PowWow Wild Berry Echinacea is a Knock Out


Recent changes to the introduction schedule at All-America Selections mean winners, like this Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’, will be introduced and available as soon as they are selected. (Photo courtesy of All-America Selections)

Just last week I received a packet of  seeds from All-America Selections with instructions to plant the seeds immediately.

This is a dramatic change from the way AAS has introduced its winning plants in the past. I used to get seeds to trial a year in advance of their availability to gardeners.

This means gardeners will get to take advantage of all the new winners as soon as they’re available.

The Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ is the 2010 Flower Award Winner and it will be available this spring. If seeds are started now, this beautiful new perennial will flower its first year.

I think ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ is a perfect name for this Echinacea. From the photos and the AAS description, it’s easy to see the new deep rose-purple color. The 3-4-inch flowers are said to retain their color on the plant longer.

The plant grows to 24 inches in a full sun garden and it has more flowers per plant thanks to its basal branching habit. AAS says it blooms continually without deadheading.

AAS tested the “PowWow Wild Berry’ in trial gardens across the US and in Canada and found it’s hardy to Zone 3.

For 75 years AAS has been the go-to organization for new flower and vegetable seed varieties found to perform exceptionally well during impartial trials throughout North America.

AAS was the brainchild of horticulturist W. Ray Hastings of Harrisburg, Penn. In the 1930s he saw the need for a network of independent trial gardens for testing new flowers and vegetables.

Hastings received $1000 in seed money from the Southern Seedsmen Association in 1932. AAS announced 19 new varieties of flowers and vegetables in 1933 and hundreds of flowers, vegetables and bedding plants have been selected since then.

Gardeners are the real beneficiaries of the annual trials. Seed companies and other breeders submit their seeds for testing and objective judges select cultivars offering significant improvements.

There are two trial gardens in Colorado. One is located at Welby Gardens in Denver and the other is the CSU flower trial garden in Fort Collins. Judges evaluate plants for new flower forms, new flower colors, fragrances, disease or pest resistance, or a new plant habit.

Because of extensive testing, gardeners can trust the AAS winners to perform. Seed catalogs identify cultivars as AAS winners and plants at the garden centers have the distinctive AAS emblem on their labels.

I’m looking forward to seeing how ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ does in my garden this year and will report on its progress. In addition to the coneflower, here are other AAS flower award winners that will be available this season:

  • Marigold ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’
  • Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Cherry’
  • Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Fire’
  • Gaillardia ‘Mesa Yellow’
  • Snapdragon ‘Twinny Peach’
  • Viola ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien’
  • Zinnia ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’

 

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Comments

I would love to grow the ecchinacea Pow Wow Wild Berry in my (Xeric) front garden to add some color and interest for lazy days on the patio and the enjoyment of people strolling through the neighborhood. Not having to deadhead is a pretty attractive feature, too!

Thanks, Gretchen! I agree that ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ sounds like a fabulous addition to a xeriscape.

WOW! Pow Wow Wildberry is for me! I live in zone 3 so it sounds perfect for my area! I would love to try it when it becomes available.

Yes, Mary–this echinacea would be a nice addition to your Zone 3 garden. AAS does a great job of making sure the new introductions will do well in the zones it recommends.

I would love to try your new Echinacea called ‘PowWow Wild Berry’! Just the name is inspiring and the color is outstanding. The thought of this beautiful flower blooming in front of my new bay window is exciting!

Great to see you here, Marie! This flower certainly would look lovely planted outside your bay window.

Where can I buy seeds?

Hi Diane:

Thanks for asking where you can buy seeds for this beautiful new plant. You can find retail outlets by visiting the “Store Locator” tab on the http://www.all-americaselections.org site.

So happy to see this rosy color coneflower. Lots of neighbors that walk will appreciate this beautiful flower. Many of these walkers stop to admire and ask questions about my cottage garden.

Is this kind of plant an annual? Or a Perennial??

Hi Amber–Thanks for your question. PowWow Wild Berry is a first-year flowering perennial. It’s hard to Zone 3.

I hope you’ll give it a try in your garden.

I live in Zone 5 in Eastern Canada and bought and planted this plant on July 7th, 2011 and it is beautiful! It is in a large garden with ornamental grasses, russian sage and daylilies! Wonderful addition!

This plant is everything it is said to be! Planted early summer 2011 in my rock garden at the lake, it is still blooming gorgeously! I wish I would have bought more plants, but I’d like to try growing from seed.

Hi Mary:

Thanks for letting me know how well this plant is doing in your garden! It’s a good testimonial for the kinds of plants tested by All-America Selections.

Hi Sandi:

Wow, another PowWow Wild Berry fan! Your garden sounds absolutely beautiful and I can just picture the Echinacea growing with that colorful combination you created. Very nice!

I love this one, its so beautiful!
I just bought avalanche and I adore these flowers..
Åsa

Thanks for your comment, Asa. This is a spectacular plant and a favorite of so many gardeners in the West.

I hope you have a beautiful gardening season,
Jodi

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