Far Above The World
Bright canary yellow fading to creamy yellow with golden-yellow throat.
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From the first flower, I was excited about the seedling that became Far Above The World. It is so much more than I had expected when I made the cross. The idea was that I would combine Notify Ground Crew with Great White to bring in color lightening genes with tall height. I expected something of moderate height and medium yellow coloring with very simply flowers. I was really shocked to get this tall, pale and modern looking flower in the first generation. My guess, at the beginning, was that it would take two or three generations to get to this point. How pleasant to be proved wrong!
To begin, the plant itself of Far Above The World is huge. The only plant I grow that is larger is my introduction The Spice Must Flow, though the scapes of Far Above The World are taller than those of The Spice Must Flow. Hybridized in 2011 and germinated late in the summer of that same year, Far Above The World went through all five years of my rust resistance screening, scoring A+ all five years. Boy, was I ecstatic at the end of each season when this seedling had yet again made it through without a speck of rust!
The scapes reached their mature height the second year the plant flowered, reaching heights above 60" that year. I am registering the scapes at 68", because that is the average height, and with 7 branches, because that is also the average number of branches. In every mature clump there will be a few scapes shorter than the average at around 60" - 65", and with 6 branches and 30 - 32 buds. However, in every mature clump there will also be scapes above the 68" average, some up to 74" and with as many as 8 - 9 branches and 40+ buds. A mature clump is truly a breathtaking sight!
The thrips resistance of Far Above The World is also very good, as is the rust resistance, and it shows good breeding value for both traits. The foliage is dormant, just slightly semi-evergreen here in warm winters, but I think anyone would consider this a dormant and register it as such. However, I also suspect that the plant will survive and likely flourish in warm-winter gardens because of the bit of above ground foliage I have seen in warm winters. In cold winters, the plant dies back completely and goes fully dormant. I have never seen summer dormancy, a trait I cull against vigorously. The clump remains intact for several years without requiring division, forming a large clump that does not die out in the middle and deteriorate, with scape to fan ratio declining. This allows the grower to leave Far Above The World in place for many years and form a truly imposing display.
The flowers start the day a bright, light true yellow then fade through the day, finishing as a pale cream with golden throat. The effect is gorgeous - glowing like the sunrise in the morning, then like the bright sunlight at midday, and then cool with a sunset throat for evening. The flower is an extended bloomer, beginning to open after sunset, gradually opening through the whole night, fully open at sunrise and then lasting all through the day and on into the evening after dark. The flower is open over 24 hours. The substance is excellent and it is not damaged by sunlight, rain or high heat.
The final aspect of Far Above The World I want to touch on is the breeding ability. One might assume that "just another yellow" won't breed beautiful flowers in a range of anthocyanic tones, but Far Above The World, owing to Great White as pollen parent, is carrying genes that make the melon-based, near-white background coloring that allows for clean, clear anthocyanic colors in pastel tones of pink and lavender, as well as cream and melon tones. Not only are the seedlings showing attractive flowers, but they are also showing the large plants, tall scapes and nice branching and bud counts of Far Above The World. Below are a few of my favorites.