Sunday, March 29, 2009

Same cross, very different results.

Hello Daylily Friends,

I went to the greenhouse this morning about 7:30 a.m. to see what might be blooming. There were three blooms that I immediately noticed. All three blooms were from the same cross, and the cross is as follows: [Cerise Masterpiece x (Grace 578 Seedling x Tet. Connie Burton)] x Kaskel Seedling "Best Edge."

CERISE MASTERPIECE is Pat Stamile's plant from his Fall 2005 Collection. CERISE MASTERPIECE is 38" tall with 7" flowers, 7-way branching, and 45 buds. It is an "evergreen" and it blooms early. It is a lovely daylily but I have not been able to have it bloom as it does in Enterprise, Florida. Nevertheless, the plant is important because it is so tall with such tremendous branching and bud count. Grace's 578 Seedling is a semi-evergreen. It is short but it has many tremendous parents in its background. TET. CONNIE BURTON is a plant that I converted. Dan Trimmer was selling his conversion for $500.00, but I was TOO "conservative" pay the selling price. So, I simply bought three diploids from Dan, and then accomplished the conversion all by myself. TET. CONNIE BURTON is also an evergreen, and it is tender, but it does survive our winters. Matthew's Kaskel's Seedling "Best Edge" is beautiful, but it is a weak parent. It has a tremendous edge, however, and this gives this plant its value. Well, there you have the background on my three new seedlings, and the pictures of these seedlings are hereafter shown.

This first seedling I will call "Plant 1." It is 21" tall, and it has 2-way branching with a "v" at the top of the second branch. It has 12 buds. It is clearly the most beautiful of the three seedlings. It has that cherry or moderate red appearance. Just a beautiful ivory edge, large petals and sepals, and a distinctive green throat. The flaws are obvious: too short. More branching and bud count are needed. In defense of Plant 1 I would say that it has bloomed in a one gallon bucket in just over 7 months, and that with another year of growth it might be taller, with better branching and improved bud count.

Plant 2 is much taller. It's height is 28 inches, but it has only 8 buds, and no branching. Still, it has an unusual, lavender color, and as I have noted, it does have good height. It also may have better branching and better bud count as it matures. Seven months is a short time. All three of the seedlings shown in this post were planted about August 11, 2008, and here we are on March 29, 2009, and we have new, beautiful flowers. It is tremendous to go from seed to a new flower in just over seven months. This short time of growth is just a great joy to witness.

Plant 3 is the least attractive of the new seedlings. However, it is 25" tall, with 3 and 4 way branching, with 20 buds. This is signifi
cant for a seedling that has only been growing for just over seven (7) months. It is just so sad that I can't have the flower on Plant 1 on the scape on Plant 3. Why oh why can't I have what I want?

Well, what pollen parent should I use on Plants 1, 2 and 3? This is probably the most significant question. In my opinion, the parentage of all three seedlings is not as strong as it might be, insofar as survival is concerned, in a tough, cold climate. So, again, I ask myself, what pollen parent would be good to use? Something that is already cherry or moderate red, or perhaps a lavender. Fortunately, I have pollen frozen from this past summer from DIANA'S EVENING GOWN which is 27" tall, with 3-way branching, and 27 buds. More importantly, DIANA'S EVENING GOWN is a hardy dormant. Dormancy is what is required to make the three new seedlings much stronger and more durable in cold climates.

DIANA'S EVENING GOWN is also 7" in diameter, just as CERISE MASTERPIECE is also a 7" in diameter. DIANA'S EVENING GOWN also grows very well notwithstanding its dormancy. Also, when I say it has 3-way branching and 27 buds, these are documented facts witnessed by many friends. I know I can count on this aspect of its heritage. DIANA'S EVENING GOWN is probably a good choice for a pollen parent.

I will wait until the middle of the summer of 2009 to decide what seedlings should be planted for blooming in 2010. For now, I am simply creating options. There may be a better seedling to appear and all of this discussion may be for no good purpose. Again, just creating options.



  1. Hi Bill,
    I like Dr. Jerrold Corbett for use with Plant 1. It has excellent branching and bud count. However, I have been unlucky in setting pods on him. Unfortunately, he's an Ev.

    I have been looking at Brother Charles' WIDE AWAKE, but cant find any info on branching and bud count. But thats a nice mid to late dormant.

  2. I just can't use DR. JERROLD CORBETT because it is an evergreen. The truth is, notwithstanding some opinions, another evergreen on these seedlings will spell death in any sort of cold climate. WIDE AWAKE is not a plant that I know of. I'm still content with DIANA'S EVENING GOWN. It is dormant, it is tall, it has branching and bud count.