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Echinacea Sombrero Baja Burgundy, Rudbeckia x American Gold Rush

Two herbaceous perennial varieties earn AAS winner designation

All-America Selections, North America’s oldest and most well-known non-profit plant trialing organization is thrilled to announce the first winners from their three-winter Herbaceous Perennial Trial.

This trial, in partnership with the Perennial Plant Association (PPA), was launched in 2016 with five entries grown against 10 similar comparisons. PPA’s input and assistance were instrumental in creating a multi-year trial where the proper plant characteristics were evaluated and rated.

Each of the following new AAS Winners was trialed throughout North America by twenty-four professional, independent, volunteer judges (many of whom came from the PPA membership roster) who grew them next to comparisons that are considered best-in-class. Only those entries that performed better than the comparisons are granted the AAS award designation.

And now, the first two AAS Herbaceous Perennial Winners are:

  • Echinacea Sombrero® Baja Burgundy
  • Rudbeckia x American Gold Rush

Unlike the traditional seed trials, entries in the very first Herbaceous Perennial Trial could be recent introductions so many will notice these varieties have been on the market for a few years. Now, these two varieties can be designated and marketed as AAS Winners, a boon to their already good popularity. 

Growers, retailers and consumers will find these AAS Winners for sale now or as supply becomes available through the distribution chain. Buyers can click on the breeding company link to order inputs. Garden communicators are free to begin writing about these varieties now to build demand.

Each AAS Winner is marketed through social media, public relations and trade shows and are proudly grown in 190 AAS Display Gardens across North America.

  • AAS Display gardens can be found here.
  • Retailers can request an All-America Selections Point-of-Purchase package from the AAS office.
  • PowerPoint presentations are available on SlideShare or on the AAS website.
  • Bench cards and variety markers can be downloaded from the AAS website.

Echinacea Sombrero Baja Burgundy

Sombrero® Baja Burgundy bred by Darwin Perennials (click here for wholesale sources)

Sombrero Baja Burgundy will add a bold accent to sunny gardens with its vibrant, deep violet-red blossoms. The beautiful flower color is without equal among coneflowers and is perfect for cut flowers. After being trialed over three tough winters, the  AAS Judges noted this standout’s hardiness, sturdy branching, and floriferous blooming habit. Birds and pollinators certainly flock to this deer-resistant beauty making it a dual-purpose plant. Gardeners will enjoy prolific blooms from mid-summer until first frost.

Growers can enjoy a naturally well-branched plant that ships easily and has excellent retail presentation.

AAS Winner Data

  • Genus species: Echinacea hybrida
  • Common name: Coneflower
  • Flower size: 3 inches
  • Color: Burgundy
  • Plant height: 18-20 inches
  • Plant habit: Upright
  • Garden location: Full sun
  • Garden spacing: 18-24 inches
  • Hardiness zone: 4-9
  • Closest comparisons on market: PowWow Wild Berry, Purple Emperor


Rudbeckia x American Gold Rush

Bred by Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, Inc. (Click here for ordering)

American Gold Rush’s bright, golden-yellow flowers with black centers and arched petals is a gorgeous addition to any garden. This compact, upright domed-shaped beauty has narrow 2-inch wide hairy foliage bred for its resistance to Septoria leaf spot. This hybrid shows no signs of the fungus even in wet, humid conditions. Blooming from

July to September, with some color up until frost, this cultivar has smaller foliage and shorter height compared to other rudbeckia varieties. Incredibly easy to grow and pollinators love it. Destined to be the new rudbeckia staple for gardens and landscapes.

AAS Winner Data

  • Genus species: Rudbeckia x
  • Common name: Black Eyed Susan
  • Flower size: 2-3 inches
  • Color: Golden yellow
  • Plant height: 22-24 inches
  • Plant habit: Upright mounding
  • Garden location: Full sun
  • Garden spacing: 18-24 inches
  • Hardiness zone: 4-9
  • Closest comparisons on market: Little Goldstar, Goldsturm
For more information:
All-America Selections
Diane Blazek


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