Although the Stout Silver Medal is the highest award given, there are several other awards given out each year by the AHS to honor daylilies in specific categories.
Lenington All American Award
This award is presented to the daylily voted the best performer over a wide geographic area. The 2012 winner was Spacecoast Tiny Perfection hybridized by Kinnebrew.
Early Season Bloom Award
This award recognizes early season blooming daylilies. A cultivar must be registered as early or extra early blooming and been registered for a least five years prior to voting. The 2012 winner was Coyote Moon hybridized by Kirchhoff.
Don Fischer Memorial Award
An annual award for the most outstanding miniature (under 3 inches) daylily. The 2012 winner was Everybody Loves Earnest hybridized by Herrington.
Annie T. Giles Award
Award given for the best small flower whose greatest width is 3 inches or more but less than 4.5 inches. The 2012 winner was Honey Crunch Cupcake hybridized by Herrington.
Harris Olson Spider Award
Annual award given for the most outstanding spider daylily. The 2012 winner was Suzy Cream Cheese hybridized by Bachman.
Ida Munson Award
Yearly award for the best double flowered daylily. The 2012 winer was Sebastian the Crab hybridized by Trimmer.
Don C. Stevens Award
Award given for the most outstanding eyed or banded daylily. The 2012 winner was Fashion Police hybridized by Trimmer.
There are so many amazing daylilies in each category I often wonder how the judges manage to announce a winner. One thing is for sure though, award winning daylilies have gone through a very competitive judging system and choosing them for your own garden is always a wise choice. They win not just for beauty but for overall plant characteristics and growing abilities. The newer varieties are often quite pricey but older winners are much more reasonable and always a great bet. Older varieties are also just as beautiful.
When purchasing daylilies for your garden it pays to do a little homework on the different varieties before choosing. It takes just as much energy and expense to grow a poor cultivar as it does to grow a winner!