Progress in Breeding Daylilies round the World In 2010/2011

The progress in the breeding of daylilies around the world in recent years, driven by both the increasing recognition of their value as an ornamental garden plant in addition to the effects of breeding that have been introduced by a constantly growing number of experts, has produced every year new and even more outstanding varieties of flowers. Speaking of “progress” within the meaning of developing increasingly more sophisticated varieties of daylilies, is not straightforward due to the infinite number of elements combining to create the formation of the plant and even the appearance of the flower. However, taking as a starting point, the botanical types of species and evolutionary transformations extending its characteristics, not only in botanical terms but also in terms of texture, colour and aesthetics, seemingly enabling the definition in which these transformations are determined in relation to the appearance of the flower. They can address many features of the same flower such as size, colour, anatomy, fragrance, ornaments and other decorative floral elements. With regard to the latter, a simpler and certainly flawed analytical reasoning would suggest day daylilies, proposing the following lines of progress in breeding; the evolution of the flower from a visual and artistic viewpoint in a variety of colours, petals and sepals, the surface and morphological and colour finish of the outer rims of the petals and finally and most importantly, the integration of all these features in various mutual proportions in the flowers of one variety. When talking about progress in the breeding of daylilies, one should be aware that the completion of a single stage takes more than a short period of time. However, certain trends in evolutionary transformation can be observed which often is a precursor to the effects of certain design aspects of breeding, sealing their fate during the next few years of development. The size of Daylily flowers It is well known that the size of the flowers of daylilies is a very diverse feature with enormous variations. This is demonstrated in the following illustrations which include two varieties from Patrick and Grace Stamile and one of which is Judy Farquhar (7.5”) which has some of the largest blooms among tetraploid varieties typical of a small variation of Little Rosie O’Grady (2.5”) or a small variety of Roguish Imp by Krupien. The aspirations and ambitions of breeders to create varieties with very large flowers have been recognised for a very long time. Unsurpassed in this area is the cultivation of the diploid My Cup Overflows in 2009 by J. Bomar, which has a flower with a diameter of 8.5” (21.5 cm.)
001 Judy Farquhar

Judy Farquhar

002 Little Rosie

Little Rosie O'grady

Roguish imp

Ruguish Imp

My Cup Overflows

My Cup Overflows

It was observed that some progress was made in the cultivation of daylilies with large flowers. The outstanding achievement was Denny Florence, a tetraploid variety introduced by Trimmer, with flowers with a diameter of 8.5” which matches the record of My Cup Overflows. In the authors opinion, this success was achieved due to the crossbreeding of two varieties, one diploid, the other tetraploid, a variety of Truscawilla Snowdrift. Only slightly smaller blooms are to be found on a variety of Abaya – Ladgewood’s Summer Storm (8’). By not disclosing the parent varieties, however, it is difficult not to notice similarities in the colour and anatomy of the flowers of both these plants. Time will tell to what extent the work carried out by Dan Hansen on a tetraploid variety, Truscawilla Snowdrift, will be the key to achieving very large flowers. At the end of this list is a variety Carol Robinson (7.5”) from Dan Hansen, the complex pedigree of which does not make it possible to guess the plant responsible for the comparatively large diameter of the flower.
005 Florence Denny

Florence Denny

Ledgewoods Summer Storm

Ladgewood's Summer Storm

007 Truscawilla

Tuscawilla Snowdrift


Carol Robinson

The colour of dayily flowers

The biggest temptation for breeders, which is understandable, is to cultivate daylilies with the colour of a different species. Such a colour for Daylilies would be blue. Despite the ongoing efforts of breeders over many years, no-one has yet achieved this dream. Ironically, the word “blue” is probably the most commonly used term in the register of daylilies of the AHS (the American Hemerocallis Society). This is probably a question of hope triumphing over reality. The decorative element on which these hopes are built is the “Eye”, that through breeding procedures could become stronger and more or less closer to the colour blue. It has become the choice mainly because of diploid varieties which had a substitute eye in shades similar to the colour blue, their transformation to the tetraploid form and introduction of the latter for further breeding work.

Crystal Blue Persuasion


010 Lavender Blue Baby

Lavender Blue BAby


011 Blue_Oasis

Blue Oasis


012 Out_Of_The_Blue

Out of the Blue


The most satisfactory in this respect appears to be a variant of Crystal Blue Persuasion produced in tetraploid form by Larry/Gossard and Lavender Blue Baby created by Carpenter and, to a lesser extent, Blue Oasis by Larry and Out of the Blue by Waldrop. The first demonstrated its capabilities in many varieties last season mainly by Stamile (President Butterfly, Azure Butterfly, Dragonfly Blues, Blues Larkspur) and Petit (Blast of Blue, Blue Note) as well as by others such as Trimmer (Blue Sky Baby) and Smith (Blue Delicious)
013 Persistent Butterfly

President Butterfly

014 Azure Butterfly

Azure Butterfly

015 Blue Sky Baby

Blue Sky Baby


Blue Delicious

Although the tetraploid Crystal Blue Persuasion, appears to be the most commonly used variety in the creation of new varieties of blue eye, the possibility of obtaining varieties of this colour through different but nevertheless effective means, has been developed. This has been confirmed by last season’s introductions from Stamile, Petit, Lambertson and others.
017 Blue Eden

Blue Eden

Petit '10

018 Butterfly Mountain

Butterfly Mountain

Stamile-Pierce '10

019 Blue Spring

Blue Spring

Stamile '10


Hyacinth Macaw

Lambertson '10

While observing over the last few years the progressive evolution of the spread of the structure and the colour of the eye to internal lands, (see below “The evolution of the Eye), it is possible that the next few years will witness unsurpassed fulfillment of the dreams of the blue daylily. There is less hope, in my opinion, for the lovers and enthusiasts who are waiting for the arrival of the “black” daylily. It would appear that in recent years, a variety of dark coloured daylilies have been introduced mainly based on samples of the maximum density of the colour purple or violet which have reached the level whereby it is no longer possible to distinguish the difference. The reference point for “black” varieties is probably the diploid variety, Jungle Beauty, introduced by App in 1990. Among the breeders who have devoted more attention to breeding black daylilies, this has been replaced by Benz and Stadler. Last season, the first of these introduced a new variety, Indigo Velvet, a second variant of Black Fury. A newcomer in the dark varieties of daylily is a variant of Black Fury with a narrow red border round the outside of the petals. The creator of these varieties drew attention to the novelty of this approach compared to the previously introduced varieties of Back in Black, which claims to be the darkest daylily possible. It should be noted that there is a widespread resistance to daylilies with the darkest colour flowers obtained by means of cross-breeding.
021 Jungle Beauty

Jungle Beauty

Apps '09

022 Indygo Velvet

Indygo Velvet

Benz '10

023 Back i Black

Back in Black

Stadler '09

024 Black Fury

Black Fury

Stadler '10

Almost all of them have straight edges with internal sepals or at most mild rippling. Knowing this quality brings a great appreciation of the daylilies with dark flowers introduced during last season by Stamile, one of the most outstanding breeders, the entire cluster of dark coloured flowers ornately dressed in elaborate and colourful frills.(Bella Note, Dark Night Dynamite, Prince Romeo and Raven’s Song). In terms of attractiveness, they are replicating what triggered these emotions, a variety introduced by Petit called Larry’s Obsession The scale presented by Stanile is the undeniable novelty of the season with, at the same time, an announcement of progress towards a new culture of daylilies.
025 Bella Note

Bella Note

026 Dark Night Dynamite

Dark Night Dynamite

027 Romeo Prince

Romeo Prince

028 Raven's Song

Raven's Song

The anatomy of the flowers of daylilies

It would appear that the anatomical structure of the flowers of daylilies can be divided into typical, spider and complete, including intermediate forms and atypical flowers, solving the problem of classification and almost eliminating the need for revision. The exception to this is the emergence of a large number of varieties of a particular shape which, because of their prevalence deserve not only attention but also a specific place in the standings. An example of such a form is discussed in more detail in the section “About atypical daylilies” where common triangular shaped daylily flowers are described. It turns out that the common cross-breeding of plants of different types and extremely varied anatomical structures, can produce shapes other than triangular, but nevertheless repeated shapes which are different from traditional forms of daylily flowers. And so, a new flower shape appeared last season that was so clear that it cannot escape attention. This “new” form differed from typical daylily flowers with petals of different shapes that are elongated in the vertical plane and taking the shape of an ellipse. This anatomical property forms a narrow elipse from the bottom of the cup, leaving a space between them, unlike the classical form in which the petals are adjacent or even overlapping. Each is integrated into the entire internal area of the sepal, the narrow, elongated sepal almost always decked out in drawing the eye and the mouth moved from the petals. It is worth noting that the sepals increase their functional role in the anatomical structure by supporting the decorative element of the petals.

Geneva Top Notch


Frilly Lilyan


Rhythm and Rhyme


The Eagle Has Landed



034 SQUIRREL Beather

Squirrel Beatrer

035 Mighty Hercules

Mighty Hercules


Cindy's Compulsion

037 Another Day in Paradise

Another Day in Paradise


038 Count Dracula

Count Dracula


039 Masked Maurader

Masked Maurader


040 Siewka


Фельпса (Phelps)

The unquestionable leader in this type of daylily flowers is one of the most versatile and innovative breeders, Dan Hansen. (Geneva Top Notch, Frilly Lilyan, Rhythm and Rhyme, The Eagle Has Landed, Aiyana, Squirrel, Mighty Hercules and Cindy’s Compulsion). For many years, this form of flowers, which is derived from the spider and classic genetic forms have featured in his breeding achievements and is, in terms of quantity, the most dominant breeder compared to other reputable nurseries. It is predictable, however, that the morphological kinds of daylily flowers will feature more frequently in the work of other breeders, The aesthetic attractiveness of this kind of flowers is beyond dispute along with the cultural achievements to the satisfaction of those who promote it. The relevance of this theory supports the recently introduced varieties by those other than Hansen: i.e. by Petit (Count Dracula, Masked Marauder, and Selman (Another Day in Paradise) as well as attempts by Phelps.

Evolution of the Eye

The “Eye” in its original form, was a structure of colours which, in the form of a coloured circle, surrounded the bottom of the flower cup. Treatments allowed the coloured “eye’ to spread beyond not only the original area of the petals but also to the external surface. The next steps in the evolutionary development of the importance of the eye are presented in the following pictures
041 Sibling rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

042 Jamaican music

Jamaican Me Music

043 Firecracker Parade

Firecracker Parade


Sawyer's Giggles

Undeniably, credit for this process is due to the varieties Awesome Blossom (Salter 1996) and Rock Solid (Stamile 2002) and also, and perhaps most of all, to the tetraploid Peppermint Delight, by means of which Stamile bred a whole range of varieties with the eye in the area of the petals (e.g. Robert Searles) This feature can nowadays be achieved in various ways, most likely because other breeders have obtained a similar effect by using different forms of parenting (Ladybug Drama Queen, Kemo Sabe, Black Sheep)
045 Robert Searles

Robert Searles

Stamile '09


Ladybug Drama Queen

Dan Hansen '10

047 Kemo Sabe

Kemo Sabe

Salter '11

048 Black sheep

Black Sheep

Trimmer '11

Regardless of consideration of the genetic basis of the traits described, it should be noted as being of interest from the point of view of cultural trends for “painting” the tetraploid flower petals using the typical structure of the eye for colour. The possibilities that this trend opens up are endless and the results have the potential to create new and exciting solutions. Carpenter proved this in the diploid varieties by developing a range of very beautiful daylilies with exquisitely coloured design (BamBamWow, Bumble Be Beautiful, Mount Herman Intrigue, Kaleidoscope Puzzle Promenade, One and All, Oh Say But I’m Glad)
Bam Bam Wow

Bam Bam Wow '09

Bumble Bee Beautiful

Bumble Be Beautiful '05

Mount  Herman  Intrigue

Mount Herman Intrigue '06

Kaleidoscope  Puzzle

Kaleidoscope Puzzle '09

054 Prominade  One  and All

Promenade One And All '09

Oh Say But I'am 0Glad

Oh Say But I am Glad '08

It should be noted that the uniqueness and attractiveness of diploid varieties is achieved by Carpenter combining the two features discussed above that appear to be the current focus of breeding progress within the typical daylily flowers. This consists in the modification enabling the sepalom to become part of the decorative construction of flowering plants and creating the eye which gives a relaxed and geographically unbounded opportunity to decorate all of the anatomical structures of the sepals. The future will show how to combine these two features which will affect the development of advances in the conventional breeding of tetraploid varieties of daylily flowers

Transfer of the drawing of the eye and mouth of the sepal petals

The ability to combine the coloured drawing the sepalom petals, as mentioned above, is one of the primary ways to build attractive colourful forms of daylily flowers by breeding procedures
057 Puppydog Kisses

Puppydog kisses

Gossard, Ryan '10

058 Blockbuster


Gossard, Ryan '10

059 Amber Stained Glass

Amber Stained Glass

Stamile '10


Heather Grace

Grace '11

061 Sunset Moth Popped

Sunset Moth

Peat '10

062 Picotee Prism

Picotee Prism

Stamile-Pierce '11

063 Violet Stained Glass

Violet Stained Glass

Stamile-Pierce '11

064 Into the Blue

Into the Blue

Stamile-Pierce '11

It turned out that. As a result of these activities, the structure of the eye and the mouth can be transferred to the exterior and thus expand the area of decorative expression by sepals. However, the varieties of daylilies that have this feature are becoming more and more common in some compositions, which is particularly relevant in terms of texture and these confirm the continuous improvement of the culture. Examples of such solutions in the category of typical daylily flowers are representative of the achievements of last season A past master at achieving outstanding results in this field would appear to be the Canadian breeder Daniel Matton. Presented below are the daylily flowers not yet recorded, which appear to present opportunities.
















These characteristics are exploited In flowers of different shapes and colours which leads to the achievement of very beautiful and original solutions.

Relief (bas-relief) petal surfaces

The relief of the inner surface area of daylilies was a floral decorative element for a brif but significant period in the history of breeding. During this period, a single variety of daylily with sculpted petals was registered. The attractiveness of this feature means that yellow daylilies with a sculptured inner surface appear in the collections of leading breeders: e.g. Sweet Apricot Honey (Stamile); Midas Touch Gascon (Gaskins); Bowl of Sunshine (Carpenter); Groovin (Pickles); The pairing characteristics of yellow flowers with straight petals gave rise to the suspicion that there was location of genes with the presence of both features in the same chromosome. Dan Hansen has made a major breakthrough in this area of breeding. In the collection of this breeder, there are many varieties of daylilies, with flowers of various designs and colours, the designed features of carved petals This can be discovered by browsing the nursery list at the website: Dan Hansen probably created this interesting phenomenon spontaneously by the intersection of a particular strain of plants in which the gene is “carved petals” that was present for an extended period of time in different areas of cultivation. Over the last year, Hansen has registered a variety of carved petals in different shades of pink (Ladybug Sweeet; Pleated Perfection; LadyBug Fancy Nancy) and red: (We’re Jammin)
065 Sweet Apricot Honey

Sweent Apricot Honey

Stamile '10

Midas  Touch Gascone

Midas Touch Gascone

Gaskins '10

Bowl of Sunshine

Bowl of Sunshine

Carpenter '10

068 Groovin


Pickles '11


Ladybug Sweeeet


Pleated Perfection


We're Jammin


Ladybug Fancy Nancy

By moving the sculpture of yellow flowers to different colours of flowers on such a scale Dan Hansen has introduced an original and interesting new direction for the further breeding of modern varieties of daylilies Finishing the outer contour plots of the interior One of the more prominent and visible decorative elements of the daylily flower is the finishing of the outer contour plots of the interior. This has a long history which was apparently the final achievement of transverse folding edge petals, commonly known as the frill. The chapter “About other daylilies” highlights the ambiguity of the term and achieves, in the course of time, progress in the breeding of new varieties of daylilies using original and unknown solutions The enrichment of the decorative features of the daylilies was achieved by introducing new colours and anatomical contour plots for all types of daylily flowers. It turned out that this direction was taken up and developed by some of the breeders who introduced typical flowers in the season 2010/11 with interesting and innovative results. These include both of the aspects colour schemes and anatomical petal edges The daylily flowers with “frills” were limited to white and yellow naturally produced flowers but there were attempts to other colours of the outer contour petals. For many years now, attempts have been made to crossbreed between different varieties of daylilies containing shades of green in their colour ruffles. The breeder who has managed to achieve the greatest success in this area is Larry Grace. He registered a variant “Angels Gather Around” in 2009 as a starting point for further work both by himself and Waldrop
073 Irish Halo

Irish Halo

Waldrop '10


Full of Treasure

Grace '11

075 Apple Spring

Apple Spring

Stamile '10

076 Pacific Shamrock

Pacific Shamrock

Smith '11

The varieties introduced last season, Irish Halo and, most importantly Full of Treasure, Seem to represent the closest solution to the requirements of the breeding programme. At this point must also be mentioned the variety Apple Spring, introduced by Stamile and Pacific Shamrock introduced by Smith in which the green ruffle effect was achieved by using other partners. More clear evidence of progress in the improvement of the external petal colour changes is to be found in anatomical modifications Last season saw the introduction of a range of varieties with sharks’ teeth edges and different colours Most of the varieties introduced to each category represents the highest level of breeding achievements accuracy, compositional solutions and colour. The undeniable appeal of “sharks’ teeth will ensure further developments in this direction, particularly with regard to colour as well as transferring this characteristic into other classifications of daylilies
077 Darkness Reigns

Darkness Reigns

Petit '11

078 Bengali


Petit '10

079 Siewka (2)


Polston '10

080 Bite Me In the Neck

Bite Me in the Neck

Polston '11

Gnashing of teeth

Gnashing of Teeth

Emmerich '11

082 Siewka (3)


Kinnebrew '11

083 Thunder Dragon

Thunder Dragon

Gossard '10

084 Briar_Patch

Briar Path

Grace '10

A no less attractive destination for the culture oriented daylily was to modify the external outline of the development suggestions for petals in the previous seasons, represented by such varieties as; Bass Gibson, Ruckus (Rice); Horny Devil (Pickles) and Reap the Wind (Benz)
085 Bass Gibson

Bass Gibson

Rice '06

86 Ruckus


Rice '07

087 Horny Devil

Horny Devil

Pickles '07

088 Reap the Whirlwind

Reap the Whirlwind

Benz '11

In previous years, all of these presented a new style in the form of jagged petals with curly edges and, as such, the market rose to disproportionately high prices. The development of the culture due to the originality and aesthetics of the proposal appeared to be inevitable, which was fully confirmed last season. This was true both of intermediate forms between the daylily flowers which were strictly speaking, spidery flowers as well as typical daylily flowers. In the first category, the most interestin proposals were submitted by Howard (Wallingford Wooly Bully); Phelps (David likes it); Rice (Horsing Around); Gossard (After the Bite, Vampire Bat, the Dentist) and Trimmer (Laughing Hyena – unregistered sedling)
089 Wallingford

Wallingford Woolly Bully

090 David Likes It

David Likes It

091 Horsing Around

Horsing Around

092 After

After the Bite

093 Vampire Bat

Vampire Bat

094 Shattered Glass

Shattered Glass

095 The Dentist

The Dentist

Laughinng Hyena

Laughing Hyena

A lot more expressive and interesting seem to be those trying to achieve typical flowers. Of particular interest are the single colour varieties introduced by Rice with daylily flowers with curled edges and wider internal areas before the differentiation of colour (Valley Girl, Crowning Achievement, Jules Delambre, Drink the Wind)
097 Valley Girl1

Valley Girl

098 Crowning Achievement

Crowning Achievement

099 Jules Delambre

Jules Delambre

100 Drink The Wind

Drink the Wind

101 Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic

Farmer-Stegall '10

103 Siewka Carroll

Сеянец Shirley Farmer

102 Siewka Shirley Farmer

Сеянец Carroll Quarry

104 Carnivore


Polston '11

Breeders such as Farmer-Stegall, Carroll, Quarry and Polston can boast of equally attractive achievements albeit in lesser quantities. Unregistered seedlings which introduce Polston’s new varieties in the very near future, are shown in the following group of pictures, displaying a terrific show of petals with curled edges with the potential for creating original decorative qualities in new varieties of daylilies




Sophistic and subtle colours can be found in the curled petal edges of the seedlings of Farmer and Carroll Quarry, along with the compositional perfection of Rice and the seedling varieties of Polston. These together point the way to further opportunities in developing and improving cultivation methods. The form of flowers presented by these breeders exhibit well-established achievements in breeding whose novelty enjoys a lot of attention and unflagging popularity and is unquestionably a new and important stage in creative breeding of daylilies Progress in breeding daylilies as regards the improvement of internal contour areas was not realized from previous years in terms of increasing the width of the border edge colouring and the introduction of bright two-colour edges.
109 Parrots of the Carribean

Parrots of the Caribbean

110 Jessica Lynn Bell

Jessica Lynn Bell

Dream Window

Dream Window


Keep On Lookin

113 Freedom's Highway

Freedom's Highway

114 Tropical Smoothie

Tropical Smothiee

115 Angels of Heaven

Angels of Heaven

116 Can't Believe My Eyes

Can't Believe My Eyes

117 Mystic Image

Mystic Image

118 Flamingo Sunrise

Flamingo Sunrise

119 Fantasy Fringe

Fantasy Fringe

120 Aslan


121 Regina of Gascone

Regina of Gascone

122 Anchor For  My  Soul

Anchor for My Soul


Keep on Keepin' On

124 A Few Good Man

A Few Good Men

The most successful breeders in this area last season were Bell (Anchor for my Soul, A few Good Men, Cannot Believe my Eyes, Jessica Lynn Bell); Corbett (Asian, Tropical Smoothie) Gaskins (Regina of Gascon); Lambertson (Dream Widow, Freedom’s Highway); Smith (Keep on Keepin’ on, Keep on Lookin’);Tamale (Mystic Image, fantasy Fringe); Trimmer (Parrots of the Caribbean, Flamingo Sunrise, Angels from Heaven). The prices of these varieties in the US range from between $100 and $200 per seedling and some including those of Gaskins reached the price of about $400. When discussing the direction of the progress of cultivation, it cannot fail to be seen that the varieties introduced by Townsend, which have a wide, two-colour finish to the petals, contain original, sophisticated patterns at the edge of the anatomy, from straight needle-like edges to edges with a wavy , frizzy appearance. The creator has not chosen parental forms from derived varieties, but with the narrow range of anatomy and colours, can be assumed that it was not too extensive and the secret of his success lies in the good fortune in the successful choice of parents.





Relevant Graffito


Seedling (NLGC061)


Casoers Revenage



We have already discussed the progress in the cultivation of daylily flowers in terms of the improvement of internal morphology and the colour scheme is not limited to forms of intermediate and typical flowers. As has been already shown, attempts to move these characteristics to the full flowers sets new standards in the category of flowers.
Barbara Watts

Barbara Watts

Kirchhoff '09

134 Bonibrae Sharky

Bonibrae Sharky

Matthie '09

135 Siewka (4)


Joshua Jaques '10

136 Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle

Gossard James '10

It can be assumed that next year will see a further development in cultivation. In summarizing the progress in breeding daylilies around the world in 2010/11, it should be noted that:
  • Growth has increased rapidly, particularly during the last season
  • A multi-faceted modification of the phenotypic traits of the daylily flower covers many aspects of morphology and colour
  • Cultivation is carried out by the leading successful nurseries round the world, each of whom has their own well-defined targets to achieve.