'Amistad' named Best in Show at SAF’s Outstanding Varieties Competition

Sep 11, 2023
‘Amistad’ named Best in Show at SAF’s Outstanding Varieties Competition

‘Amistad’, a light pink double Oriental lily presented by Sun Valley Floral Farms, won over judges with its soft coloring, elegance and grandeur to win the Society of American Florists’ Outstanding Varieties Competition, held in conjunction with the organization’s 138th annual convention in Phoenix.

The Best in Show win stunned Sun Valley’s president and CEO Lane DeVries, who hadn’t entered the competition in several years and had put time and effort behind another entry.

“We are very happy with our best in show,” he said of the lily, which Sun Valley has grown for two years,” she said. “These just came out of regular production in the greenhouse. We didn’t plan for it, we just picked it out the greenhouse and went for it.”

Judges were impressed with the strong, tall stems bearing four to six lightly fragrant and pollenless blooms. One judge described the lily as “elegant and classic,” a flower that could be used for everyday arrangements as well as wedding and funeral work.

‘Amistad’, was among 249 entries from 28 companies entered in the 2023 Outstanding Varieties Competition.

Judges scored each entry based on color and commercial appeal, stem and foliage, bloom form and size, and overall presentation. The judging panel, which included three retailers, three growers and three wholesalers, evaluated specific categories of flowers, and the highest scored entry of each won “Best in Class.” From this group, judges chose their Best in Show winner.