What is the AARS?

All-America Rose Selections

From the Civil War era until the 1930s, rose varieties had increased so much in the United States, there were several thousand named roses being offered to the public. Many of the roses were duplicates being sold under different names, and many were of inferior quality. No overall standard existed to provide the home gardener with a comparison of the merits of the different varieties. The enactment of the Plant Patent Law did little to improve the situation, because of mass introductions of patented inferior-quality rose varieties, which soon destroyed the public's confidence in roses.

All-America Rose Selections (AARS) is a nonprofit association created by the American rose industry and dedicated to the introduction and promotion of exceptional roses.

With so many options, how could we select roses that would perform well in our gardens - no matter where we lived in the United States? For a long time, this was a daunting question for both the home gardener and the rose industry.

Many of the large rose companies, including Jackson & Perkins, knew something needed to be done. The American Seed Trade Association's "All-America Selections" testing program helped set the stage for a similar organization for the rose industry.

In the summer of 1938, W. Ray Hastings, the prime organizer of "All-America Selections," contacted Charles Perkins, President of Jackson & Perkins Company, to create a testing program for roses. On January 8, 1939, a meeting of 17 of the largest and most respected rose firms was held in Chicago. This group approved a set of by-laws and rules & regulations that established the organized existence of All-America Rose Selections, Inc. The first trials began that year in AARS Test Gardens nationwide, and the first 4 AARS winners were introduced in 1940.

Thus the creation of the AARS trialing program finally took the guesswork and confusion out of rose buying in America. For over sixty years AARS has provided a seal of approval and assurance for the American gardener.

Every year in certified AARS Test Gardens across the country, new roses are evaluated by experienced judges for a period of two years (three years for climbing varieties). Roses are evaluated on bud and bloom color and form, fragrance, floral impact, habit, vigor, foliage, disease resistance, repeat bloom, aging quality and novelty. There is also the judge's personal opinion to be factored in - that intangible "something special" category. And, in order for a rose to win AARS status, it must perform well in all American gardens, whether they are growing in California or New England, the Midwest, Northwest, Deep South or Far North. Considering how diverse the growing conditions are throughout the United States, this is a pretty tall order! But the few exceptional roses that are selected truly do rise to the task.

AARS award-winning roses are exceptional roses for the American home gardener. But the prestige of AARS winners goes beyond the borders of the United States. AARS standards of excellence are recognized and respected worldwide. There's just no higher award bestowed on a rose than AARS status.

A founding member of All-America Rose Selections, Jackson & Perkins is proud of its long-standing relationship with AARS and its heritage of AARS award-winning roses. To date, Jackson & Perkins has introduced 67 AARS-winning roses - a record in the industry. Jackson & Perkins' small group of hybridizers also holds the record for creating the most winners. William Warriner holds the all-time record, with a phenomenal 20 winners over his J&P career. Dr. Keith Zary, Vice President of Research and Jackson & Perkins' current hybridizer has been carrying on this tradition.

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AARS award winners introduced by Jackson & Perkins hybridizers

Year Award Winner Color Class
2011 Walking on Sunshine Yellow Floribunda
2010 Easy Does It Coral Floribunda
2009 Pink Promise Pink Hybrid Tea Rose
2009 Cinco de Mayo Pink Floribunda
2008 Mardi Gras Yellow-Orange to Pink Floribunda
2007 Moondance White Floribunda
2006 Tahitian Sunset Peachy Apricot Hybrid Tea
2005 About Face Golden Yellow Grandiflora
2005 ELLE® Pink Hybrid Tea
2004 Honey Perfume Apricot Yellow Floribunda
2003 Whisper Ivory White Hybrid Tea
2003 Eureka Apricot Yellow Floribunda
2001 Sun Sprinkles Deep Yellow Minature
2000 Crimson Bouqet Red Grandiflora
2000 Gemini Coral Pink & White Hybrid Tea
1999 Candelabra Coral Orange Grandiflora
1999 Kaleidoscope Deep Lavender & Russet Landscape
1998 Fame! Deep Pink Grandiflora
1998 Opening Night Red Hybrid Tea
1997 Artistry Coral Orange Hybrid Tea
1997 Timeless Rose Pink Hybrid Tea
1995 Brass Band Orange & Yellow Floribunda
1994 Carribean Orange with Yellow Reverse Grandiflora
1994 Midas Touch Bright Yellow Hybrid Tea
1993 Sweet Inspiration Pink Floribunda
1993 Rio Samba Yellow & Orange Blend Hybrid Tea
1992 Pride 'n' Joy Orange & Yellow Miniature
1992 Brigadoon Coral & White Hybrid Tea
1991 Shining Hour Yellow Grandiflora
1991 Perfect Moment Yellow & Orange-Red Hybrid Tea
1990 Pleasure Pink Floribunda
1989 Class Act White Floribunda
1989 Tournament of Roses Coral Pink & Pale Pink Grandiflora
1987 Sheer Bliss Near White Hybrid Tea
1985 Showbiz Brilliant Scarlet Floribunda
1984 Impatient Orange-Red Floribunda
1984 Intrigue Deep Plum Floribunda
1983 Sun Flare Bright Yellow Floribunda
1982 French Lace Ivory Floribunda
1982 Shreveport Orange Blend Grandiflora
1981 Marina Coral-Orange Floribunda
1980 Love Red with White Reverse Grandiflora
1980 Honor™ White Hybrid Tea
1980 Cherish Shell-Pink Floribunda
1978 Color Magic Coral Hybrid Tea
1977 Prominent Hot Orange Grandiflora
1976 America Salmon Climber
1976 Seashell Peach & Salmon Hybrid Tea
1976 Yankee Doodle Sherbet Orange Hybrid Tea
1975 Oregold Pure Yellow Hybrid Tea
1974 Bonbon Pink & White Bicolor Floribunda
1973 Medallion Apricot-Pink Hybrid Tea
1971 Redgold Red Edge on Yellow Floribunda
1970 First Prize Rose-Red Hybrid Tea
1969 Gene Boerner Pink Floribunda
1967 Gay Princess Shell Pink Floribunda
1966 Apricot Nectar Apricot Floribunda
1964 Saratoga White Floribunda
1963 Tropicana Orange-Red Hybrid Tea
1959 Ivory Fashion Ivory Floribunda
1958 Gold Cup Golden Yellow Floribunda
1957 White Bouquet White Floribunda
1955 Jiminy Cricket Coral Orange Floribunda
1953 Ma Perkins Coral-Shell Pink Floribunda
1952 Vogue Cherry Coral Floribunda
1950 Fashion Coral Pink Floribunda
1948 Diamond Jubilee Buff Hybrid Tea
1945 Floradora Salmon Rose Floribunda
1944 Katherine T. Marshall Deep Pink Hybrid Tea
1943 Mary Margaret McBride Rose Pink Hybrid Tea
1940 Dickson's Red Scarlet Red Hybrid Tea
1940 World's Fair Deep Red Floribunda