Monday, April 27, 2009

I Adore Big Yellow Daylilies!

Hello Daylily Friends,

During the winter of 2007-08, I covered two separate 47 foot rows with fence wire and plastic. I kept the frost off the seedlings that were growing there, and I ocasionally removed the plastic covering to water the daylilies, or to let the rain water them. When the weather was especially warm I would have to open each end of the rows to let air through the enclosure. I would also note that when the enclosure was completely covered, water droplets would form inside the plastic, and then fall on the seedlings. At the end of the process I was rewarded with beautiful seedlings that bloomed at full strength in July of 2008. One of the best was Seedling 8-243. I am showing a picture of it that was taken in July when it was in full bloom.

Seedling 8-243 may be an evergreen, or perhaps a semi-evergreen. It is not dormant. The cross is as follows: (Grace 578 Seedling x Judy Farquhar). The Grace 578 Seedling has a number of important parents but one of the most important is TET. SILOAM RALPH HENRY. I would note that the Grace 578 Seedling had little branching, but was beautiful. I have used JUDY FARQUHAR as a parent, and it does not usually produce beautiful seedlings. Tall seedlings? Yes! Beautiful? No. But what a change with Seedling 8-243. A truly beautiful seedling. In fact, when basically everything in our garden had finished blooming, it stood tall and bloomed so gorgeously.

Here are some technical facts about Seedling 8-243 blooming in the outside garden: 32" tall, 3-way branching, 19 buds, and a 7 1/2" flower. Truly outstanding technical facts.

Well, why am I writing about Seedling 8-243? Well, I took the entire plant and moved it to the Greenhouse, where it stayed all during the winter of 2008-09, and this morning it bloomed. The two pictures of the bloom shown here were taken at about 7:45 a.m. because I had to be at my Dentist's office for an 8:30 a.m. appointment. As you can see from looking at these two pictures, and from also looking at the picture shown above, the flowers are large and stunning. It is not unusual for pictures taken inside the Greenhouse to look different from pictures taken outside the Greenhouse. Well, you might ask, what are the technical facts about Seedling 8-243 growing inside the Greenhouse? The answer: Again, 32" in height, but 6 to 7 way branching, 52 buds, and a flower that is over 7" in diameter. Now this sounds like a Stamile flower! Nobody can grow anything like this, can they? Well, it has sure happened here in Marietta, Georgia.

Now my question is whether I can take dormants to 8-243 and produce sturdy seedlings that will survive our winters. I am in the process of this investigation. I have a seedling that is a cross between ANGELS GATHER AROUND and TET. EVELYN GATES that is beautiful, with very little branching, but is dormant. I am crossing it to 8-243. I am also going to use WHITE AS SNOW because it also is a 7" flower that is dormant.

It is fun to work with big yellow daylilies!


  1. Hi Mr. Bill,
    Hope all is well. The pictures of seedling 8-243 are stunning. The edge is super and the size is what I like,"LARGE".

    You bring up a good subject that I have been wondering about.I have bought lilies from The Stamile's and others and have never been able to get alot of the branching that are in the description. I water, fertilize, but never seem to get the branching and bud count. I wonder when they are describing the lily in the catalog, is it grown in the garden or in the greenhouse?

    I really enjoy reading about your lilies and seeing the beautiful pictures.
    Keep up the good work.


  2. Good Morning Greg,
    In the climate here at my garden, daylilies that I have purchased from Florida, likewise will not produce the branching and bud advertised in the catalogues. I have several ideas. The cold weather prevents the growth that can be accomplished in Florida. Second, the time for the daylily to grow to maturity is reduced. Third, the soil that is used in our gardens does not fairly compare to the soils used in the commercial gardens. Fertilizers, chemicals, shade screens, these also have an impact. The amount of water that we use has an impact.

    As for the Stamiles, you must admit that they are at the top of the mountain in growing daylilies. Who is better? I mean, count the awards and Stout medals.

    As for the difference in the size of 8-243, outside and then in the greenhouse, I would think that as a seedling it had not yet reached its full potential. I believe that the growth in the greenhouse approximates what could be accomplished in Florida.

    Thanks for your note.