By Bobbie Whitehead
All-America Selections, an “independent plant-testing organization,” has announced yet another 2011 vegetable winner – the sweet bell pepper, “Orange Blaze.”
Founded in 1932, All-America Selections evaluates new, “never-before sold” flower and vegetable varieties in its trial gardens each year to assess plant performance.
The organization announced earlier in the winter its 2011 winners, which included three vegetable and four flower varieties.
This latest addition, Orange Blaze, is a pepper bred by Seminis Vegetable Seeds Inc. and is said to have a “high resistance to diseases such as Xcv 0-3, 7, 8 -Bacterial Leaf Spot and Tm Po- Tobamovirus,” according to AAS.
With such resistance, AAS writes that Orange Blaze plants will offer a “larger harvest.”
Described as being an early-maturing bell pepper variety that has a “sweet flavor,” Orange Blaze produces peppers that reach up to three or four inches long. The pepper width is about an inch and a half. AAS writes that Orange Blaze peppers have two-to-three lobes, and the pepper flavor is sweetest when the fruit reaches maturity or its “full orange color.” Fruit ripeness occurs anywhere form “65 to 70 days from transplant,” the testing organization writes.
In the garden, Orange Blaze plants grow to about 24 inches in height and require spacing of about two feet apart, according to the product description. This new variety is said to be similar to the Gourmet, Gypsy and Lipstick varieties already available.
The other 2011 All-America Selections vegetable winners included Tomato “Lizzano” F1 and Tomato “Terenzo” F1, both bred by Pro-Veg Seeds Ltd., and a pumpkin variety, Pumpkin “Hijinks” F1 bred by Sakata Seed America Inc.