SAF Outstanding Varieties Competition The Society of American Florists holds one of the floral industry’s biggest flower competitions during its annual convention. Flower growers from Florida, California, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho, and Tennessee as well as Colombia and Ecuador brought what they considered to be their most exceptional flower varieties to the last Outstanding Varieties Competition in September. They exhibited 184 types of roses, chrysanthemums, bulb flowers, gerberas, alstroemeria, carnations, potted flowering plants and decorative foliage.

A panel of floral experts evaluated the blooms on a range of criteria including color, commercial appeal, bloom form and size, and overall presentation. The panel choose the best flower in 11 categories and had the difficult task of crowning one Best in Show. Convention attendees voted for their favorite and gave it the People’s Choice honor. This is the first in a 3-part series showcasing these outstanding flowers.

Best In Show and Best Cut Bulb: An Oriental Lily named ‘Tabledance’ won the hearts of judges and the contest’s top honor. Its subtle sweet fragrance and magnificent blooms make it stand out. The judges also point out its dreamy gradation from pink (similar hue to Pantone’s Rose Quartz in 2016) to a bright white in the center.

Oriental Lily ‘Tabledance’

People’s Choice and Best Chrysanthemum: Another big flower turned heads. Judges describe the pure white ‘Magnum’ as big, enormous and huge, and the flower gets even bigger in the vase as the weeks go by.

Chrysanthemum: Magnum

Best Gerbera: Meet ‘Glamour’, the Taylor Swift of gerberas. Sporting a contrasting black center and double flower, ‘Glamour’ comes in trendy bubblegum pink.

Gerbera: Glamour

Best Alstroemeria: Consider ‘Jewel’ your official winter blues pick-me-up flower. It combines a Palm Beach-ready palette with lavender blooms and green foliage.

Alstroemeria: Jewel

Best Dianthus: ‘Alcazar’ is the name for a Spanish fortress and the name of this dreamy pink carnation. It’s a hardy powerhouse that can bloom for up to 15 days.

Dianthus: Aclazar

This is the first in a series of three blog posts about outstanding flowers.

These flowers have interesting names. If you could name a flower, what name would you give it?