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Meghan's Picks: American Garden Award

In the American Garden Award program, four new flower varieties are planted at participating botanic gardens across the US, and visitors vote on their favorites. Here are the 2010 American Garden Award winners.

The American Garden Award, now in its second year, places several new flower varieties at public gardens nationwide, and visitors vote on their favorites. The 2010 votes have been tallied and the three winners are:

Grand Prize Winner

Rudbeckia ‘Denver Daisy’ by Ernst Benary of America

'Denver Daisy’ wowed voters with masses of reddish-ringed golden flowers with chocolate-brown centers. The long-lasting, 4- to 6-inch blooms proved their ability to stand up under extreme weather conditions. This variety was created and named in honor of Denver’s 150th anniversary.

Rudbeckia 'Denver Daisy'

Second Place Winner

Echinacea ‘Prairie Splendor’ by Syngenta Flowers

Large and abundant flowers bloom non-stop from early summer well into the fall. ‘Prairie Splendor’ is a stunning first year flowering perennial that will add years of enjoyment to a sunny perennial border. The 3-inch flowers attracted voters and butterflies alike. Spent blooms, if left on the plant, provide winter food for birds.

Echinacea 'Prairie Splendor'

Third Place Winner

Ornamental Pepper ‘Purple Flash’ by PanAmerican Seed

'Purple Flash' enhances mixed containers and in-ground plantings with striking color. Its layered leaves are almost black with “flashes” of bright purple, topped with small, round, glossy black peppers (too hot to eat!). Purple Flash offers great drought tolerance, taking sizzling summer conditions in stride.

'Purple Flash' pepper

2010 participating gardens:

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Boerner Botanical Gardens

Cantigny Gardens

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Park District

Cole Gardens

Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Denver Botanic Gardens

Longwood Gardens

Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Missouri Botanical Garden

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

Oregon State Fairgrounds

Park Seed Company

Pier 39, Inc.

Rotary Botanical Gardens

San Francisco Botanical Garden

University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Horticulture January 2010 is available as a download; it includes info on more award-winning plants.

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