My Late Blooming Daylilies
Years ago (it was actually close to three decades ago!), I started working with late blooming daylilies. At that time, there were not many late tets on the market, but there were late and very late dips. I chose to use Dr. Stout’s Autumn King (1950) which is a very late, tall (registered at 54” but I remember it being taller), yellow self. I much preferred the plant habit of Autumn Prince, but the flower of AK is larger, and that’s what I wanted…large flowered lates. I did try breeding AP with large flowers, but didn’t have any satisfactory results.
Anyone breeding plants the conventional way knows that sometimes what you choose as parents comes down to convenience. Since at the time I didn’t have many lates to cross with AK, I went with what was at hand. I used pollen from Heaven Can Wait (Ra Hansen 1990) which blooms mid-late. I honestly don’t remember whether HCW was still in flower when I crossed it onto AK, or if I used collected/stored pollen. But HCW had the attributes I was looking for at the time…on the late side, wide petals, and ruffles.
I ended up keeping only two late seedlings from this cross. As you might imagine, both had very plain looking flowers; the color was pale yellow with a pink wash. Well, at least I had some lates of my own that I could work with. And so, I started crossing these with mid-lates and lates that I collected over the years. It really was over the years…because some years I didn’t make any late crosses, and there was a stretch beginning in the mid/late 2000s that I went almost ten years without crossing anything, dip or tet.
The seedlings pictured are the result of several generations after the original cross. Because of a physical move of my seedlings, and time, many labels were lost or illegible so I’m not certain of the exact parentage for many of my selected seedlings. However, all of these pictured are out of the original AK X HCW line. In some cases they’ve been crossed with another late then crossed with another AK X HCW seedling. While pedigrees are uncertain, I do know many of the parents involved (although not all of these are represented in the photos).
They are –
Autumn Oddity (Harwood 1998)
Blue Venture (Childs – F 1982)
By the Riverside (Kennedy 1986)
Delayed Arrival (Santa Lucia 1999)
Final Touch (Apps 1991)
High Noon Glory (Shooter 1994)
Indian Ripple (Dougherty – H 1997)
Indy Hustler (Anderson – D 1995)
John Allgood (Shooter 2003)
Lasting Promise (Shooter 1996)
Lavender Stardust (Carpenter – J 1991)
Lilac Lust (Apps 2002)
Orchid Corsage (Saxton 1975)
Red Candelabra (Shooter 2002)
Siloam Pink Platinum (Henry - P 1998)
Taxco (Santa Lucia 2005)
I’ve encountered some roadblocks with the lates. And maybe one of these is specific to my own late line since I started with a plant that has tall scapes. But tall scapes and large flowers can sometimes cause leaning, or can just be top heavy and fall. Another issue is the time of year these plants bloom. While I enjoy late bloom (this is the reason I started working with these, I hate to see the daylily season end!), the fact that they flower in July and August in central NC means they are usually hit with high summer temperatures. In some cases the flowers decline quickly, especially when the heat index is high. While these are two factors I keep in mind when breeding/selecting, there are still some in my seedling patch that show one or both of these traits even after all these years.
I will be introducing a few lates within the next couple of years from these seedlings.