By Jill Brooke
In terms of popularity, salmon seems to be a trending color on the fashion runway of flowers for next year.
Zelmira’, a salmon Oriental Hybrid lily presented by Oregon Flowers, won the Society of American Florists Outstanding Varieties Competition as did a peachy cool ranunculus named “Elegance Salmon” by the talented folks at Rosaprima who just introduced this variety of flower after a lifetime of creating some of the best roses in the world.
Zelmira won the top prize charming judges with its vibrant coloring, perfect foliage, and consistent blooms to win the Society of American Florists’ Outstanding Varieties Competition, held in conjunction with the organization’s 137th annual convention in Orlando.
Not a surprise really. Who doesn’t love the uber fragrant lily? Salmon is such a great color, isn’t it? Matches deep burgundy and purples and also for regions with warmer climates is such a nice companion to yellows and whites.
The Best in Show win was a delightful surprise for Oregon Flowers, which has consistently entered the competition for more than 20 years.
“We’ve had many blue ribbons and Best in Class ribbons, as well as a few People’s Choice wins,” says Martin Meskers, AAF, president and CEO of the Aurora, Oregon company. “But this is our first time getting Best in Show. It shines a light on all our flowers and our team back at home, who spent months preparing these lilies to be ready at just the right stage for this occasion.”
Zelmira was among 220 entries from 27 companies entered in the 2022 Outstanding Varieties Competition. Judges scored each entry based on color and commercial appeal, stem and foliage, bloom form and size, and overall presentation.
The judging panel, which included three retailers, three growers and three wholesalers, evaluated specific categories of flowers, and the highest scored entry of each won “Best in Class.”
This event coincides with the New York fashion shows which are opportunities for fashion designers to showcase their new frocks to be sold at stores for the following season and this SAF “Best In Show” is a similar idea – a fashion runway for fabulous flowers. Now it’s up to you flower lovers to request these varieties from your local nurseries. Because as with most things in life, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And sometimes nurseries are so busy that they don’t keep up with the latest news of winners which is why you have us, flowerpowerdaily, to keep you up to date.
Below is a roundup of the other “Best in Class” recipients:
Alstroemeria: ‘Sunny Lady’ by Royal VanZanten
Dianthus: ‘Punky Ball’ by Ball SB Garden Rose: ‘Westminster Abbey’ by Alexandra Farms Gerbera: ‘Himalia’ by Dümmen Orange
Rose: ‘Free Spirit’ by GroFlowers
‘Elegance Salmon’ ranunculus by Rosaprima
Decorative Foliage & Berries: Hypericum ‘True Romance’ by Floral Chain Direct
Chrysanthemum: ‘Alemani Spray’ by Deliflor Latin American
Sahara Sensation by GroFlowers
The judges were Carrie Moore of Jenny’s Floral in Custer, South Dakota, Jordan Prosser of Botanica International Decor and Design Studio in Tampa, Florida, Erin Davidson of McNamara Florist in Indianapolis, Indiana Wholesalers, Lani Callister of Ensign Wholesale in Salt Lake City, Utah, Erin Brotherton of Denver Wholesale Florists in Denver, Colorado, Freddy Melero of Choice Farms in Miami, Florida Growers, Erik Hagstrom of Albin Hagstrom & Son Inc. in Pierson, Florida, Gabriela Uribe of Allure Farms in Doral, Florida, Cindy Scott of Sun Valley Flower Farms in Arcata, California.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD, floral editor for Aspire Design and Home magazine and contributor to Florists Review magazine.
Photo Credit: SAF