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  • Pink flowers next to a garden sign that reads Zinnia Profusion Double Hot Cherry  under the AAS logo

All-America Selections Display

New garden plant varieties are being developed all the time. But how can you know which ones will flourish, or offer something truly different or better?

Visit the All-America Selections Display Gardens at the Humber Arboretum to get an up-close look at new plant varieties from across North America which have been deemed “best-performing” by volunteer judges from the horticultural industry.

All-America Selections Logo

Selecting the Best

All-America Selections (AAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding the best-performing new garden varieties. Since 1932 this organization has evaluated cultivars (human-created plant varieties, or “cultivated varieties”) to help gardeners of all kinds make decisions about what to plant in their own gardens.

AAS has over 100 Trial Sites across North America where seeds and cuttings submitted by breeding companies are planted next to established varieties so they can be directly compared.

There are four AAS categories:

  • Seed Ornamentals (grown from seed)
  • Vegetative Ornamentals (grown from cuttings)
  • Edible/Vegetables from Seed
  • Herbaceous Perennials

What Makes a Winner?

Depending on the category, AAS judges are looking for things like better taste, longer-lasting blooms, unique colours, more flowers per plant, or improved disease resistance. The plant has to out-perform similar, existing varieties to be declared an AAS Winner.

Seeing the Results

The Humber Arboretum has been an official All-America Selections Display Garden for over two decades; now nearly 200 such gardens can be found across North America. Come to the Humber Arboretum in the late spring and summer to see some of the winning flowers and edibles from previous years.

Look for All-America Selections display signs in the flower beds just east of our main entrance along Arboretum Boulevard, and in the Humber Food Learning Garden behind the residence buildings. Then visit the AAS website to learn more about the winners, including information on how to grow them yourself.

A garden wall bed spills over with a variety of colourful blooms.