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The Best Flowers for Vase Life, Value and Versatility

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Floral Industry News, Floral Management | 0 comments

Searching for the perfect blooms that offer a good vase life, value or versatility? The November/December issue of Floral Management features the Best in Show, Best in Class and Blue Ribbon winners from the Society of American Florists’ annual Outstanding Varieties Competition, as well as commentary from judges about why the winners are so prized and useful for retailers.

In addition to the 10 Best in Class and 30 Blue Ribbon winners, judges also awarded 49 Red Ribbon winners, which can been viewed online here.

The judges — a panel of three retailers, three growers and three wholesalers — scored entries based on color and commercial appeal, stem and foliage, bloom form and size, and overall presentation. They also had a lot to say about the flowers’ vase life, value and versatility. Here are some of their top picks.

Vase Life

‘Amistad’ Double Lily
Sun Valley Floral Farms
Best in Show Winner
This elegant lily, with layers upon layers of long white petals tinged with pink, has a light scent and is pollenless. One factor in ‘Amistad’ taking Best in Show was that the blooms were still pristine eight days after it shipped from the farm in northern California to Phoenix, which was experiencing temperatures in the triple digits at the time of the competition.

‘White Victory’ Veronica
Floral Chain Direct
Blue Ribbon Winner
Long stems with serrated leaves give way to buds blooming from bottom to top, giving designers a strong line in arrangements. This flower was also praised by judge Ryan Alders of Alders Wholesale Florist in Campbell Hall, New York, who regularly sells ‘White Victory’ and describes it as durable with a long vase life.


blank‘Philadelphia’ Chrysanthemum
Icon Selections SAS
Blue Ribbon Winner
This large cremon chrysanthemum in a bright cream “adds a lot of value because it takes up so much space,” said judge Carrie Moore of Jenny’s Floral in Custer, South Dakota. “In my shop, a disbud mum would be maybe $3 per stem. This I could easily justify $6 to $7.”


blank‘Allstar’ Chrysanthemum
Icon Selections SAS
Blue Ribbon Winner
This cushion spray chrysanthemum in an alluring pink offers many long laterals and open flowers, which means it can cover a lot of space in a design. “I can’t say I’ve actually seen anything quite this big, and I think it could be a good bang for your buck as far as the coverage,” Alders said.


blank‘Darlington’ Garden Rose
Eufloria Flowers
Blue Ribbon Winner
This blush to cream garden rose was prized not just for its coloring and how it blooms, but also for its size. “It’s a smaller headed rose, which is nice when you do event work and wedding work and clients want something smaller for personal flowers, but want that same look throughout the event,” said Jodi McShan, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, of McShan Florist in Dallas.

blank‘Bellavista’ Chrysanthemum
Royal Van Zanten
Blue Ribbon Winner
Dahlias, often requested for weddings, aren’t always readily available. ‘Bellavista’ could be a great substitute for dahlias in weddings demanding a pop of bronze, Moore said. “I kind of like that you could just pair it with so many things,” she said.

To read more about the winning varieties, read “Abundant ‘Amistad’” in the November/December issue of Floral Management. 

Amanda Jedlinsky is the managing editor of SAF NOW.

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