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David Trinklein
University of Missouri
Plant Science & Technology
(573) 882-9631

2024 All-American Program Selections

David Trinklein
University of Missouri
(573) 882-9631

January 19,2024

minute read

white sign in garden with red flowers surrounding

(Credit: All-American Selection program)

In the world of college athletics, the All-American designation is bestowed upon an amateur athlete from the United States who is considered to be among the best in their sport. It is a highly coveted designation that very few athletes achieve. With a similar intent in mind, the non-profit All-American Selections (AAS) program was established to identify flowers and vegetables that are the "best of the best." Each year, new ornamentals and edibles are entered into the AAS trial program where they are evaluated for superior garden performance by horticulture professionals across North America.

When evaluating flowers, judges look for desirable qualities such as novel flower forms, flower colors, flower display, fragrance, length of flowering season, and disease or pest tolerances or resistance. For vegetables, traits such as early maturity, total yield, fruit taste, fruit quality, ease of harvest, plant habit, disease and pest resistance are observed. Those entries that exhibit outstanding performance are declared AAS winners that, according to the organization's motto, have been "Tested Nationally & Proven Locally.™"

The following represent the AAS winners for 2024 and merit the attention of serious gardeners throughout the nation.

dark green purplish broccoli

Broccoli 'Purple Magic F1' This purple broccoli is magical. How else do you explain a broccoli that has it all? From its beautiful purple color, tight uniform heads and bright beads to its great broccoli flavor, this easy to grow broccoli is also stress and heat tolerant. A real showstopper, Purple Magic is an excellent broccoli to try growing in cooler seasons. It can be eaten raw, stir-fried, roasted, lightly blanched, or steamed for the best texture, either way, you will find it sweeter and more tender than traditional green broccoli.


Broccoli 'Skytree F1' Skytree broccoli is a towering AAS Winner that will take your garden and your taste buds to new heights. Its upright stems make it easy to harvest, and its deliciously tender stems and florets are sure to please even the most discerning broccoli lover. One judge declared this entry to be, "A truly fresh punch of wonderful broccoli deliciousness." Skytree broccoli is very versatile and can be steamed, roasted, stir-fried and eaten raw. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, Skytree broccoli is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

plant with magenta flowers

Celosia 'Burning Embers' Burning Embers is a new celosia bred for its gorgeous bronze foliage with dark pink veins that contrast nicely with the vibrant pink flower plumes. Plants are well-branched and produce more flowers over a longer bloom time. Numerous AAS Judges commented that this entry had the largest and longest-lasting flowers of all the celosia varieties they trialed. Plus, Burning Ember's does very well in both heat and humidity while remaining completely covered with blooms that withstood the test of time.

pink flower

Geranium 'Big EEZE Pink Batik' The Big EEZE geranium series is known for its superior container performance, medium vigor, and heat tolerance. The newest addition to the series, Pink Batik, is an AAS National Winner that is sure to impress gardeners with its unique coloration and minimal maintenance requirements. Batiking is known for being a labor-intensive way to produce beautiful colorations on fabric, but this new geranium is a super "EEZE" way to get stunning petal colors on a very floriferous plant with very little effort needed. Says one judge: "The combined flower output of all our entry plants totaled well over 100 blooms and each one was the same size with an equal amount of pink and white striations." That sounds like multiple-winner qualities.

purple flower

Impatiens interspecific 'Solarscape® XL Pink Jewel F1' Solarscape seed-propagated impatiens provide unbeatable color in full or partial-sun garden areas. Durable Solarscape outperformed the comparison varieties and, because it is grown from seed, it gives you more options for starting impatiens at home. Vibrant pink satiny blooms cover the mounded plants non-stop all season, adding a bright and pleasing tropical appeal to the garden. Solarscape XL Pink Jewel has superior disease resistance, especially to the dreaded impatiens downy mildew. It looks great when massed in beds and borders and since it was trialed in both containers and in-ground, we know it does well in both. Try Solarscape for a showy display in your garden.

yellow flowers

Marigold 'Siam Gold F1' Growing this marigold in your garden is like taking a trot around the globe. Named for a former country located halfway across the world, Siam Gold has beautiful, mounded foliage that produces globe-like, fully double golden flowers all season long. The large flowers are held on top of sturdy stems and above the foliage for full color visibility making a striking focal point in the garden. Blooms were very tight and held up all summer long. The uniformity of the plant gives a neat, tidy appearance in the garden. Siam Gold is excellent for cut flower use but no staking is needed. Try this beauty for a staycation where no travel is needed.

red bell pepper

Pepper 'Red Impact F1' Lamuyo-type peppers are notoriously difficult to grow, but the new Red Impact variety is here to change that. This AAS Winning pepper is easy to grow and produces thick, sweet walls, even when green. It is also much sweeter than other varieties and loaded with fruits for a high yielding gem. Red Impact plants are upright and tidy, with a strong disease package that protects your investment. The fruit is dark red, highly uniform in shape and size, and if you are looking for a delicious and easy-to-grow pepper, Red Impact is the perfect choice for you.

purple-pink flower with yellow center

Petchoa 'EnViva™ Pink' AAS Judges were wowed by the well-controlled mounding plant habit of EnViva Pink over the entire season. The bright pink flower with a yellow throat is very eye-catching… "Absolutely stunning!" according to one judge. The flowers have a nice iridescent shimmer that toughed it out even when conditions got tough, like an irrigation system failure. All season long, EnViva stayed in glorious color even during the heat of the summer. Large flowers bloom from Spring through Fall in garden beds, containers, and hanging baskets. Plants are heat tolerant and flowers bounce back after rain.

white flowers in pot

Petunia 'Sure Shot™ White' The versatile SureShot petunias are garden gladiators that can withstand bizarre weather conditions. Whether you plant them in garden beds, containers, or hanging baskets, these beauties will thrive, come rain or shine, heat or cold. Their vibrant white blooms cover the plants, attracting bees and other pollinators to their lightly fragrant blossoms. SureShots are a "sure bet" for any garden, and they're sure to turn heads with their stunning display of color. If you're looking for a petunia that can handle anything your garden throws at it, then SureShots are the perfect choice for you. Plant them today and watch as they transform your garden into a show-stopping oasis.

pink and red flowers

Verbena 'Sweetheart Kisses' Kiss your summer worries goodbye with Sweetheart Kisses Verbena. This low-growing wonder, praised by AAS judges for its vibrant red, rose, pink, and a hint of white blooms, adds instant charm to any garden. Its delicate, airy foliage means forms a soft cushion, setting the stage for an explosion of color that lasts all season long. Sweetheart Kisses thrives in sun-drenched days and dry spells. Plant this versatile plant in the ground, let it grow as a stunning groundcover, or fill your containers with its cheerful blooms. And the best part is Sweetheart Kisses is a breeze to grow.

For detailed information on the culture of each winner, please go to the AAS website which is located at https://all-americaselections.org/winners/.

Credit: Cultivar descriptions and images provided by All-American Selections program.

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REVISED: January 19, 2024