Saturday, January 23, 2016

Today it Snowed

Hello Daylily Friends,

Last night and this morning we had snow in North Georgia.  The snow is so beautiful and it makes everything look so clean and assures us that we are in the middle of the winter.  Later this morning I decided to take a few pictures to record that the snow had come to our garden.  I took a picture of our sign that reads, "Kennesaw Mountain Daylily Gardens," and then I took a picture of the field of seedlings that we have as I walked toward the Greenhouse.  Although the snow looks as though it is doing significant damage to the daylilies, the opposite is true.  Daylilies are not tropical plants.  They come from China where it is cold during the winter.  This cold weather helps to reveal the true nature of a daylily and whether it can stand multiple climates.

As I approached the Greenhouse I was anxious to see SMILING COBRA which was introduced last spring by Guy Pierce.  I received this plant from Guy in January, 2015, and it was blooming by March. It didn't have enough time to perform at its best last spring, but I certainly used it to make seeds.  Also, it produced five (5) fans for me, and now I'm seeing SMILING COBRA, perhaps as Guy saw it in his garden.

Today, this morning, SMILING COBRA has a scape with seven (7) way branching.  Over the years I have grown many plants in the Greenhouse, and may I gently say that seven (7) branches is difficult to achieve.  Nevertheless this is what I see.  I realize that sometimes different Hybridizers have differing opinions as to what constitutes "a branch."  So, I've taken a picture of the scape and numbered each of the branches that I count.  Then, I've taken a picture of the top "W" which I count for (3) branches.  I think that most anyone would agree, SMILING COBRA has truly exceptional branching.

I've also taken another step and planted two (2) fans of SMILING COBRA in my "outside garden."  As I recall, it has been growing outside since early in September of 2015. It has seen temperatures as low as 17 degrees, it has been through many frosts, and of course this morning it encountered a covering of snow.  It is still growing well, and later this coming summer I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs following this cold winter.

Another daylily that I looked at this morning is TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  Last fall I had three (3) plants, but I was concerned that one fan may have continued to be a "diploid" plant.  Back about three weeks ago I took the two fans of TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES that I believed to be "tetraploids," and put them into the small Greenhouse.  The small Greenhouse will give protection from the frost, but the plants will nevertheless be exposed to the frigid temperatures, which is good.  The plant that I believed to be a diploid, I just left it in the Greenhouse.  It now has a nice scape which I'm showing.  I now believe that this plant is a tetraploid as well.  This is very, very good!

Here is some history on TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.

YANKEE PINSTRIPES was sent to me by my friend, Rich Howard, who lives in Connecticut.  Rich sent me several fans.  I lost the first fan, but then I treated a second fan and was able to get it converted.  When I first started to get excited that I may have had YANKEE PINSTRIPES converted was on Easter, 2015.  The little fan looked good, but I've lost treated fans that looked good before.  Then, to my surprise, it threw up a scape.  Using my microscope I soon looked at the pollen, and decided that it looked really, really good. I thought I had it converted.  Unfortunately, I didn't save any of the pollen which I certainly should have done.

Then I had a second surprise.  YANKEE PINSTRIPES threw up two more fans.  Each fan had only one bud.  So, there were obviously two buds.  When the first bud bloomed I just completely ignored the flower and the pollen.  I thought that the base of the bud was much too thin for it to be a conversion.  Then the second bud bloomed.  Although the flower from the second bud looked good, again I was dismayed because I thought that the base of the bud was much too thin for it to be a tetraploid.  Then I thought that it was silly to have invested so much time without looking at the pollen using the microscope.  So, I took the flower and looked at the pollen. WOW!  The pollen was clearly tetraploid.

Take a look at the flower.  I've seen the diploid YANKEE PINSTRIPES, and in hindsight I can see that the flower I'm showing is quite different from the diploid.  This flower is much more "disrupted" in its color pattern,  Now, take a look at the pollen.   The pollen practically all measures at 15 or better on my scale, whereas diploid pollen measures at about 11, and smaller.  I can't express the excitement I felt with what I was seeing.  The next question was whether this pollen would produce new seeds.

I used the pollen from TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES on my own Seedling 4-564, I now have 10 fans of  Seedling 4-564, and I plan to use it to make many more broken patterned seedlings this coming spring.  Seedling 4-564 is the same seedling that I wrote about in the The Daylily Journal, 2015 Spring Edition, page 40.  I was able to grow 26 seedlings by crossing Seedling 4-564 with TET. YANKEE PINSTRIPES.  These 26 seedlings are growing very well now in the Greenhouse.  I'm showing a picture of the seedlings that I just took earlier today.

To make a long story short, I'm beginning to make headway in using converted diploids to make broken patterned daylilies.

Did I mention that Lily Rae is having a great day.  She has been sleeping while I've been writing this post. Yesterday her Grandmother gave her some Playdough with different colors.  Lily Rae seemed to know about Playdough because she was excited as soon as she saw the box.  Then she took the Playdough to the kitchen table where she began to make shapes with the colors, and then she starting mixing the colors.  She has enjoyed the Playdough as much as the snow.

A snowy day in North Georgia.



  1. Nice work Bill! I'm excited to see what you get out of Tet Yankee Pinstripes! I've had it since introduction as a diploid and it's a fantastic plant.

  2. Thanks. The YANKEE PINSTRIPES plant that I thought was a diploid will bloom within the next 3 days. When it does I'll check its pollen and post a picture. I'm excited as well!