Top Performing Plants are Honored at Annual Colorado State University Flower Trials

Note to Editors: Top performing varieties at the Annual Flower Trial Gardens for the 2007 growing season and evaluators’ comments on all varieties are available at Selected high resolution images are available by visiting and clicking on the headline for this release.

Colorado’s varied climate presents challenges to flower gardeners. Summer heat, inconsistent moisture, drying winds and severe weather can all play havoc on flowers. To assist both homeowners and commercial operators, Colorado State University has released the results of its annual Flower Trials Garden Performance Report.

Thousand of flower varieties from geraniums to dahlia’s to petunias were planted in summer 2007 at the Flower Trial Gardens, 1401 Remington St. in Fort Collins. Judges tracked the progress, paying close attention to vividness of colors, number of blossoms and heights of the plants. The judges, who included horticulture industry representatives, Colorado State experts and Extension master gardeners, then selected the healthiest and most vibrant of each type of flower.

Best of Show was Cleome "Spirit Appleblossom" from Proven Winners seed company. Judges noted that the plant’s delicate white and pink flowers bloomed throughout the summer and that it stood out from a distance in the garden. Best New Variety for 2007 was Dahlia "Mystic Illusion" from Proven Selections by Proven Winners, with its striking combination of bright yellow flowers against dark purple foliage.

For a full list of winners, visit

Twenty-two seed and vegetable companies from around the United States and the world participated in the trials. The Annual Trial Gardens program is directed by Jim Klett, professor in Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State.

"The main purpose of this is the evaluation of annual flowers to see how well they perform in Colorado’s high light intensity and low humidity," said Klett, who runs the largest flower test garden in the state and one of the five largest in the United States.

Most of the winning plants are available at local nurseries or garden centers for this growing season.