Monday, June 12, 2017

Teaching Lily Rae to Hybridize

Hello Daylily Friends,

It has been a long time since I last posted on April 23.  We have had 6 great weeks, and I've been working hard in both the Greenhouse and in the outside garden.  In the past 3 weeks, however,  I've grown weary of the Greenhouse, and I've been spending practically all of my time in the outside garden.  I've seen so many new daylilies, and I've seen some big changes and exciting new directions.  In 2015 I had two beautiful daylilies that were numbered 4-533 and 4-537.  Sadly, when I was clearing the garden I accidentally threw these two beauties into the trash heap. Both seedlings are lost forever!   Fortunately, I crossed these two seedlings, and I now have a seedling that is better than either original parent.  The new seedling is 7-867, and it is 27" tall.  It has 5 and 6 way branching, with 30 buds, and a 5" flower.  Well I wanted to show Lily Rae how to make a seed pod, and she can be seen in the attached picture pollinating seedling 7-867.  I know she will have exciting new seeds!

As many of you will have noticed, I've also been working with Unusual forms and with doubles as well.  One of my new Unusual forms is quite nice.  It is Seedling 7-829 and its color is so unusual.  So much green in both the petals and sepals and the sepals have a wonderful curve.  The only drawback is that there are only 2 branches, but then the seedling has only gone through one winter.  Hopefully next year the lateral will appear.

This morning I had a real surprise with a double.  The seedling number is 7-884, and it is a cross between TOPGUNS CITRINE DREAM and TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED.  I decided that TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED should be crossed with a dormant, and T/G CITRINE DREAM, a dormant, was just the perfect pod parent.  Although there were 4 branches, two were close to the scape, but next year there may be improvement.  After all, this new seedling was just planted on August 25, 2015, and it has grown well.  I hope that it is dormant.  We will see this coming winter.

One of the attributes of TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED is that it produces big flowers such as we see with both OPA KLAUS and Seedling 7-884.  I've also found that new seedlings from crosses where where TET. SUNGLASSES NEEDED has been used, produces even much bigger new seedlings.  For example, my friend Dave Williams gave me TET. SPIDER MIRACLE.  I used it on OPA KLAUS and got Seedling 7-853 which is massive in size.  It is 29" tall, 4-way branching, 21 buds, and a 9" flower.  A nine inch flower that is an Unusual form is just wonderful. 

Several years ago my friend Larry Grace gave me some pollen from TET. CINDERELLA SUE which I used to make Seedling 6-120.  6-120 also has TET. SILOAM RALPH HENRY as a parent, and here is the really good news.  6-120 is totally dormant.  It is also 32" tall with 4-way branching, many buds and a 6.75" flower.  It is also very pod fertile.  I have crossed it many times with TET. SUNRISE SHADOWS, a flower from Shooter from many years ago.  6-120  with be a real giant in my bigger flowers program.

I've also had some wonderful seedlings using TET. MY CUP OVERFLOWS as a pollen parent.  I am growing massive new flowers that are easily seven and eight and nine inches in diameter.  It is such a delight to see these beauties and to also see branching, but more about this in a future post.

One of my future introductions, probably in 2018 or 2019, will be seedling 5-772.  I used Larry's TET. WILD DREAMS as a pod parent, and used FOUR BEASTS IN ONE as a pollen parent.  The Seedling was a joy to see.  It is 30" tall, 5-way branching, with 23 buds and a 5" flower.  I'm sure that if this wonderful pattern daylily is crossed with parents that have circular eyes, that it will ultimately produce circular eyes, considering that FBIO has circular eyes.  I really like yellow flowers with eyes.

An orange daylily that I will introduce in 2018 is Seedling 7-862.  It is a cross between VARSITY ORANGE and TET. ORANGE VELVET, which is then crossed with CHILLED ORANGE SORBET.  The result is a height of 28" with 4-way branching, 17 buds and a 6" flower that is dormant.  Very pod fertile.  This beautiful seedling has the color of ORANGE VELVET along with the distinctive attributes of CHILLED ORANGE SORBET.  Any suggested names?  Can't wait to market this in 2018,

Another of my pattern daylilies that I will introduce in 2018 is Seedling 5-779.  Most of its parentage comes from Florida except for TET. LAVENDER BLUE BABY, a dormant, which gives the flower extra protection in very cold weather.  I am pleased to say that this beauty has consistently bloomed at about 28" in height with 5 and 6 way branching.  In fact, I entered this seedling at our "Daylily Show" on June 4 in an effort to win the "Achievement Medal."  When the time is right I announce whether the Medal was awarded,  I would add that this seedling is pod and pollen fertile and is indeed a beauty in the garden.

More news soon.



  1. So good to read your blog again! Breathtaking seedlings as always!
    Hope there's many more to come.