Friday, January 4, 2019

The Spice Must Flow

The Spice Must Flow
(Sdlg# IMPBW2)

2019 - Reeder - Tetraploid -  
Implausibility x Bali Watercolor 
60" scape  - 6.5" flower - 4 BR - 17 buds - Early-midseason - Rebloom - Semi-evergreen

Rich orange overlaid with purple giving a bronze to cinnamon glow, strongest in center of petal with white midrib and lighter petal edges, with darker purple band and thin petal edge above green to chartreuse throat.

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 foliage can be in excess of 42" tall on a mature clump, while the scapes average 5 feet in height, sometimes taller up to 72" on old, established clumps. Scapes are frequently in the 66" range in mature clumps. I registered it at 60" because that is the average, not the tallest possible, which isn't consistent enough in my experience to be considered anything beyond an occasional bonus. The scapes are moderately branched, averaging four branches on mature clumps. Two or three is average the first year after the plant is divided. I have noted repeatedly that this plant recovers quickly from division. I have seen no rhizomatous behavior to speak of, though I do occasionally see a fan a few inches from the outer edge of the clump. 

'Spice' is the largest green wave in this picture. Featured in the center, left, you can see the massive plant towering over everything else around it in mid-May. Enlarge the picture to see a larger image of this picture and really look at how large this plant is!

By the end of the season, the straggler fans just look like part of the clump, and don't look like freestanding fans. The growth pattern I have observed is consistently a large clump. The clump above, photographed in 2018, was planted there in 2012 and has only had a few small divisions taken off the outer edges of it over the years. Otherwise the clump has never been touched and there is no fan die-out in the center of the clump. You can see in the picture (2 above) that the scapes are thickest toward the center of the clump, indicating good fan growth in the middle of the clump. Also note the high fan to scape ratio. 

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.

(click above image for larger view)

Two seedlings (above) from The Spice Must Flow, both with Pacific Rainbow as pollen parent. These are just a couple of examples of pink and purple flowers with tall scapes, large flowers and large plants I have produced from The Spice Must Flow. Even in the seedling stage, right from germination, the seedlings of The Spice Must Flow are large and impressive, hinting at the giant proportions they might achieve. A warning... I suspect that an extended use of 'Spice' in your breeding program may result in blue eyes! I have seen a few blue-eyed seedlings so far, and I have been crossing the 'Spice' with blue-eyed lines, so will know more about the sustained use of 'Spice' within the next few years.

2022 Update
The Spice Must Flow Seedlings

2022 Introduction Spice Eyes 
My first introduction from The Spice Must Flow
Spice Eyes is from (Thingamabob x The Spice Must Flow)

Below are seedlings from The Spice Must Flow that flowered during the 2020 and 2021 flower seasons. Each image is of an individual seedling and illustrates the advances that are possible in one generation of backcrossing to fancy cultivars. In terms of form and color, The Spice Must Flow carries recessive genes for fancy, non-species coloring, and can throw a range of forms, depending on what it is mated with. In addition, The Spice Must Flow throws a high percentage of large seedlings with tall scapes.

The Spice Must Flow x Solaris Symmetry SDLG 1

The Spice Must Flow x Solaris Symmetry SDLG 2

The Spice Must Flow x Solaris Symmetry SDLG 3

The Spice Must Flow x Tetra Rose F. Kennedy SDLG

The Spice Must Flow x Pacific Rainbow

The Spice Must Flow x Divergent 

Below I will share some more information about the cross, the plant and my general observations and will post a plethora of pictures of it, as like any proud parent, I have a lot if its pictures from over the years.

This slide from my 2018 Monday Night Lights presentation details some basic information about sdlg IMPXBW2, before it gained its registry name. Click for larger image. 

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.






Note slight pattern visible in the eye in this picture. I usually see patterned blooms on a day or two every year, generally when the weather is cool.