Progress in growing single flowers of tetraploid daylilies

I want to devote this study to the progress in the cultivation of classic, single forms of tetraploid daylilies, which took place in the world at the beginning of this century. The choice for these daylilies is not accidental, because they are the most numerous and most common category of daylilies in cultivation, and according to American Hemerocallis Society they include 42,233 registered varieties. It seems that the progress of cultivation with this number of registered varieties is impossible and the anatomical features of each new variety can only be a repetition of another, previously registered. This circumstance is a special challenge for daylily breeders. It is also multiplied by difficulties for breeding in Europe, due to the epidemiological ban on importing daylilies from America to Europe. This prohibition prevents breeders in Europe from accessing attractive, reputable American nurseries and thus the most valuable biological material for breeding. Despite these limitations, progress in breeding daylilies understood as constant creation of forms that would be new in the morphological and color aspect takes place constantly, systematically, although it may not be easily noticed. The Experimental Daylilies Nursery I have founded in 2010 adapts its breeding programs to the emerging new trends in universal breeding. In my opinion, in the last decade of our century, at least three of them turned out to be dominant: 1. morphological variability of daylily flower structure and 2. graphic and color variation of the eye zone 3. sculpting smooth surfaces of petals.

1. Variation in the morphological structure of the daylily flower

At the turn of the centuries, according to the trends prevailing at the time, single flowers of tetraploid daylilies were mostly characterized by broad internal petals, sometimes covering entirely the external petals sepals, located below them, Fig. 1-4. This was in line with the physiological function of the external petals, which were assigned the role of scaffolding, supporting the stylish, color-attractive internal petals.
Fig. 1 Sterling Tribute
Fig. 1 Sterling Tribute Carr 2000
Fig. 2 Smalll World Zachari
Fig. 2 Smalll World Zachari Miller 2001
Fig.3 Ledg.Cinnamon Lace
Fig.3 Ledg.Cinnamon Lace Abajian 2003
Fig.4 Baby Lemonade
Fig.4 Baby Lemonade Trimmer 2005
A commonly present decorative element of the flower at that time was an eye of different width and color, defined as a one-colored, homogeneous structure, sharply delimited from the color of the internal petals (Fig.5-8)
Fig.5 Blackberry Jack
Fig.5 Blackberry Jack Trimmer 2002
Fig.6 Blackberry Sunday
Fig.6 Blackberry Sunday Smith 2008
Fig.7 Broadway Dimples
Fig.7 Broadway Dimples Stamile 2008
Fig.8 Beggin for Trouble
Fig.8 Beggin for Trouble Owen 2013
The achievements of the Experimental Daylilies Nursery, however successful in terms of morphology and color, were only a confirmation of the type of construction of the daylilies dominating at that time. (Fig.9-12)
Fig.9 Corrida
Fig.9 Corrida Bodalski 2015
Fig.10 Marszalek J.Pilsudski
Fig.10 Marszalek J.Pilsudski Bodalski 2015
Fig.11 Gavroche
Fig.11 Gavroche Bodalski 2015
Fig 12. Napój Miłosny
Fig 12. Napój Miłosny Bodalski 2017
The beginning of the century was also a period of visible evolution in the construction of tetraploid daylily flowers. The varieties, timidly at the beginning, started to appear more often as the years went by with narrowed inner petals revealing the outer petals hidden so far under them, making them a full-fledged element for the presentation of the decorative qualities of the flower. Transferring the drawing from petals to sepals was a novelty in the cultivation of tetraploid daylily flowers. The narrowing of the internal petals also modified the shape of the eye, which turned from the structure similar to the circle to an oval; or various three-field figures often extended towards the periphery of the petals (Fig. 13-20).
Fig.13 Celestial Eyes
Fig.13 Celestial Eyes Lambertson 2000
Fig.14 Intelligent Design
Fig.14 Intelligent Design Emmerich 2004
Fig.15 Goldenzelle
Fig.15 Goldenzelle Smith 2006
Fig.16 Little Brandon
Fig.16 Little Brandon Peat 2006
Fig.17 Martin Blondeel
Fig.17 Martin Blondeel Trimmer 2008
Fig. 18 Autumn Concerto
Fig. 18 Autumn Concerto Stamile Pierce 2010
Fig.19 Blockbuster
Fig.19 Blockbuster Gossard 2010
Fig.20 Puppydog Kisses
Fig.20 Puppydog Kisses Gossard 2010
The results of our proprietary cultivation work in this period corresponded with the general global trends (Fig. 21-28)
Fig. 21 Brunetki Blondynki
Fig. 21 Brunetki Blondynki Bodalski 2015
Fig.22 Sdlg. 575-1
Fig.22 Sdlg. 575-1 Bodalski 2012
Fig.23 Giggle In Canion
Fig.23 Giggle In Canion Bodalski 2018
Fig.24 Sdlg. 507-2
Fig.24 Sdlg. 507-2 Bodalski 2011
Fig.25 Jurij Gagarin
Fig.25 Jurij Gagarin Bodalski 2018
Fig.26 Jej Portret
Fig.26 Jej Portret Bodalski 2014
Fig.27 Majowa Jutrzenka
Fig.27 Majowa Jutrzenka Bodalski 2015
Fig.28 Brunetka …
Fig.28 Brunetka … Bodalski 2014

2. Variability of graphics and colors of the eye zone

Another element of the progress of modern cultivation of tetraploid daylilies was the graphic and color reconstruction of the eye zone. The unquestionable precursor of this direction of cultivation was the diploid variety 'Aphrodite' registered by Taylor in 1948 (Fig.29).
Fig. 29 Aphrodite
Fig. 29 Aphrodite Taylor 1948
It remains a mystery why it took the daylilies breeders over 60 years to obtain the same spectacular success as in the case of the author of this variety. This was done by Bob Faulkner, whose achievements in the cultivation of diploid daylilies have no global equivalent. For they were the first category, in which breeding progress achieved unbelievable success, totally inaccessible for tetraploid daylilies at that time (Fig.30-37).
Fig.30 Seedling
Fig.30 Seedling Faulkner 2007
Fig.31 Seedling
Fig.31 Seedling Faulkner 2007
Fig.32 Seedling
Fig.32 Seedling Faulkner 2007
Fig.33 Seedling
Fig.33 Seedling Faulkner 2007
Fig.34 Forty Two Dollar
Fig.34 Forty Two Dollar Faulkner 2009
Fig.35 Leonardo's Perpective…
Fig.35 Leonardo's Perpective… Faulkner 2011
Fig. 36 The Nutcracker
Fig. 36 The Nutcracker Faulkner 2014
Fig.37 Eric S.Simpson
Fig.37 Eric S.Simpson Faulkner 2014
The eye as a one-colored, homogeneous structure surrounding the throat of the flower has changed into a mosaic of various, multi-colored, graphically sophisticated compositions. It was understandable that the cultivation of tetraploid daylilies had to make efforts to introduce similar solutions into the area of own breeding achievements. It was then that a new category of flowers called "patterned daylilies" was born. One of the first tetraploid daylilies in this category were the varieties bred by Stamil: Screen Pattern and Get Jiggy (Fig.38,39) but soon the awakening ambitions of other breeders resulted in a whole range of new varieties.
Fig.38 Screen Pattern
Fig.38 Screen Pattern Stamile 2005
Fig.39 Get Jiggy
Fig.39 Get Jiggy Stamile 2008
Hansen, DeCaire, Ansari, Gossard achieved the most outstanding achievements and were shortly after followed by many other breeders (Fig.40-47).
Fig.40 Shock Therapy
Fig.40 Shock Therapy Hansen 2008
Fig.41 Four Beasts in One
Fig.41 Four Beasts in One DeCaire 2009
Fig.42 Heather Grace
Fig.42 Heather Grace Grace 2010
Fig.43 One Night Pollination
Fig.43 One Night Pollination Ansari 2014
Fig.44 Solomon’s Sunrise
Fig.44 Solomon’s Sunrise Ansari 2015
Fig .45 Impact Zone
Fig .45 Impact Zone Gossard 2018
Fig.46 Ominous
Fig.46 Ominous DeCaire 2019
Fig.47 Patterned for Success
Fig.47 Patterned for Success Pierce 2019
It should be emphasized that the source of obtaining the patterned eye zone effect in tetraploid daylilies were diploid daylilies converted into tetra form. The list of varieties that took part in this transformation is long and certainly the list below present just a modest choice of them:
  • Ben Lee
  • Colorful Etchings
  • Cosmic Kaleidoscope
  • Crystal Blue Persuasion
  • Dark Mosaic
  • Devil's Footprint
  • Dragons Eye
  • Exotic Echo
  • Kaleidoscope Intrigue
  • Kaleidoscope Jungle Catungle Cat
  • Kaleidoscope Puzzle
  • Lavender Blue Baby
  • Pattern Maker
  • Priscilla's Rainbow
  • Siloam Virginia Henson
  • Super Fancy Face
  • Texas Kaleidoscope
  • Tiger on the Mountain
The proprietary achievements of the Experimental Daylilies Nursery in the category of patterned tetraploid daylilies follow the achievements of leading American nurseries. Obtained clones are currently under observation and prepared for registration. (Fig.48 - 55).
Fig.48  Seedling
Fig.48 Seedling Bodalski 2018
Fig.49  Seedling
Fig.49 Seedling Bodalski 2018
Fig.50 Seedling
Fig.50 Seedling Bodalski 2018
Fig.51 Seedling
Fig.51 Seedling Bodalski 2018
Fig.52 Seedling
Fig.52 Seedling Bodalski 2018
Fig.53 Pchła Szachrajka
Fig.53 Pchła Szachrajka Bodalski 2015
Fig.54 Seedling
Fig.54 Seedling Bodalski 2019
Fig.55 Seedling
Fig.55 Seedling Bodalski 2018
While the program of breeding progress of patterned tetraploid daylilies could be considered closed, a careful observer will find one more feature that distinguishes the obtained breeding results from all others. This feature is the multicolor drawing of the eye zone and in a captivating way it is represented by varieties bred by Stamile (Fig. 56-59)
Fig.56 Chromacolor
Fig.56 Chromacolor Stamile 2017
Fig.57 King Maker
Fig.57 King Maker Stamile 2017
Fig.58 Blockchain
Fig.58 Blockchain Stamile 2017
Fig.59 Puzzler
Fig.59 Puzzler Stamile 2017

3. Carving smooth surfaces of petals

Another category of anatomical transformations of the characteristics of tetraploid daylilies, which have their own history, is the introduction of carving into the construction of a flat surface of petals. The first clones presenting this feature, still at the beginning of development, appeared at the end of the last century with varieties registered by Carr and Salter (Fig.60-61). They were characterized by longitudinal ribs raised above the surface of the petals running from the throat to the circumference of the petal, sometimes with radiation outside. A more vivid picture of this feature was presented by later varieties of Stamile and Carpenter (Fig.62-63) and several other authors who took up this direction of breeding.
Fig.60 Sherry Lane Carr
Fig.60 Sherry Lane Carr Carr 1993
Fig.61 Empire Strikes Back
Fig.61 Empire Strikes Back Salter 1997
Fig.62 Bas Relief
Fig.62 Bas Relief Stamile 1999
Fig.63 Song of the Empire
Fig.63 Song of the Empire Carpenter 2004
In the initial period, all registered varieties presenting a bas-relief of petals were similar in structure and color. In my opinion, a significant breakthrough in breeding this category of daylilies was the 'Heavenly Highway's Home' variety presented by Godwin in 2009: a rosette of a golden bas-relief cast on the background of a bright pink surface of the petals completely filled the eye zone and a golden, densely draped frill of the petals complemented the rest of the decorative values of the variety (Fig.64).
Fig.64 Heavenly Highway’s Home
Fig.64 Heavenly Highway’s Home Godwin 2009
Hansen successfully developed the culture of carved varieties of tetraploid daylilies in the following years, registering as the only attractive clones in the world with the presentation of carving as an important decorative element in the anatomical structure of the flower (Fig.65-68)
Fig.65 Dixie Sweetheart
Fig.65 Dixie Sweetheart Hansen 2011
Fig.66 Dressed Like a Lady
Fig.66 Dressed Like a Lady Hansen 2014
Fig.67 Bridge of Sighs
Fig.67 Bridge of Sighs Hansen 2015
Fig.68 Ladybug South Beach
Fig.68 Ladybug South Beach Hansen 2016
The Experimental Daylilies Nursery inspired by Hansen's achievements introduced among the Polish breeders the Bridge programme aimed at growing tetraploid relief forms. The last flowering seasons revealed the first flowering clones of this program (Fig.69-72).
Fig.69 Welkome Sławomir
Fig.69 Welkome Sławomir Bodalski 2018
Fig.70 Seedling
Fig.70 Seedling Bodalski 2019
Fig.71 Seedling
Fig.71 Seedling Bodalski 2019
Fig.72 Seedling
Fig.72 Seedling Bodalski 2019
Presenting the achievements of the Experimental Daylilies Nursery, I also wanted to express my concern for the fate of European daylily breeding. Isolation from the achievements of American breeders can motivate to greater use of our own capabilities and ideas. The coming years will show how few still daylily breeding centers in Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and other European countries, including Poland, are able to successfully create innovative directions for breeding tetraploid daylilies, despite these restrictions.