For a complete list of available daylilies and pricing, click here.
Like giant sandworms rising from rolling desert dunes, the scapes emerge over the massive, arching, attractive foliage in early-midseason. They unfurl their branches with many buds that burst open into a display of spicy-orange to cinnamon colored flowers that are layered with purple and show a darker eye, blooming through a long season. The effect of the tall scapes, big flowers and massive plant is extremely visible and prominent in any garden where I have grown it. The orange is a subdued tone, due to the purple it is combined with, but it glows in the landscape.
The plant is massive. It is the largest daylily plant I have ever grown. A mature clump can be four feet or more across. The effect is like a giant beach ball of dark green, healthy foliage. There have to be others out there this big. I make no claim of "biggest ever" or anything similar, but in my experience, this is the largest daylily plant I have ever grown, and I have sought out what people consider large daylilies, though I couldn't possibly have seen them all!
The flower is no shrinking violet! It is big and bold and the colors are bright. The flower is held near your face when you are close to the clump and the effect of the layers of color is quite striking in person, though hard to photograph. To my eye, photographs always flatten the layers of color that the eye perceives as two different wavelengths, which the camera flattens into a single color that is more brownish than the flower actually looks in person. As I have grown this plant for many years, I have a lot of photos but none do justice to the effect of the flower and clump in person. All photos either make it too orange, too brown or too purple, and none are exactly the effect it has in person. It does vary from day to day, like most daylilies, and it can have days in the landscape when it takes on more of one color or the other, but the most common effect combines orange and purple into various shadings. Now to be clear, I love orange and brown daylilies, as much as I love purple daylilies, but I wouldn't call The Spice Must Flow any one of those colors. To me, it is just expressing several colors (or genes for different pigment expressions), which leads me to the most important aspect of this introduction, in my program. It has the ability to breed a range of clear colors on large flowers with large plants and tall scapes.
The plant shows moderate rust resistance. It does get some rust when there is rust present in the garden, but I have never seen it worse than the high end of my 'B' rating - 'high moderate resistance'. In the first year of my rust screening, it showed no rust at all, but each year of testing after that it did show a small amount of rust. The average of the five-year rust resistance testing was an A rating, but I consider it a B+, as the last three years of testing showed that level. However, it has proven a good breeder for rust resistance and I have numerous seedlings from 'Spice' that were much more resistant to rust. Thrip resistance is moderately high. It will show slight damage from thrips on its first round of scapes, mostly identifiable from small enations (bumps) on the bud. Typically, the flower holds up well to thrips and shows little spotting due to thrips.
While pod fertile (especially on rebloom scapes), new divisions need to become established for a year or two to show good pod fertility. Pollen is always fertile. Recovery from division tends to be fast, and increase is good in my garden. The foliage is attractive, shows fairly good late frost tolerance and is very hardy here in my zone 6 garden. I have never seen any serious damage from our worst winters. Being semi-evergreen, I suspect this one will flourish in warmer-winter areas, but with the hardiness I have seen from it here, I suspect it will also do well in areas with colder winters than I my area typically has. It went through the exceptionally harsh and cold winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15 with no damage at all. Late freezes have not caused the scapes to be shorter than normal either. I see rebloom every year, consistently, here in my gardens. With all these good traits... The Spice Must Flow into as many breeding programs as possible. :-)
The pictures below are in order from 2013 through 2018.
Click on each image to see a larger version.