The Daylily BReeder Blog is a non-commercial blog where I discuss my approach to field testing, breeding and selection. This blog is a public diary where I am making a record of the development of my own breeding program and the methods I have employed to accomplish that task. Nothing herein is instructional, rather illustrative and anecdotal. It is my sincerest hope that you choose breeding strategies that keep you interested and engaged!
Reverse bicolor, pink, with sepals of medium pink with sepal edges of rich rose and pale pink petals with darker veins, band of rose and lavender to bluish streaks with lavender midrib above chartreuse throat.
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Vorlon Oddity is weird, wonderful, changeable and hard to define from day-to-day. The plant emerged from seeds I bought on the Lily Auction in 2010. I bought the cross because I thought they would be cool, and UF of some type. Only later did I learn that both parents are very rust resistant. What alerted me to that was the consistently high resistance the seedlings of this cross showed in my garden from the very first year of my screening program. In fact, it was the extreme resistance the seedlings showed in the first year of rust screening (2012) that made me bring in both parents to further test and use in the fall of 2012. Vorlon Oddity has tested extremely resistant through all five years of my screening program. Both parents are highly resistant as well, and you can read about them by clicking either link:
The entire group of seedlings produced interesting flowers, but this one has been a standout in many ways from the first. The flower is strange and sculptural, highly variable, and always striking. The scape is also tall at 36", though I have seen it shorter in shade and taller in rich soil with full sun. It will grow well in shade, but it won't be as tall or branched. The foliage is dark and looks nice. The pod parent has foliage I consider to be unattractive and many of the seedlings also showed foliage much like the pod parent, ruling them out of selection. Most of the siblings also showed short scapes, like the pod parent, but this one was consistently taller than the rest from the first year of flowering.
The flower is a lovely light cream color. The sepals are then layered with dark pink/lavender, strongest at the outer edges, and the petals have a stippled eye of lavender and pink above the large throat and the midrib is layered over with a bright, clear lavender stripe. The color can vary in intensity from day to day, and there are some days where you see heavier stippling and/or mild broken pattern.
The flower form combines with the pleasing coloring to create a really odd and striking effect, as if alternately a small flock of some alien bird is hovering over the dark green foliage or the plant is an exotic orchid. Some days it quills the sepals. Other days it is wildly quilled and pinched, looking like something alien. On other days it cascades and curls. Some days it has a partial trumpet shape that is quite sculptural, with the partially spatulate petals curling back looking very much like an orchid flower. It is always nice to look at though, regardless of the form, and it has shown to be an excellent breeder for me, both for plant traits and flower traits.
The rust resistance of Vorlon Oddity is excellent, and remained consistently extremely high through the entire five year resistance screening program, making it an five-year A+ level. As well, it has shown excellent breeding value for rust resistance, and should be very useful for people looking to combine fancy, unusual form flowers in pastel colors with high rust resistance.
In addition to the excellent breeding value for rust resistance, Vorlon Oddity is a wonderful breeder for color clarity and a wide range of colors and patterns, as well as a wide range of interesting forms, especially UF and narrow forms. The slide below is from my 2018 Monday Night Lights presentation on Facebook. There you can see a range of interesting seedlings from Vorlon Oddity. (click for larger image)
The seedlings below is from Vorlon Oddity x Ziggy Played Guitar. It has been a favorite for the last few years. You can see it in the center of the slide above. That picture is from 2017, while the one below is from 2018. Extremely rust resistant, the plant is large and attractive. The flower is very large and quite attractive.
Below is a MNL 2018 slide showing Vorlon Oddity and the other select sibling (which is likely to be introduced at some point in the future, and is very special in its own way). The branching and bud counts discussed in that slide are the extreme high end, and are not the averages, which are the registry numbers.
(click for larger image)
I have grown Vorlon Oddity since 2011, so I have seen it in many weather variables and have grown it in several locations. It is an excellent increaser and recovers quickly from division. I have never seen a clump exhaust in the middle and 'go-to-grass'. The foliage is registered as dormant, and the plant does go dormant in my garden every year, but I have some feedback that further south this one remains more "semi-dormant" or somewhat semi-evergreen. I think it can be useful in breeding in locations with warm-weather winters, as it seems to be able to survive. I hope to hear feedback on how it does in other gardens.
Scroll through the pictures below for more images and information.
2015 on a cool morning, the stippled and rayed eye is very striking on most days and really shows up well in this picture.
A very 'vorlon' day - Quilled and pinched, and very orchid-like. Note the rebloom scapes rising up under the mature, flowering scapes. 2015 saw very good instant and late season rebloom on Vorlon Oddity. I have seen occasional rebloom in the hybridizing garden, but not as consistent as I would require to register it as "reblooming" (which is why I didn't), but it will occasionally do this and it breeds seedlings that rebloom well here.
An open day with little of the trumpet form we see on other days, this picture shows a clump in full sun in a seedling bed. The scapes were up to 48" on this clump that year, but I have never seen them that tall before or since. I am guessing it will produce these taller scapes at times, and I have a good number of consistently tall seedlings from it.
I jokingly call the look above "pinched quilled orchid trumpet" :-)
I do love these very sculptural days. This picture above is one of the major variants I see, while the picture below is the other style, which I also joking call "open orchid trumpet". To me, the above has a hint of a Paphiopedilum feel to it, while the style below is more cattleya-like. Both are very interesting to look at in person. I have also seen variations of this form in the seedlings. Some, I think, are very promising.
With very high pod and pollen fertility, Vorlon Oddity is extremely easy to use in breeding, and with its many good traits, it will be a valuable mother plant in other programs.
This picture shows the lovely, "trumpet-orchid" look, as well as a granddaddy longlegs (Opiliones), but what is really interesting in the picture is the buds, showing the extent of damage they see from thrips in a very heavy infestation. This clump has been in a test location by my house since 2015, where it has grown in half-day shade, in dry, poorly-fertile soil on a slope where thee has always been an exceptionally active thrip population. Vorlon Oddity is not totally resistant to thrips, but it does show moderately high resistance and the picture above shows what that looks like. You can see the presence of some enations on the buds, but you can also see that they are not huge or in extremely high number, as one might see in highly susceptible plants. You can also see that because the buds remain tightly closed, the flower rarely shows heavy thrip damage, and honestly, with the stippling and broken pattern that is frequently seen, minor thrip damage is very hard to detect. I have crossed it to other plants with high thrip resistance and have seen excellent results in their offspring. All the pictures below are from 2018 and are of this test clump.
The scapes are shorter on this test clump with afternoon and evening shade. The branches are fewer and bud counts are lower, but the plant has a high scape to fan ratio and still makes a very nice display. In fact, it thrives in partial shade and in these conditions, just produce a smaller, more compact plant in those conditions. As you can see above, the flower still shows its interesting, "orchid-trumpet" form even in the shade.
Even with the reduced branching and bud count of the plant in shade, the clump still produces a significant number of bright, clear colored flowers and a nice display, providing attractive, dark green foliage after the flowers have passed. While it doesn't rebloom in this test garden, its has rebloomed in the seedling bed in 2015 and I have seen multiple reblooming seedlings from Vorlon Oddity.
Vorlon Oddity at sunset in the test bed.
A tough, attractive daylily offering clear, pastel colors, an attractive, disease-resistant plant, unusual and eye-catching flowers, and high garden-value combined with excellent breeding potential.