Saturday, July 27, 2019

Container Daylilies

Container Daylilies

Mardi Gras Parade

Short Diploids 
(preferably with Reblooming traits)

This group is something I have been interested in for some time, but I haven't been able to give it the focus I wanted until recently. Once the 5-year rust resistance screening was over, that gave me both the base material to start this program and the time to start it. For me, just picking some shortish daylilies and putting them in a pot isn't really what I am looking for here. I am looking at this as an entire system of rearing, selection and breeding.

I suspect that to produce excellent container daylilies, they need to be grown and selected in containers from the beginning. To start this program, I have been experimenting with growing short daylilies in containers to see what flourishes in containers over several years. I have been making a few breedings with those plants and have been raising the seedlings in containers. I will be selecting the most vigorous of those seedlings to continue forward with to see if this program has potential.

Substantial Returns has shown excellent growth in containers.

All the reblooming introductions I have introduced so far have shown good application for container growing.

A lovely seedling from Mardi Gras Parade that shows good potential for this program.

These (Early & Often x Army of Darkness) sdlgs have shown good performance in containers. I have only recently begun raising their seedlings in containers, but so far, they have shown good germination in containers.

I have been growing a division of Lavender Feathers in a container since 2016. It has done well so far and hasn't shown any winter damage. I have been growing seedlings from Lavender Feathers in containers for several years with good success. Fingers crossed that I can take the rich purple of Lavender Feathers in this direction.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Phenotype Remontant (reblooming)


Remontant (reblooming) traits fall across a range of sizes and multiple family lines within my program, with some lines not being related or even similar - i.e., Vorlon Revelation - a large plant with unusual form flowers and tall scapes - vs - short daylilies for borders or containers such as Substantial Glow or Early Symphony. This section does not represent a single family line, but all the areas where rebloom has been significant or is available from heterozygous sources within my over all diploid program.

Vorlon Revelation shows reliable rebloom here in my zone 6 garden and its offspring show many reblooming individuals.

While Frans Hals rarely reblooms, I have seen it do so occasionally, but Soul of the South is a reliable rebloomer here and so are many of the seedlings deriving from crossing the two. Some also include Endless Heart in the ancestry, and many of these show repeated rebloom.

This seedling from Navajo Princess x Substantial Evidence has shown rebloom every year since it first flowered. Some of its siblings show rebloom as well, but this one has been the most reliable. It is also one of the so-called "hard dormant" types, showing strong senescence of foliage, resting buds through winter and late emergence in the spring. I think this one will be very useful for breeding northern reblooming types.

Now registered as 'Flamingos On Ice', this is another one that reliably reblooms here and that has produced a significant number of seedlings that do so too.  In addition to the interesting possibilities with color and form, this one is an excellent breeder for rebloom on medium height scapes.

The seedling above is now registered as Phoenician Royalty. It is an excellent plant and flower, but it is also a strong rebloomer, showing remontant behavior here every year. I have also seen several seedlings from Phoenician Royalty that have consistently rebloomed here. An excellent breeder for rebloom on large plants with tall scapes! The two seedlings in the slide below have been consistent rebloomers, amongst their many other good traits.

My 2018 introduction Ziggy Played Guitar has been very popular. In addition to the high disease resistance and stunning flower, it is a consistent rebloomer, and has been here since its first year of flower in 2011. I have numerous reblooming seedlings from Ziggy.

Substantial Evidence rarely reblooms for me, but it consistently throws reblooming seedlings, a trait it has shown here and for many other people who have worked with it. Richard Norris has introduced rebloomers from this family line, and his 'Ashwood Wray of Sunshine' is a strong rebloomer. I have produced numerous reblooming seedlings from working with Substantial Evidence.

Knowing Substantial Evidence carried reblooming genes, I crossed it with Stella De Oro. I got surprisingly good results that resulted in three introductions - Substantial Glow, Substantial Returns and Substantial Substance. All three show rebloom here, and excellent performance with flat, open flowers in bright colors. All three are breeding interesting flowers and reblooming traits.

2019 introduction Wabi Sabi is a Substantial Evidence seedling that has shown consistent rebloom here in my garden. Another Substantial Evidence seedling that shows wonderfully weird flowers and reliable rebloom, I have multiple seedlings from it that show remontant behavior.

This wonderful seedlings is from reliably reblooming Early Sympathy x Wabi Sabi. It has rebloomed every year since first flower.

I intentionally bred for reblooming traits early on in my diploid program, looking for more understanding of how the traits work for future breeding application. The four introductions in the slide above all show rebloom and involve plants of known breeding value for rebloom, even in colder, northern climates.

Those reblooming introductions above are all producing their own reblooming offspring.

While they almost never rebloom, the seedlings in the slide above are very important in my opinion. Extremely high rust resistance through all five years of screening and the highest thrip resistance I have ever found in any early flowering diploid. With Early & Often as one parent, these seedlings do throw reblooming seedlings, which is just one more good trait for which they show breeding value.

These are F2 seedlings from mating the F1 seedlings with each other - sibling matings. This was to test for rust and thrip resistance variables, and to see the recessive traits such as reblooming and dark scapes re-emerge. Several showed strong rebloom. Rust resistance and thrip resistance has been very high in these seedlings.

The seedlings above are the cross of Darrel Apps' reblooming Endless Heart x the (Early & Often x Army of Darkness) sdlgs. Lots of rebloom amongst these seedlings.

The clump above and the individual flower picture below are from the same seedling (Substantial Evidence x Kaleidoscopic Intrigue), which sometimes shows this really strong patterning. An evergreen that is hardy, if not vigorous, here in my zone 6 garden, it was extremely rust resistant through all five years of my screening program, and it also shows reliable rebloom here every year.

I crossed the (Substantial Evidence x Kaleidoscopic Intrigue) sdlg with the (Early & Often x Army of Darkness) sdlgs in 2016. I saw the first flowers on those seedlings in 2018. Below are couple that I especially liked. Several of these rebloomed in 2018. Thrip resistance was good in these as well. Most were early-early and early flowering.

Reblooming is a complex phenotype that seems to involve many genes. Rebloom seems to be much easier to achieve in warm-winter climates. Typically, the higher the USDA zone number the more things will rebloom, while the lower the USDA zone number the fewer things that will rebloom. What reblooms in my zone 6 garden may not rebloom in someone else's zone 5 or 4 garden. That is one reason I made an effort early on to bring in things that were known to show rebloom in zones colder than mine. However, to know if plants from my breeding program will rebloom consistently in colder climates, I will need to hear from people growing them there. Rebloom is an important trait to me at both the diploid and tetraploid level, but it is not something I can focus on exclusively. As more and more reblooming plants are made final selections amongst my base plants, I will be able to give this trait more focus, and I am always considering it, often crossing it into lines without it wherever I can.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Understanding My Program Through My Introductions

Understanding My Program 
Through My Introductions

There have been two main branches within my breeding program from 2011 to the present. The first has been toward attempting to identify plants with rust resistance, while the second has been toward novel flower and plant traits. A third area of interest that has always been present for me is strong foliage dormancy. This third area is now beginning to take on more prominence in my program, as the dormant x evergreen crosses I originally made are now starting to produce seedlings showing dormancy through backcrossing them to other strongly dormant plants, and I have seedlings deriving from strongly dormant and highly rust resistant plants to work with, as well. 

In some instances these two main groups overlap. In the early part of my program, for instance, there was a focus on rust resistance selection through the five-year screening program I practiced as I made my original selections toward breeding stock, and so there was less focus strictly on foliage behavior, as some of the most resistant plants were evergreen to semi-evergreen. However, some resistant plants are dormant, and some strongly so. The rust tested plants span a five year period of testing with five test levels (1-5 years) and wherever known, the rust resistance averages of all plants are given. 

In time, my program will shift more toward polyploidy and dormancy with modern and novel flowers, hopefully built upon a base of the most resistant "hard dormants" I have been able to identify and successfully breed from during the five years of the screening program, though I will probably always keep some select lines of rust resistant, hardy semi-evergreens and semi-dormants that can thrive in warm-winter climates. Further, all of the extremely dormant types do not have to be rust resistant, as it is actually fairly irrelevant for most cold-winter gardens, where winter freezes kill any rust that may occur. However, rust resistance can't hurt those high-dormancy types, when it is there, now can it? :-) 


In the meantime, I have a wide range of select seedlings from the five years of my screening program in trials to select for superior plant traits and potential introduction. Some of these will become future introductions. There will likely always be plants introduced that are for breeders and collectors, as I can't breed daylilies and not be into the flowers and the potential to make flower traits more extreme, or to combine flower traits in new ways. In my program so far, there has been some of both types introduced, with a bit of overlap.

The plants that I have introduced so far represent my first generation of base plants bred from select base plants by other hybridizers and/or species clones in order to start my program

The two lists below look at the cultivars that are stand-outs in either of those two main groups.

Rust Resistance Selects 2016 - 2019
  1. Substantial Returns
  2. Lavender Feathers
  3. Substantial Substance
  4. Substantial Glow
  5. Substantial Heart
  6. Early Symphony
  7. Ziggy Played Guitar
  8. Vorlon Oddity
  9. Contemplation Of Chaos
  10. Korean Queen
  11. Eos At Dawn
  12. Temple Of Bacchus
  13. Korean Mother Of Pink
  14. Korean Mother Of Purple
  15. Wabi Sabi
  16. Wookie Goddess

Flower/Plant Selects 2016 - 2019
  1. Mount Doom
  2. Vorlon Encounter Suit
  3. Vorlon Revelation
  4. Elizabethan Fantasia
  5. Flamingos On Ice
  6. Phoenician Royalty
  7. The Spice Must Flow
  8. Lavender Feathers
  9. Ziggy Played Guitar
  10. Vorlon Oddity
  11. Korean Queen
  12. Temple Of Bacchus
  13. Wabi Sabi
  14. Wookie Goddess

Of course, I select all intros for exceptional flowers, either for strong landscape qualities and/or advanced flower traits. In my work with all my plants I have tried to have a focus toward interesting and eye-catching flowers combined with nice plant traits, along with the ability to reproduce their good traits. However, certain flowers like Mount Doom, Vorlon Revelation, Wabi Sabi or other introductions are advanced phenotype combinations that are unique or rare, where an introduction like Substantial Substance or Substantial Glow isn't a cutting-edge flower phenotype, as there are tetraploid cultivars that are very similar in how the flowers look, but the extremely thick substance and durability of the flower combined with the high rust resistance makes both an advancement and rarity in the diploids, and so a valuable plant for landscape purposes as well as important breeders for advancing fancy-flower breeding programs. There are many ways in which a plant can be "cutting edge". While many people only relate the term "cutting edge" to flower phenotypes, the truth is that there are many areas in the daylily that can stand improvements, and so improvements in those areas can be "cutting edge", even when the flower superficially looks like a flower that you have seen before. 

For a current listing of my introductions click here.