The wild species clones occur in two basic forms - open star and trumpet star. We do see some variation within the species clones in regard to these two forms. Some have thinner petals while others have wider petals. Some have very tailored edges while others have some ruffling. Some show almost no recurve at all, while others show considerable recurve to petals and/or sepals. The above photo with the blog post title shows H. fulva 'Korean', which is a simple open star with little recurve.
In the hybrid daylilies, my taste in the trumpet form is for upward facing flowers that have nice recurve of petals and sepals and a lot of ruffling on both. This gives them more openness at the opening and the ruffles give more movement. Interesting colors can then be combined in the trumpet form as well.
The open star is actually my favorite basic shape. I love that shape in the hybrids and I love the shape in combination with any and all fancy traits you could imagine adding to it.
There is more to form than just whether the flower is open or trumpet shaped, though, and we will look at the form variations over the next few posts. For now, I want to outline the basic form variations as a reference point to the upcoming posts.
While the two basic forms of the species are open or closed star, in the hybrids the focus has mainly been on the more open form. The next departure is petal width, of which there is some variation in the species, as I mentioned above.
For much of the time daylilies have been hybridized in Western gardens, the focus has predominantly been on wider and rounder petals, though some have focused on thinner petals. These two directions in petal width have given us round/ruffled forms, "bagels" forms (round with recurve), and the narrow petalled unusual forms (which combine other form variations as well, such as pinching, quilling, cascade (i.e., recurve with long, narrow petals), etc.), as well as the thinnest petalled types called 'spider forms'.
More extreme variations have also been pursued, many having become a focus more recently. One such interesting modern form is very flat flowers that open with little to no trumpet in the throat (as in the Substantial Evidence family lines, Lights of Detroit and some of the Siloam cultivars). Another interesting area involves a range of sculpting types such as pleating (folded petals), relief forms (thick heavy texture that is raised coming from the throat out onto the petals) and cristates (which show petal flounces or extensions of petal tissue that stand out around or on the midrib). Finally, there are the double flowers and the various edging adornments (ruffles, pie-crust, teeth, hook, knobs, etc.). Another aspect of form is size of the flower, especially when considered in combinations such as tall scapes with small flowers, minis with small flowers on short scapes and very large flowers on most any height of scape, etc.
We will look at all these forms in this series, but I would like to close this post with a discussion of the open star form.
There are many cultivars that show this open star form. The basic star form will tend to be neither thin nor wide, being in-between much like the fulva clones and will tend to have fairly pointed petals and sepals, and perhaps a bit of ruffling. However, the open star form can be combined with many of the other form traits, such as edgings, recurve, sculpting, narrowness (spider or unusual form), roundness or flat form, and can occur in any size. As well, any combination of colors or color patterns can be made on the open star types.