Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020 Introductions

Sun Dragon Daylilies 
Spring 2020 Introductions

For a complete list of available daylilies and pricing, click here.

I am very proud of this new group of 2020 introductions. All thirteen introductions for this year are diploids and all have been screened through multiple years of testing in my garden. They are a bright and bold collection of great plants both for the garden and for use in breeding programs. I hope you enjoy growing and breeding from them as much as I have!

For more information on any of these daylilies, just click on the name below the picture to go to the individual information page for that cultivar. Be sure to read the whole page, as they are fairly long with multiple pictures, and I give a lot of information on each cultivar. I also show seedlings for many of them on the information page. Enjoy!

For a complete list of available daylilies and pricing, click here.

Feathered Dragon

Feathered Dragon
(Sdlg# TFFTCLF19)

2020 - Reeder - Diploid - 
(Texas Feathered Fancy x Tanimbar Cockatoo) x Lavender Feathers - 
28" scape - 6.5" flower - 5 branches - 25 buds - Midseason - Rebloom - Dormant - Unusual Form (crispate/pinched) - Cristate

Medium lavender petals with blue-lavender eye above green throat becoming chartreuse as it merges into the eye, cristations showing very bluish tips.

For a complete list of available daylilies and pricing, click here.

Feathered Dragon is a beautiful and exotic flower, combining the pinched crispate unusual form with the sculpted cristation trait. The lovely bright lavender color with bluish tones, especially in the eye and at the ends of the cristations, all above the big green and chartreuse throat, is extremely striking. Combining the lineage of Texas Feathered Fancy through both parents with Brian Mahieu's lovely Tanimbar Cockatoo on the pod parent side, Feathered Dragon brings new possibility to the cristate style, especially for those who wish to take the trait in the direction of unusual forms and spider type. The pollen parent, Lavender Feathers, which I introduced in 2016, is a great plant with extremely high rust resistance. The pod parent also showed this same extremely high rust resistance, and Feathered Dragon shows this as well.

2015 first year of flower baby picture

Feathered Dragon derives from my 2013 breeding season and so went through three years of rust resistance screening (2014, 2015 and 2016), rating the highest rating (A+) all three years. From the first flower, this one was a standout. As you can see in the picture above it was gorgeous from its first year. Like its pollen parent, Lavender Feathers, it shows cristation 100% of the time, though as with all cristate types, the exact size of the cristation can vary somewhat. At times, it honestly has a few more lines of cristation than I prefer, but it has so many other good traits, I can look over that. Of course, that will appeal to a lot of other people.

2016, second year of flowering - closeup of cristations. Here, photographed near sunset, the bluish coloring is accentuated by the lighting, but there is considerable bluish coloring to the lavender-purple flower, especially in the eye, regardless of lighting or time of day.

Feathered Dragon isn't just a beautiful flower though. The plant is also beautiful and shows great, dark green foliage along with very good increase. Combined with the extremely high rust resistance, this makes for a really stunning plant for the home garden or collector's garden. In test mating, I have seen many seedlings from Feathered Dragon showing the same fine plant traits. The foliage is dormant and displays the desirable trait of going into dormancy and staying dormant until fairly late in the spring, however, it doesn't show any summer dormancy. It shows moderately high resistance to late spring freezes. The plant also shows rebloom every year in my garden, which is another advancement over both of its parents.

2017, third year of flowering, showing the very high thrip resistance. If you look closely at this picture enlarged, you can see a few thrips on the petals, but there is almost no damage to the flower. This picture is in full sun in mid-evening.

Feathered Dragon shows very high resistance to thrips, showing little thrips damage even when they are heavily present. There is very little damage to the buds and very little bud drop when the thrips are heavy. The flower can show some mild spotting from heavy rains, but the flower has good substance and holds up well to sun and rain. Of great importance too, is that Feathered Dragon is very fertile both ways, setting pods easily and displaying very fertile pollen. This has allowed me to use it widely in my own breeding work and makes it an easy and generous parent.

2018, fourth year of flowering,  after a full day in 100 degree weather, showing the resilience of the flower to high heat and sun. While the color has faded slightly, it is still strongly pigmented, showing the strong bluish color in the eye and retaining a good deal of green in the chartreuse throat.

Feathered Dragon shows consistently excellent branching, both in my poor soil conditions and in the richer conditions of my mother's garden, and this is a big advance over both of its parents. It shows this excellent branching on its rebloom scapes here in my garden, as well. The picture below shows line-out double or triple fans in 2019 that had been divided and lined out in the fall of 2018. I had been seeing this incredible branching since the first flowering in 2015, but I was prepared for the branching to be greatly reduced on the first-year line outs after I divided the original clump, which is usual for most daylilies. However, I was simply blown away when every division of the line outs produced the normal five to six-way branched scapes in their first year, and went on to produce rebloom scapes, as well! That is unusual and exceptional, and very exciting! The bud count is high, and was on the first-year line outs, as well. With the high resistance to thrips, the large number of buds hold on well without bud drop, don't show enations and display beautiful flowers.

2019 the amazing scapes on first-year line out divisions

Feathered Dragon shows excellent breeding value for all of its good traits, producing a high number of seedlings combining many of its excellent traits. Both of its parents have been excellent plants, so it is not too surprising to me that Feathered Dragon has many good traits. However, it exceeds both of its parents for the number of good traits in one plant and shows some advancements over both of its parents, such as its rebloom and high branch and bud counts. In this regard, it is a combination of the best traits of both parents concentrated into one plant, and showing advancements. With that concentration of traits and advancements, Feathered Dragon can produce significant progress as a breeder in a wide range of programs.

Pod parent (Tanimbar Cockatoo x Texas Feathered Fancy)

Pollen parent - My 2016 introduction Lavender Feathers

Feathered Dragon's parents are both beautiful flowers with excellent plants, but Feathered Dragon takes their many good traits to a new level, with a more advanced plant and flower, combined with the high resistance to rust of both parents and better thrips resistance than either parent. I can't say enough good things about Feathered Dragon, and I honestly considered not introducing it, to keep it as my own secret breeder, but it is too good not to share. In the picture below, you can see that the flowers are large, unusual and striking. This picture was taken late in the afternoon on a day when there had been heavy rain in the morning and hot sun throughout the afternoon. You can see that the flower holds up well and still looks good. I think Feathered Dragon will be both popular and an important parent for years to come.

2019 flowers after a morning of hard rain on first-year line outs

Substantial Angel

Substantial Angel
(Sdlg# SEHAI1)

2020 - Reeder - Diploid - 
Substantial Evidence x Heavenly Angel Ice - 
28" scape - 6" flower - 3 branches - 12 buds - Midseason - Rebloom - Dormant

Flat flower with prominent ruffling, extremely pale, icy lavender-pink above large green throat blending into chartreuse extending far onto petals and sepals.

For a complete list of available daylilies and pricing, click here.

Substantial Angel is a soft, sweet touch of pastel glory in the garden. With the flat form of Substantial Evidence and the pastel clarity of Heavenly Angel Ice, this is one flower filled with celestial beauty, but it is more than just a pretty face. Deriving from my 2012 breeding season, Substantial Angel went through the last four years of my rust resistance screening program rating A+ consistently in each year. The plant is one of the so-called "hard" dormant types that goes underground in the winter and forms a bud that doesn't emerge until fairly late in the spring. In spite of the strong dormancy, I have never seen it show summer dormancy.

The foliage is a nice medium green and the flower and buds show moderately high resistance to thrips. The plant shows fairly high resistance to late spring freezes and there is excellent increase, with the plant recovering well from division. There is rebloom in my garden each year. The fertility is very high both ways.

The color of Substantial Angel is very interesting. I consider it a pale, icy pink when viewed in person, but it always seems to photograph as a near-white or a pale lavender. Some people upon viewing it in person call it a near-white, while some call it pale pink and yet others call it pale lavender. The eye of the beholder... I registered it as a lavender-pink, sort of as a compromise. I have rarely seen it be what I would call a near-white, but I have seen that on rare occasions. The throat though is always huge and very bright green moving out to chartreuse, with a lot of chartreuse shaded throughout the flower as an undertone to the petals and sepals.

The picture above shows Substantial Angel's baby picture from its first year of flowering. I was simply blown away when it first flowered. I had made the cross to combine the flat form, high rust resistance and great plant traits of Substantial Evidence with the great color dilution and clarity, as well as the extremely high rust resistance, of Heavenly Angel Ice, while hoping to also improve the plant traits of HAI, which is not the best plant ever in my garden. I expected to get some advances from the cross, but I didn't expect to get this great flower, and certainly not to get it on a really good plant as well. 

Substantial Angel shows very good breeding value for all its many desirable traits. It is very fertile both ways and has good breeding value for its many gorgeous flower traits and its many excellent plant traits. I have produced a good number of seedlings that show "hard" dormancy, extremely high rust resistance, very clear colored flat flowers and rebloom, some just showing one or two of these traits and a few showing all of them combined as in the parent. Substantial Angel is an excellent garden plant and is a great breeder for a wide range of traits that are important to many modern diploid programs.

Substantial Princess

Substantial Princess
(Sdlg# NPSE11)

2020 - Reeder - Diploid - 
Navajo Princess x Substantial Evidence - 
28" scape - 4.5" flower - 3 branches - 11 buds - early-midseason - Rebloom - Dormant 

Strong rebloom, very flat flower of light pink with dark pink eye above wide, bright green throat.

For a complete list of available daylilies and pricing, click here.

Truly a Substantial Princess, and descended from two royal lines, this stunning flower is pure magic! With the look of the mother and the form of the father, the flower is even more striking than either parent. Yet, the stunning flower isn't all this diva has to offer. Below the breathtaking flower is a stunning plant that is, in my opinion, a major breakthrough for the combination of a host of excellent plant traits into one plant. As I list the many good traits, you are going to think I am exaggerating, but I am not. This one is just magic!

Substantial Princess is from my 2011 breeding season and is a full sibling to Barbie's Dream Flower. A select breeder from the first flower, as time went on I came to realize what an amazing plant is under that stunning flower.

First flower baby picture from 2013

The flower is stunning, with the lighter pink petals and the dark pink eye above the big green throat. The form is great, with a very open and flat flower. This flower was what I had in mind when I made the cross, but it exceeded my expectation to get it in the first generation.

The flowers of Substantial Princess start the day out with deeper, richer colored petals that lighten as the day goes on, but the flower doesn't melt and shows excellent sun and rain resistance. The substance of the flower is thick and it holds up very well. It also shows extremely high resistant to thrips, so the flowers consistently look good, even on the first round of scapes in the early-midseason.

End of day 8:45 pm photo from 102 degree F day

On very hot days the flower will fade out more, but even on extremely hot and sunny days the throat retains a lot of green coloring (picture above). On days of less extreme heat, the green throat can hold completely, while the petals will still lighten during the day to a soft, baby pink (picture below).

End of day 8:30 pm photo from a day in the mid-80s

On cloudy or cooler days, the throat holds completely and the petals remain darker (picture below).

End of day 8:40 pm photo from cloudy day with heavy rain that morning

The flower of Substantial Princess is so stunning that you just want to focus on it, but a glance further down and the great plant comes into focus. The foliage is low growing, dark green and attractive. The foliage is also very dormant, but has never shown summer dormancy. The foliage dies back in the late fall after strong freezes, forms a resting bud and doesn't emerge until late in the spring. Once the foliage emerges, it shows good resistance to late spring freezes. The foliage also shows extremely high resistance to rust, being rated A+ for resistance in all five years of my rust resistance screening program. The plant shows excellent increase and recovers quickly and well from being divided.

Here you can see the attractive, low growing plant with its nice, healthy, dark green foliage

In addition to the great foliage traits and resistance to rust, Substantial Princess is also a strong rebloomer, showing both instant rebloom and late summer to fall rebloom. I have seen it rebloom every year here and some years there are two rounds of scapes on the late season rebloom. While the branching and bud count is not off-the-charts, the high level of rebloom means that there are a lot of flowers throughout the season.

In the picture above, from 2018, you can see the first round of scapes starting to flower and a second round of instant rebloom scapes down in the foliage. This picture is nice because there were extremely severe late spring freezes in spring of 2018 and you can see that the foliage still looks good, even though there is some mild damage on the tips of the older leaves, and the branching and bud count is reduced. The important point though is that the plant still looks good and is still blooming, producing two rounds of scapes. I had many plants that didn't even bloom in the early part of the season that year! This makes Substantial Princess a great garden plant, in addition to being an advanced flower of interest to collectors and breeders.

A stunning flower, with a beautiful, hardy plant and rebloom makes for a wonderful display, but Substantial Princess also has much to offer breeding programs for many traits

In addition to all the traits I have mentioned above, Substantial Princess is also an amazing breeder, passing its many good traits easily to its seedlings, and even producing seedlings with the combination of many good traits that it displays. First of all, Substantial Princess is extremely fertile both ways and will easily set pods on almost every flower you pollinate. It sets equally well from the first scapes through the last scapes in early fall, allowing you to use it in a wide range of the overall season. 

Second, the breeding value for the flower traits is very high, and I have produced many seedlings that build upon and advance the fine flower traits seen in Substantial Princess. In addition, the high resistance to thrips shows excellent breeding value and so many of the seedlings have shown high resistance to thrips. The sun and rain resistance also shows excellent breeding value, as does the heavy substance of the flower and the flat, open form. I have produced a range of flower sizes from Substantial Princess. Even though the flowers are small, I have produced large flowers and I have also produce mini flowers, so Substantial Princess is useful in breeding a wide range of flower sizes. Below are three seedlings from Substantial Princess, each different but showing the look of Substantial Princess taken into different, interesting and even more extreme directions. 

Third, Substantial Princess has high breeding value for its many fine plant traits. It has proven to have excellent breeding value for rust resistance and has produced an exceptionally large number of seedlings in my program that have shown high levels of this trait. The fine plant appearance is passed to many seedlings and you see the low foliage and dark green coloring in many of its offspring. The nice dormancy with late spring reemergence and good resistance to late spring freezes shows up in many of its seedlings when it is crossed to other dormant types. When bred to evergreen or semi-evergreen plants, you will see evergreen and semi-evergreen foliage types, though if the partner is heterozygous for any dormancy traits, you can see those types, as well. This makes it useful from breeding in both warm-winter and cold-winter programs. Finally, the strong rebloom has shown up in many of its seedlings, especially when crossed to other rebloomers or plants carrying the rebloom genes. I can't stress enough what an amazing breeder, and for a wide range of desirable traits, Substantial Princess has been here for me. Royalty, indeed!

I don't know how far north Substantial Princess may be hardy. Her mother, Navajo Princess, can be tender and touchy in the cold winters of the far north. I have only tested Substantial Princess into zone 5, in a fairly protected area, where she has flourished, but I don't know how much further north she will flourish or if she will flourish in a more exposed setting in zone 5. In spite of the "hard" dormancy though, Substantial Princess is flourishing in zone 8. I don't know how it would do in hotter climates, but I know it is good in most gardens in zones 6-8 (and at least protected areas in zone 5), which is a nice range and suggests it may do well even further in both directions. If you are further north, Substantial Princess might be worth growing in a greenhouse just to get its many good genes all combined in one plant. If you are further south, it might be worth growing Substantial Princess to use the pollen on your evergreen plants to incorporate the many fine genes into your program. I just can't say enough good things about Substantial Princess. I think she is one of my best introductions so far.

Feathered Flamingo

Feathered Flamingo
(Sdlg# TFFTCLF23)

2020 - Reeder - Diploid - 
(Texas Feathered Fancy x Tanimbar Cockatoo) x Lavender Feathers - 
29" scape - 6" flower - 2 branches - 9 buds - Midseason - Rebloom - Dormant - Unusual Form (crispate/pinched) - Cristate

Light pink with lighter, near white midribs above green to chartreuse throat, cristations chartreuse with pink on tips.

For a complete list of available daylilies and pricing, click here.

Feathered Flamingo is a full sibling to Feathered Dragon, and is a gorgeous flower of stunning clear pink, with both lighter and darker tones combined with cream highlights. The parents are both excellent plants with gorgeous flowers and both show extremely high rust resistance, as does Feathered Flamingo. From my 2013 breeding season, I saw the first flower on Feathered Flamingo in 2015 and knew it was a standout from the start. Like its sibling Feathered Dragon, Feathered Flamingo was tested through the last three years of my rust resistance screening program, showing the highest rating each year (A+).

2015 first year of flowering baby picture

Feathered Flamingo is a lovely pinched, crispate unusual form, giving it great interest in the garden. The cristation is a nice added bonus, and it is consistently cristate on 90%+ of the flowers. In the picture below you can see it on a day with the lowest expression, and even though I would say it isn't cristate that day, you can still see the raised areas on both sides of the midrib where the cristations emerge. One of my favorite traits about this plant is the heavy ruffling on the edges of the petals. It has shown this consistently since its first flower. I think that the heavy ruffling is a real bonus on such an interesting flower.

2017 showing lowest level of cristation that I have seen, but still a stunning flower.

Feathered Flamingo has been very rust resistant with good resistance to thrips. It is fertile both ways, with excellent pollen allowing it to be used far and wide in a breeding program, but it does have a couple of drawbacks that almost kept me from introducing it, even though I have used it a lot as a breeder. Over time I came to realize that the branching and bud counts are low, the foliage is not as gorgeous as its parents or impressive sibling, Feathered Dragon, and the increase is poor. Not enough to knock it out of breeding in my program, but it made it questionable for introduction. However, everyone who has seen it in my garden has flipped out over it and asked me to introduce it, so for all those who have asked, here it is! In fact, so many people want it, I suspect it is already sold out before I can even get it listed. I am planning to keep one fan for my own breeding, and with the slow increase, it may be a long time before I have any more to offer, though I may well have some better increasing seedlings to introduce on down the line. It will be interesting to see if Feathered Flamingo shows better increase in other gardens, and I look forward to hearing how it does in other garden environments.

With the negatives out of the way, now let's talk about the wonderful breeding traits of Feathered Flamingo. The flower is stunning, and the plant shows high rust and thrips resistance, as well as rebloom. Even though the increase is slow, it is very hardy and resilient and went through five years in an extremely crowded seedling row where it showed no problem competing with larger, stronger, faster increasing plants. The foliage is dormant and fully rests in the winter, only emerging fairly late in the spring, and shows no summer dormancy. I have seen rebloom most years since it first flowered. Those are all very valuable traits, and as both of its parents show better increase, I suspected I could get seedlings from it that showed better increase combined with its many good traits, and on a prettier plant with better branching/bud count. 

Pod parent (Tanimbar Cockatoo x Texas Feathered Fancy)

Pollen parent - My 2016 introduction Lavender Feathers

In practice, I have found Feathered Flamingo to be very fertile both ways and so have been able to test it for breeding value. It passes its many good traits easily, and while you see some seedlings with its negative traits, you also see seedlings that show improvements in those traits. Feathered Flamingo has produced seedlings in my program that show very attractive foliage, higher branching/bud count and good increase, in addition to showing the good traits such as bright, clear coloring, high rust and thrips resistance and rebloom. I think Feathered Flamingo will be a valuable breeder for those who get a chance to use it.