There were 55 outstanding new trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and vines on display at the 2016 New Varieties Showcase at the Farwest Show in Portland. But BabyCakes Blackberry (Rubus x ‘APF-236T’) and Lavalamp Sublime Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Kolmakilma’ PPAF, CBRAF) stood out from the crowd.

The Farwest Show judging panel, made up of industry experts, selected BabyCakes Blackberry for Best in Show honors. Meanwhile, show attendees chose Lavalamp Sublime Hydrangea for the People’s Choice Award.

The 2016 showcase featured plants with interesting shapes, colors, growth habits and other characteristics, all displayed in an attractive format. The Farwest Show is produced by the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN).

“Every year, the New Varieties Showcase offers nursery professionals a chance to see the best in new plants, and this year was no exception,” OAN Director of Events Allan Niemi said. “We had one of our largest assortments of new plants, with 55 in the lineup.”

BabyCakes Blackberry is a dwarf thornless blackberry bush bred by the University of Arkansas and jointly selected by Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc. and the University of Arkansas. It was introduced by Fall Creek and is available from Farwest exhibitors Alpha Nursery, Bailey Nurseries Inc., Fisher Farms LLC and Monrovia.

Lavalamp Sublime Hydrangea was hybridized by Kolster BV in the Netherlands, and is available from Farwest Show exhibitor Van Belle Nursery Inc.

In addition to the Best in Show award winner, the judges chose three other plants for honorable mention status.
  • Purple Pillar Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Purple Pillar’) was discovered by Marinus Adrianus Cornelis van Aart and introduced by Proven Winners Color Choice Flowering Shrubs. It is available from Farwest Show exhibitors Van Essen Nursery Co. and Fisher Farms.
  • First Editions Sunset Magic Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia ‘PIILAG-IX’ PPAF) was hybridized by Jeff Beasley, Michael A. Dirr, Mark Griffith, Rhonda Helvick and Oren McBee in Watkinsville, Georgia, and introduced by Bailey Nurseries Inc. It is available from Farwest exhibitor Bailey Nursery.
  • Cherry Berries Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens ‘GaulSid5’) was hybridized by Gurjit Sidhu, Sidhu & Sons Nursery, and introduced by Briggs Nursery. It is available from Farwest exhibitor Briggs Nursery.

There were three runners-up in the balloting for the People’s Choice Award. They were:
  • Cherry Berries Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens ‘GaulSid5’), described above.
  • First Editions Sunset Magic Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia ‘PIILAG-IX’ PPAF), described above.
  • Hollywood Hibiscus Hot Shot (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘8117-8’ PPAF), which was bred by Lannes Nursery in Toulouse, France and introduced by J. Berry Nursery. It is represented by UpShoot LLC and is available from Farwest exhibitor Fessler Nursery Company.
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