Developed by Sakata Seed Corporation, 'Viking Explorer Rose on Green' begonia won the gold medal in the All-America Selections’ (AAS) container category. AAS is one of the world’s two largest new varieties testing organizations. Varieties entered to AAS are evaluated at trial locations throughout North America, which has a variety of climates, and high-scoring varieties are recognized for awards. Varieties with the highest scores are awarded the Gold Medal, but for many years there were no suitable candidates. In 2021, Sakata's 'Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor' zinnia was awarded the gold medal, which was the first time in 17 years that the prize was awarded by AAS.
Sakata's Viking series is an interspecific hybrid of begonia they began selling primarily in Europe, North America and China in 2019. Viking begonia is large, with a plant height of about one meter, depending on the container, and it is highly tolerant to midsummer heat and drought and remains in bloom for a prolonged period.
Viking Explorer Rose on Green has a trailing habit, which has not been seen in this type of begonia before, and bright rose flowers with shiny green leaves. Hanging baskets and window box decorations are quite popular in European and American gardening, and there is a high demand for plants with a trailing habit that cascades from a container. Begonias are normally not a leading candidate for those uses, but Sakata expects the Viking Explorer series to expand the uses of begonias, open up new markets, and thus increase the value of begonias.
Sakata started selling Viking Explorer Rose on Green seeds in North America and Europe in 2021.