Rosie Lerner
Purdue Extension




Download the audio of Yard & Garden News: MP3, WMV.

All-American Selections: New Flowers and Vegetables for 2008

Only three new garden plants were chosen for All-America Selections (AAS) 2008, based on superior performance in test gardens all over the country.

Osteospermum (also known as cape daisy) 'Asti White' is this year's bedding plant winner, selected for its outstanding bright white 2-2.5 inch daisy flowers with blue centers, which continue blooming all summer. The compact plants, reaching up to 20 inches tall and wide, are ideal for container gardens and will tolerate light frost.


Viola 'Skippy XL Plum-Gold' takes the cool-season bedding plant award. The bright gold centers, accented by radiating black lines, are surrounded by shades of plum purple. The petite 6-8 inch plants are loaded with adorable 1.5-inch blossoms, perfect for baskets, window boxes and flowerbed edging.


Eggplant 'Hansel' is the vegetable award winner, distinguished by clusters of 3-6 dark purple, glossy miniature fruits. 'Hansel' can be harvested early for baby eggplant at 2-3 inches or allowed to grow up to 10 inches, while still remaining tender and non-bitter.  The compact plants reach up to only 36 inches, making them ideal for container and small space gardens.

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