Sunday, January 5, 2020

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.

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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