Sunshine Dream outshone all others to become the sole All-America Rose Selection for 2012.

It doesn’t happen often. In fact, through the 70-plus years that All-America Rose Selections has evaluated roses and announced its annual winners, only eight plants have qualified as solo winners.

Make that nine.

This month the organization announced that Sunshine Daydream has been selected as the only AARS winner for 2012. Bred by French rose ma<0x00EE>tres Meilland International and introduced by The Conard-Pyle Co./Star® Roses, Rosa ‘Meikanaro’, known in the market as Sunshine Dream, stands apart from the crowd.

About the trials Each AARS winning rose must excel in an extensive, two-year trial program where it’s judged on everything from rose disease resistance to flower production, color and fragrance. There are 15 test gardens located throughout the U.S., providing exposure to all climate zones and weather conditions. Average care-such as that given in a typical home garden-is provided, so that each rose’s performance can refl ect “real world” conditions. In fact, AARS members recently elected to discontinue fungicidal sprays in order to more accurately replicate “normal” care.

The grandiflora boasts large, cuplike blossoms that are nearly always in bloom. Emerging from light yellow, ovoid buds, the self-cleaning, 3½ inch blooms – bearing approximately 25 petals each – begin light yellow and finish cream-yellow with no noticeable fragrance. One to eight flowers grace each stem.

Sunshine Daydream shows excellent own-root performance and is vigorous in a variety of site conditions. The plant is rounded and bushy, reaching 5 to 5½ feet tall with a 4-foot spread. The dark green, very glossy foliage has excellent disease resistance.

Sunshine Daydream is available through Conard-Pyle.

About the selection process

Roses grown in the AARS test gardens are evaluated on a number of criteria, including:

  • Novelty
  • Form of buds and open blooms
  • Color throughout the blooming cycle
  • Aging quality
  • Flowering effect
  • Fragrance
  • Stem/cluster form
  • Plant habit
  • Vigor
  • Foliage
  • Disease resistance
  • Repeat bloom quality