I had been growing daylilies since the early 1970's, almost 40 years, when I decided to start seriously breeding them seriously in 2010. I had dabbled at breeding daylilies before, mainly with crosses involving Stella De Oro, but my work with poultry had consumed my time and kept me from ever getting actively involved (read that - 'obsessed') with daylily breeding.
This list is of all the seeds I purchase in the fall of 2010 through the spring of 2011, as well as seeds I was gifted by Mike Huben. This was the beginning of my breeding program, though much material in the form of plants (introductions and seedlings) has been added from 2010 to present and I had quite a few plants, some of which have made it into my breeding program, that date from before 2010, some going all the way back to my childhood (Frans Hals, Stella De Oro, etc.).
I want to document this original seed accession as I will be introducing plants deriving from this group of seeds, as well as things from my own crosses, and I think it will be interesting to have the original accession to compare to the actual introductions, just to give some idea of the accession-to-introduction ratio, as well as to discuss why the introductions were chosen, why other things were bred from but not introduced and finally, why things were culled that neither made it into my breeding program or to introduction.
Almost all of these seeds were of diploids. Even though I somewhat prefer tetraploids and am constantly moving my breeding focus in that direction, I chose to focus on diploids in 2010 for numerous reasons. First, I wanted to take some time to get a feel for the heritability of various phenotypes and that is easier to gauge (for me at least) at the diploid level. Second, I wanted to experiment with a wide range of different phenotypes and family lines within the daylily gene pool to get a feel for what types matched my interests most closely. Third, diploid seeds were more available and much less expensive. I felt that when it came to tetraploid breeding, I would much rather buy the plants, grow and test them in my own garden and then generate my own seeds and proceed, patiently, from there, rather than invest large sums of money into seeds from cultivars I knew nothing about other than a (perhaps questionably photoshopped) picture. Fourth, there were a handful of diploid cultivars/phenotypes that seemed to be much more highly developed in the diploids than in the tetraploids at that time (Mahieu cultivars, Norris cultivars, Carpenter cultivars, etc.) and so to work with those, I needed to go with diploids, and anything that turned out good from the other diploid seeds could be used with any good plants from these types.
I did make a couple of purchases of tetraploid seeds that I got inexpensively, including one large bulk lot, which gave me a tiny window into a good number of fancy southern tetraploids, but I have kept very few individuals from that group. I will mark the tetraploid accessions by highlighting them in blue in the list below. You will note though they they are by far the minority of the overall accession.
There are 223 different crosses represented in the list below for a total of approximately 3455 seeds. I had good germination on most accessions and germinated an estimated 2,953 seedlings.
The years spanning from 2010 to 2016 have been a testing and research-and-development phase during which time I have sought to find individual plants and/or family lines that express, and have breeding value for, the traits I desire to work with, both in terms of phenotype and performance. I find my self now, as 2016 comes to an end, being in the position where I know what main lines I will move forward with. I consider this then to be the beginning of my actual breeding program. I now have my breeding base and will begin to move forward.
That forward movement will be almost entirely with tetraploids, though I will continue onward with a few of the most interesting diploid lines I have been working with. Because I am to be breeding fewer diploid lines, the bulk of my introductions at the beginning will be the best of the diploid seedlings I have raised over these last years, as I now begin to work with the tetraploid base I have bred up. In this way, it is my aim to get excellent plants with good breeding value into commerce and into the hands of diploid aficionados and breeders who can make good use of them in their own breeding programs.
To that end, it seemed a good place to start would be this accession list from the very beginning of my program. As I make introductions I will be discussing the lines I have chosen to work with and why, both to document where I began and to illustrate a program of testing and selection leading to the beginning of breeding lines and introductions.
*Entries marked in blue are tetraploid seed accessions
*Entries marked in green were gifted seeds from Mike Huben from his 2010 breeding season