AAS Winners

All America Selections (AAS) is a non-profit organization, supported by the seed industry, which tests new varieties of flowers and vegetables and selects the best ones for introduction into the home garden market. AAS maintains approximately 45 flower and vegetable trial test gardens from Mexico through the United States and into Canada. Many of these are open to the public.

Each year a number of new seed introductions, both flower and vegetable, are given awards. These are usually designated with the AAS logo in seed catalogues.

Because AAS tests new varieties for home garden performance throughout North America, award winners are usually varieties of high quality and reliability. Some award winners have remained popular with home gardeners for many decades (the "Straight Eight" cucumber was introduced in 1939 and is still a favorite).

Vegetables are scored on a one to 10 scale and are evaluated for flavor, yield, appearance, texture, disease resistance, production and space efficiency, nutrition, and novelty value (such as peas with tendrils rather than leaves or purple cauliflower).

New varieties are usually judged against existing standard varieties. A new cherry tomato might be judged against "Sweet 100" for flavor and "Tiny Tim" for yield. Neither of these are AAS winners themselves, but are, nevertheless, considered standards in their class.

Check out the great AAS winners being offered in 2009:

 
  • Eggplant F1 - Gretel -  New compact eggplant produces tender, non-bitter fruits that from true miniature sizes - 2 to 3 inches in length, all the way to larger sizes of 6 to 10 inches in length. The stunning, glossy, dark-purple fruit have few seeds and are borne in finger-like cluster. Compact and productive plants fit well into smaller garden spaces. Maturity averages 55 days from transplant.
 
 
  • Melon F1- Lambkin - This melon is all about flavor. This oval shaped melon weighs between 2 & 4 pounds with a thin rind surrounding sweet, aromatic, white, juicy flesh. Classified as a Christmas melon or Peil de Sapo melon, the yellow skin has green mottling. Maturing in 65 to 75 days, the melon can be stored in a cool place for a longer time than other melons.
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  • Squash F1 - Honey Bear - New compact acorn squash produces squashes weighing about one pound apiece. The bushy plants spread to only 4-5 feet allowing for closer spacing or allowing squash in small gardens. High yielding plant has demonstrated tolerance to Powdery Mildew. 100 days.
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    • Viola F1 - Rain Blue and Purple - The plants are cold and heat tolerant and sport 1-1/2 inch blooms that change color from purple and white to purple and blue as they mature. Few flowers change colors naturally and 'Rain Blue and Purple' is one of them. The plants spread 10 to 14 inches in the garden or container. The trailing habit is perfectly designed for hanging baskets or patio urns.
     

    2008 Winners:

     
    • Eggplant F1 - Hansel - New compact eggplant produces tender, non-bitter fruits that from true miniature sizes - 2 to 3 inches in length, all the way to larger sizes of 6 to 10 inches in length. The stunning, glossy, dark-purple fruit have few seeds and are borne in finger-like cluster. Compact and productive plants fit well into smaller garden spaces. Maturity averages 55 days from transplant.
     
     
  • Osteospermum F1 - Asti White - First white osteospermum from seed. The large 2 to 2-1/2 inch blooms are pure white with blue centers. Drought tolerant and robust annual will also tolerate light frost. Can be planted earlier than more tender annuals. Well adapted to containers. Plant height 17-20 inches.
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  • Viola F1 - Skippy XL Plum-Gold - Improved qualities are flower size, flower colors and freedom of bloom. The large 1-1/2 inch, round flower appears to be a pansy, but it is a viola. Shades plumb surround the golden yellow face containing penciling or whiskers. Strong dense plant exhibits both heat tolerance and hardiness with protection.
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    2007 Winners:

     
    • Pepper F1 -  Hole Mol - 85 days. The first hybrid pasilla-type pepper , which is used to make the famous mol sauce. Hybrid vigor brings very high yields of 7 to 9 inch peppers measuring 1-1/2 inches across. The fruit can be harvested green or allowed to mature to a dark chocolate color. The flavor is nutty and tangy. Mature plants can get 3 feet tall. This hybrid has exhibited resistance to tobacco mosaic virus.
     
     
  • Celosia - Fresh Look Gold - 18 inches. The most award winning celosia ever has added a new color. Offering season-long garden color with minimal care this new celosia performs like a fresh arrangement all summer. Thriving is all kinds of weather the plants covers up spent plumes by producing new foliage and blooms. Always looking fresh, needing no grooming or deadheading. The central plumes can be 8 to 10 inches high and 5 to 6 inches wide.
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  • Petunia F1 - Opera Supreme Pink Morn - The iridescent pink blooms are the unique feature of this vigorous trailing petunia. The 2-inch flowers are pink, shading to creamy white in the center with a yellow throat. It is capable of spreading 3 feet in sunny locations growing only 4 to 6 inches tall. Use as bedding plant or in containers.
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    • Vinca - Pacifica Burgundy Halo - A new color in the popular Pacifica series, Burgundy Halo displays burgundy blooms with an extra large white center. Pacifica offers a very compact and basal-branching habit. Huge, 2 inch flowers with nicely overlapping petals, and strong performance in pack and garden.
     

    2006 Winners:

     
    • Carrot F1 - Purple Haze - Long purple carrot with bright orange interior; high in vitamin A.
     
     
    • Pepper F1 - Carmen - New early Italian-type sweet pepper with very sweet flavor.
     
     
    • Pepper F1 - Mariachi - Mildly hot chili with superior fruit size, improved earliness fine flavor.
     
     
    • Cilantro - Delfino - This new cilantro has fine fernlike foliage, charming and decorative.
     
     
    • Dianthus F1 - Supra Purple - Improved heat tolerance and prolific bloom over long season
     
     
    • Diascia F1 - Diamonte Coral Rose - The first F1 hybrid diascia. Early and free flowering.
     
     
    • Nicotiana F1 - Perfume Deep Purple - Bred for the scent and unique deep purple flower color.
     
     
    • Ornamental Pepper - Black Pearl - Unique pure black leaves, shiny black to red fruit.
     
     
    • Salvia farinacea - Evolution - Violet flowers expands the color range of farinaceas.
     
    • Viola F1 - Skippy XL Red-Gold - Hybrid viola with large pansy-like flowers.
     
     
    • Zinnia F1 - Zowie! Yellow Flame - Bright bicolor blooms of scarlet/rose tipped in yellow.
     

    Winners 2005:

    • Eggplant F1 - Fairy Tale - Delicious and decorative miniature purple/white eggplant.
     
    • Winter Squash F1 - Bonbon - Early, space-wise buttercup type squash with improved flavor.
     
    • Cherry Tomato F1 - Sugary - Very sweet and prolific cherry tomato with pointed oval shape.
     
    • Gaillardia - Arizona Sun - Compact and free-blooming gaillardia with red/yellow petals.
     
    • Vinca - First Kiss Blueberry - New color in vincas Violet-blue with a darker eye.
     
    • Zinnia F1 - Magellan Coral - Luminous, fully double 5-6 inch flowers of brilliant coral.