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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

2014 AAS Winners by Ron Wolford

URBANA, Ill. – All-America Selections is an independent, non-profit organization that tests new varieties then introduces only the best garden performers as AAS Winners., said a University of Illinois.

"The AAS Winners offer gardeners reliable new varieties that have proven their superior garden performance in trial grounds across North America," said Ron Wolford, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

For 2014, All-America Selections is recognizing both national and regional winners.

"As you plan your 2014 garden, think about adding some of these 2014 All-America Selections winners," Wolford said.

Gaura 'Sparkle White':

'Gaura 'Sparkle White' has long slender stems with a large number of dainty white flowers tinged with a pink blush. It loves full sun and is heat tolerant. 'Sparkle White' will bloom from late spring to frost.

Penstemon 'Arabesque™ Red' F1:

This hybrid has red and white bicolor large bell-shaped flowers. It does best in full sun. It will attract butterflies and hummingbirds all summer. It will bloom from summer to frost. Penstemon 'Arabesque™ Red' F1 is heat tolerant.

Sunflower 'Suntastic' F1:

This is a new dwarf sunflower growing 10 to 24 inches tall. It is great for containers. Each plant produces up to 20, 5 to 6-inch flowers per plant in three successive blooming periods. Sunflower 'Suntastic' F1 will bloom in 65 days from seed.

Petunia 'African Sunset' F1:Plants will bloom from late spring to frost with orange flowers. The mounded spreading plants will grow 12 inches tall and spread up to 20 inches. Petunia 'African Sunset' F1 is good for containers or hanging baskets.

Bean 'Mascotte': This is a bush-type bean with long slender pods that stay above the foliage for easy harvest. Bean 'Mascotte' has white showy flowers. The stringless pods are very crisp. It goes from seed to harvest in just 50 days. Bean 'Mascotte' is great for containers and window boxes.

Cucumber 'Pick a Bushel' F1: This heat-tolerant pickling cucumber can be picked at the gherkin or spear stage. The semi-bush plants can be planted in the garden or in patio containers. Cucumber 'Pick a Bushel' F1 takes 50 days from seed to harvest.

Pepper 'Mama Mia Giallo' F1:This is an early-maturing, yellow, sweet Italian pepper. It produces a huge yield of peppers with a sweet flavor. The peppers are 7 to 9 inches long. Pepper 'Mama Mia Giallo' F1 is resistant to tobacco mosaic virus.

Pumpkin 'Cinderella's Carriage' F1:This hybrid pumpkin has pink-red colored fruit shaped like the pumpkin carriage from the fairy tale Cinderella. Each plant will yield five to seven yellow fleshed, sweet nutty-flavored, 25- to 35-pound pumpkins. It is great for baking or for fall decorations. Pumpkin 'Cinderella's Carriage' F1 is resistant to powdery mildew.

Tomato 'Chef's Choice Orange' F1:This is an heirloom, indeterminate tomato with almost neon-orange beefsteak-shaped fruit. It will grow 5 feet tall and will yield tomatoes just 75 days from transplanting. The color does not fade when cooked. Tomato 'Chef's Choice Orange' F1 is disease resistant.

Tomato 'Fantastico' F1:This is a determinate bush tomato that will yield around 350 glossy red half-ounce fruits. Some plants will yield up to 12 pounds of fruit. It is great for small gardens, containers, and hanging baskets. Tomato 'Fantastico' F1 is resistant to late blight.

Tomato 'Mountain Merit' F1:This is a medium to large, round red beefsteak tomato that is good for slicing and sandwiches. It will yield tomatoes over a 4 to 5-week period. Tomato 'Mountain Merit' F1 is resistant to multiple diseases.

For more information about the 2014 All-America Selections winners, visit their website at