Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Elven Sunburst

 Elven Sunburst

(SDLG# AESD13-92)

2021 - Reeder - Tetraploid
Ancient Elf x Stardust Dragon
48" scape - 6" flower - 6 branches - 35 buds
Midseason - Dormant

Bright yellow fading to creamy yellow with yellow throat.

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This glorious bright yellow is branched like a tree and covered in flowers that look like the sun with rays reaching out in every direction. The name, Elven Sunburst, is in honor of the pod parent, which has been such an important base plant in my program, and the gorgeous sun-ray-like petals of the flower.

Hybridized in 2013 and germinated in 2014, Elven Sunburst went through the last three years of my rust resistance screening, showing an A+ rating in each of those years. Even before the first flower, I thought this one would be special, as the branching was noteworthy from the first season, but what really sealed the deal, in addition to the rust and thrips resistance, was the extreme pod fertility. Elven Sunburst will set pods easily and profusely. 

Branching! You can also see one of the flowers in the background on a quilled day. It does this on many flowers, but not on every one

The rust resistance and thrips resistance of Elven Sunburst are both excellent. I have only taken seedlings through the last year of my rust screening, and a good percentage were resistant. Thrips resistance, though, I have tested for every year and it passes good thrips resistance to many of its seedlings.

The foliage is a nice medium green, narrow and arching. The foliage behavior is dormant and it is a true dormant that only goes into dormancy after the first hard freezes and then stays under until spring in my garden. There is no summer dormancy. Elven Sunburst is a gorgeous plant throughout the growing season and shows good late freeze tolerance.

The growth and increase are fast, and the plants recover quickly from division. With the combination of rust and thrips resistance, fast growth and attractive foliage, Elven Sunburst is a wonderful garden plant.

The branching of Elven Sunburst, though, is simply glorious! Branched like a tree with wide, well-spaced branches that carry the many flowers nicely arranged and without crowding, the flowers float above the foliage on the tall scapes to make a breathtaking display in the garden. While I have registered it at 6 branches and 35 buds, I have seen instances of up to eight branches, or as few as five, and as many as 42 buds, or as few as 28 on some scapes. In any mature clump there will be many scapes with the registered average, and a few with the higher and lower ranges, as is usual with almost any daylily.

The fertility of Elven Sunburst is very high both ways, and this was a big triumph, in my opinion. I produced a large number of seedlings from this cross, and a good few had gorgeous flowers, and several had nice to very nice branching, but few had good pod fertility. I have found that to be a recurrent theme from using Stardust Dragon, which is pod difficult for me, and seems to pass that to the many of its seedlings, but luckily not all. Of the seedlings that showed high rust resistance, I kept four. This is the first one to be introduced. Of those four, two are pod fertile, and two are pod difficult. Branching is good to wonderful on all four and the flowers of all four are outstanding. Of course, the one with the most narrow petals and the palest coloring is the most pod difficult. Elven Sunburst shows the most extreme branching and pod fertility of the four.

Tree-like branching silhouetted against the evening sky

The seedlings of Elven Sunburst have been very exciting. Elven Sunburst is the most pod fertile of the four seedlings I retained, and so I have used it most heavily as a pod parent. It is one of those rare and wonderful breeders that will set a pod in nearly every flower pollinated. The colors of the seedlings though can run through a wide range of shades. You might just expect yellow seedlings from a yellow flowered parent, but with near-white Stardust Dragon as pollen parent, Elven Sunburst carries genes that clarify colors and can produce very pretty light pastel tones. Below are some examples of seedlings from Elven Sunburst.

Elven Sunburst x Alien DNA sdlg 1

Elven Sunburst x Alien DNA sdlg 2

Elven Sunburst x Solaris Symmetry sdlg 1

Elven Sunburst x Solaris Symmetry sdlg 1
branching on tall scapes on the above seedling

Elven Sunburst x Solaris Symmetry sdlg 2

Elven Sunburst x Thumbthing Special

Elven Sunburst is so much more than 'just another yellow', offering many important genetic traits for disease and pest resistance, plant traits and flower traits. It is an exciting plant in the garden, flowering over a long period of time and an exciting plant for the hybridizer, producing a lot of seedlings and many with very advanced plant traits, while retaining modern flowers with a range of beautiful colors.