All-America Selections, a nonprofit testing organization, has announced awards for three new flowers for 2021 gardens. Test gardens with professional judges are scattered throughout the United States and Canada. Winners can be viewed at display gardens. The closest ones to us are at the Oregon State University Demonstration Garden in Redmond and the Washington State University Master Gardeners Demo Garden in Marysville.
Zinnia Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor has small single flowers on a compact 8- to 14-inch plant. This gorgeous zinnia starts the season with a bold vibrant crimson red center ring surrounded by golden yellow outer petals. As the season progresses, the aging flowers morph into soft, beautiful shades of apricot, salmon and dusty rose. New growth covers old blooms with fresh flowers resulting in continuous color — no need to remove faded blooms.
This red and yellow variety is part of the popular Profusion zinnia series with a full range of other colors. It received a rare gold-medal designation and also received an award in the European Fleuroselect trials.
Celosia Kelos Candela Pink is a unique new type of celosia with bright pink 10- to 15-inch flowers. The judges loved the bright pink blooms that rose above the foliage, almost like a tall, tapered candle. Unique, showy plumes of pink flowers kept their color all season long. Total plant height is 25 to 30 inches. Its continuous bloom makes it an excellent choice for the center of mixed containers. Kelos Pink also grows well in beds and borders. Flowers are suitable for cutting and can also be dried for long term arrangements. It is one of the group of annual flowers propagated from cuttings and tissue culture.
Sweet Daisy Birdy is a perennial Shasta daisy with robust, long-lasting blooms and carefree longevity in gardens. It has huge 5-inch flowers. Flowers are pure white with a yellow center. Total plant height is 18 to 24 inches. Shasta Daisies are used for both cut flowers and garden highlights while also providing food and habitat for many kinds of pollinators. Sweet Daisy Birdy will provide years of beauty with very little maintenance other than deadheading spent blooms if desired, but that is not necessary.