Sunday, January 21, 2018

Lusty Little Lulu

Lusty Little Lulu

Bearce – 1983 – [{(Noah’s Ark x sdlg) X [Evening Gown x (Empress Mei Ling x sdlg)]} – T - 31” – 5” – Mid Late – Dorm – Re – ext – Medium apricot melon self with yellow green throat


Lusty Little Lulu is a nice melon flower on a vigorous plant with tremendous branching that starts blooming in the mid-late season. The foliage is senescent (dormant) and the plant is very hardy. It reblooms, first with instant rebloom as the first scapes are still blooming and then with a second round of rebloom that emerges as the second round is finishing up. On rare occasions I have seen a third round of rebloom scapes. The scapes average four to five branches plus the top Y on established clumps. The plant increases quickly, forming a large clump in two to three years. It recovers quickly from division.

Lusty Little Lulu lives up to its name - it is very fertile both ways, and will produce pods on every set of scapes. I have had other daylily folks comment that it is “old, old-fashioned or simple”, and that it true, especially if you are trying to win ribbons at a daylily show or impress garden visitors, but for breeding, this one is very useful. Melon genes are the basis of clean-colored anthocyanic flowers. I have crossed Lusty Little Lulu to purples, lavenders and pinks, both self and eye/edge fancy types and have gotten much more modern faces than Lusty Little Lulu in the seedlings. Equally important traits though are the branching of the scapes and the reblooming trait. It passes these traits to its seedlings in addition to producing clean colors. That makes it very useful for breeding these traits, especially if you want those traits on a dormant plant.
In addition to having the good traits I have mentioned above, Lusty Little Lulu has been very rust resistant here through my entire screening project and has produced seedlings with resistance also. The best results, as usual, are when it is bred with something that is also resistant or very resistant, but it will produce a few resistant seedlings when crossed to something less resistant, in my experience. Lusty Little Lulu is another one of those overlooked cultivars that has many useful traits for breeding.