CO-Horts Blog

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CSU “Best Of” Annuals for 2014

Posted by: Jim Klett, CSU Extension Horticulture Specialist

The Colorado State University Annual Flower Trials continued during the 2014 growing season with more than 1,026 entries from 26 different companies worldwide.  Initial evaluations were held on August 4, 2014 with close to 100 industry and advanced Master Gardeners participating.  A second evaluation was held on September 5, 2014 to make final decisions on our “Best Of’s” for 2014.  The winners include:

Best of Show  Dahlia ‘XXL Veracruz’ from Red Fox
Voted as “Best Dahlia” in 2013,’XXL Veracruz’ made it to the top as “Best Of Show” in 2014 with beautiful lavender and white bicolor flowers.  The stunning display of flowers was a perfect combination of color, large blooms and prolific flowering.  The “pom-pom” shape flowers had soft shades of lavender and white which would also make good cut flowers.  The vigorous plants maintained uniform growth and resisted lodging with strong stems throughout the season.
Dahlia XXL Veracruz
The lavender flowers of dahlia XXL Veracruz
Best New Variety –  Petunia ‘Supertunia® Black Cherry’ from Proven Winners
Plants had good vigor but the rich flower color was very captivating and brought it to the top as the “Best New Variety”.  The flowers had color shades that were very similar to a black cherry which made it very unique.  Plants had a tight mounding habit which made an impressive appearance covered in the abundant dark flowers.
Black Cherry Supertunia(R) flowers
Black Cherry Supertunia(R)
Best Novelty  Cuphea ‘Vermillionaire™’ from Proven Winners
The bright orange tubular flower made a great contrast against the dark green, glossy foliage for a unique combination of both color and texture.  The abundant small orange flowers gave a very delicate and showy appearance consistently throughout the growing season.  Plants not only took the summer heat but were much more resistant to flea beetles than traditional Cuphea.  It would work well in either the landscape or in containers and would be a good flower to attract hummingbirds.

Cuphea Vermillionaire habit
Cuphea Vermillionaire flowers
A complete list of all the 34 “Best Of” 2014 winners is listed on

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