CO-Horts Blog

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2015 “Best Of” Annuals from the CSU Flower Trial Garden

Posted by Jim Klett, CSU Extension Specialist

The Results of the 2015 “Best Of” Annual Flower Trials have been chosen.  In 2015 we had approximately 800 different varieties of annual flowers entered into the trials from 31 companies world-wide.  Entries were judged on August 3rd followed by a September 11th second evaluation of top ranked annuals in the different classes.  To be included in the “Best Of” category we had to have at least 10 entries in those specific genera.  Following are the winners in the “Best of Show”, “Best New Variety”, “Best Novelty” and some other genera that performed exceptionally well.  A complete listing of all the winners is at

You will definitely want to grow and utilize a lot of these in your 2016 landscapes.

Best of Show - Sun New Guinea Impatiens  ‘Sunpatiens® Spreading Tropical Orange’ from Sakata
This winner was near perfection in every way.  Electric orange flowers were vivid and had a great contrast against the beautiful foliage.   Plants maintained a high level of flower power all season.  It had impressive vigor while the growth habit was very uniform.  Foliage was very attractive all by itself with a dark green edge and bright yellow center.  Plants grew well in full sun but are also adaptable to light shade. 
Sunpatiens Spreading Tropical Orange
Gorgeous orange flowers!
Best Novelty – Celosia ‘Dragon's Breath’ from Sakata
This plant garnered a lot of praise even before it started flowering for its beautiful burgundy colored foliage.  Flowers formed late but were definitely worth the wait as they had a two-toned combination of burgundy and hints of fluorescent purple that seemed to glow.   The vigorous plants had good garden presence all season.   It would make a great textural accent for combination plantings.    
Dragon's Breath celosia

 Best New Variety - Lobularia ‘Raspberry Stream’ from Danziger
Extreme flower power was combined with an intense raspberry color for an impressive flower display.   The unique raspberry flower color was also noted for a nice cream colored eye for a slight two-toned effect which was very attractive.  Overall it had a very uniform growth habit which held its shape and the plants maintained a clean appearance all season.   Bees loved it and it also had a nice, sweet fragrance.    
Raspberry Stream alyssum

Perfectly mounded and smells great too!
Best Angelonia - ‘Archangel Dark Rose’ from Ball FloraPlant
This plant makes a great item for the landscape with dense, compact branching and abundant flowering.  Flowers had large florets and a unique “antique rose” color that produced a lot of flower power. 
Archangel Dark Rose Angelonia
Best Begonia semperflorens - 'Whopper Red Green Leaf' from Ball Ingenuity
Beauty is combined with adaptability which makes this plant a great choice for many different landscape situations.  Plants were vigorous with vibrant green foliage and had abundant red flowers which created a stunning image of vitality.  Sun and shade tolerant, these plants are also adaptable for high altitude gardens and a good shade alternative to the recent downy mildew problem on seed impatiens.    
Whopper Red Green Leaf begonia

Clear red flowers
Best Calibrachoa - ‘Superbells® Evening Star’ from Proven Winners

Plants were grown in a container and besides being a massive ball of flowers and color it was also noted for unique flower color that would shimmer in the sunlight.  Flower color seemed to be made up of three different shades of purple with a dark eye.  The growth habit was very uniform and the flowers also were noted for opening up earlier in the day than many other Calibrachoa.
Superbells Evening Star calibrachoa

Superbells Evening Star flowers


  1. Are these plants available in seed?
    Maureen Van Ness
    Gardeners at Cattail Crossing, Pueblo West, CO

  2. Hi Maureen,
    Some of the plants are grown from seed and others are vegetative. You can find out the specifics of the plants you like at

  3. September is the month to begin cleaning up in the greenhouse and get ready for both the winter ahead furthermore for the following year. And also cleaning up biting the dust annuals and cleaning spent perennials, there is additionally spreading to be done to guarantee you have a greater amount of those plants you cherish for one year from now. So before you take your secateurs out into the greenhouse pause for a minute or two to check this short indication of a portion of the crucial employments to be doing in the blossom garden amid August.