Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ziggy Played Guitar

Ziggy Played Guitar

(Grey Witch x Lily Munster)
42" scapes - 8" flower - Diploid - Early Mid - Diurnal - 3 branches - 17 buds - Fragrant - Semi-evergreen - Rebloom - Unusual Form - Cascade

Ruffled, cascading grape-purple petals and sepals with dark purple eye above green to chartreuse throat transitioning into white to bluish-white rays radiating into the eye and the white midrib with narrow white to bluish-white edges on petals and sepals.

For a complete list of available daylilies and pricing, click here.

For breaking news about Ziggy Played Guitar, click here.

Named for the first and last three words of the famous David Bowie song, 'Ziggy Stardust', this wonderful flower is a tribute to his innovation and aesthetic. The effect of the eye and throat of the flower reminds me of the famous 'thunderbolt' makeup design Bowie wore on the cover of his album 'Aladdin Sane'. The narrow, cascading unusual form reminds me of Bowie's typical lithe and dramatic pose. If this Ziggy played an instrument, it would definitely be a guitar, and this cultivar is as wild, eye-catching and memorable as the creator of the song it is named for!

Ziggy Played Guitar is a wonderful cascading unusual form that has been a real standout since its first flower. From seeds I purchased on the Lily Auction in 2010, the first flower was in 2012. The color is bright, clear and pretty, standing out strongly in the garden. The big throat starts out green radiating out into white rays that then move into bluish-white midrib and petal and sepal edges and the throat fades to jade and chartreuse with the same white and bluish-white rays in the evening. The darker eye makes the complex throat stand out even more. The petals and sepals are a bright grape-purple that holds well through the day and withstands rain and sun. The flower is large and the form is always stunning. The cascading petals are ruffled and the sepals curl and roll with a wavy edge.

Sometimes the flower is polytepal. Not often enough that I noted that on the registry, and I have never really calculated the percentage, but it does it a few times most years and when it does, it is REALLY awesome! 

In the above picture of a poly flower you can really see the bluish-white tone that radiates out of the throat and onto the edges of the flower.

Ziggy in the grow-out field showing how bright and eye-catching it is from a distance. It is really spectacular at clump strength with the tall scapes holding the flowers above many other things. The branches are also well distributed on the scape and so flowers are not just all at the top, but well-distributed above the foliage.

Here the row head-on, and a poly flower on Ziggy Played Guitar front and center. It has thrown poly seedlings for me. I suspect if it were mated with high-percentage poly daylilies, it would make some great poly kids. The profusion of bright flowers and regular, reliable rebloom in my garden is a big plus, giving a lot of show in the garden. I usually see instant rebloom as well as late season rebloom.

Ziggy Played Guitar has only been pollen fertile for me, but the pollen is very fertile (as of 01/29/2018, I have confirmation that Ziggy has set pods for a grower in a greenhouse, so it isn't sterile, but I would still call it pod-difficult). After a couple of years of getting no pods, I questioned whether I should even use it, or if it could ever be an introduction, but from 2012 to 2016, it never showed a speck of rust and the seedlings I produced from its pollen have tended to be very rust resistant and show many of the amazing traits of Ziggy's flower as well. By 2016 I knew it would have to be an introduction. It just has too much good going for it not to introduce it. The branching and bud count is moderate, but the rebloom more than makes up for that. Many of its seedlings also show rebloom for me.

This late evening shot of Ziggy Played Guitar really captures the drama of this flower in the garden. If you love cascades even half as much as I do, this one is a staggering flower. Those weeping flowers in their bright and clear colors on the tall scapes glow in the garden. Even by sunset the flower is still gorgeous with strong substance. The bluish tones only become stronger through the day and the throat still shows a nice jade tone even at sunset. This flower radiates like a star, as wild as Ziggy and as strange as the spiders from Mars.

With semi-evergreen foliage it has been very hardy here every winter (even the brutally cold polar vortex winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15), never showing serious damage, never reducing the number of fans or dying out in the center of the clump. I don't know how far it will go, but from its performance during the polar vortex winters, my guess is that it will do good further north, probably at least into zone 5 and maybe even into 4. I have a report of it doing well in testing in zone 5B. However, with the foliage type, it should also do well in warmer climates, at least zone 8 and 9, and with the strong rust resistance and breeding value for rust resistance it has shown during my five year screening program, this should be a boon for growers and breeders in warm winter gardens where rust is present and can overwinter. Reports from a friend testing Ziggy in the south show that Ziggy thrives with fast increase and shows extremely high rust resistance there also. Ziggy Played Guitar is moderately thrip resistant. Thrips are only a major problem here in the early season and so the later season rebloom scapes escape this problem in my garden. That may vary in other situations though, depending on when thrips are most active. 

Ziggy Played Guitar has been an excellent breeder for me, producing amazing seedlings and many with very high rust resistance as well as striking, lovely and weird flowers. I think this plant will be a boon for unusual form, polytepal, bluish-purple and/or rust resistance programs. I also think it will simply be a pleasure in any garden it is grown in.

Ziggy Played Guitar Special

Breaking News!

Due to a fortunate turn of events, my available stock of Ziggy has just doubled, so I am passing my good fortune on to you!

Several years ago I sent small divisions of Ziggy (as seedling GWLM3) out to several fellow growers to test in different locations. I have consistently received good reports from multiple locations around the country with no failures, though increase is a bit slower in the north than in the south, and I am happy to report that rust resistance has also shown to be equally high in warm-winter gardens with endemic rust.

Last night, I spoke with a friend growing Ziggy in the deep south. He has seen extremely fast increase in his garden with Ziggy Played Guitar, and the original small double fan division I sent him increased to over twenty fans within 18 months! He then divided Ziggy into several clumps and a piece to use in his greenhouse (where he has gotten some pods on Ziggy, BTW!). He now has several large clumps and offered to send me a couple of those clumps (20+ fans each) back as a thank you for sending it to him. This will slightly more than double my stock, so rather than simply holding that benefit for myself, I want to share that with other daylily growers and breeders, making Ziggy more affordable and more widely available.

So I am taking the unheard of step of reducing the price of Ziggy by 50% in its first month as a new introduction. Why am I doing this, you might ask? After all, new daylily introductions are commonly $100.00 (or considerably more). Well, it has always been my goal to produce exceptional daylilies with advanced traits in both the flower and the plant and to spread those daylilies out to as many people as possible for use in breeding and to enjoy in their gardens. It is also my goal to offer reasonable pricing for my introductions, right from the first year of introduction.

I firmly believe that the more people working with any given genome, the more chance there is of real breakthroughs and advancements. For instance, Ziggy Played Guitar has many excellent traits to offer as a breeder, and I am thrilled to be able to offer it at a lower price, hopefully giving many more people the opportunity to work with it sooner.

As I select daylilies with superior plant and flower traits, and that increase well, it is my goal to offer great plants with advancements in both flower and plant, and with high breeding value, that are affordable and highly useful for both the gardener and the breeder. Whenever possible, any lucky breaks (like I just got here on Ziggy) will be passed on to my customers.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Updates for the 2018 Season

Updates for the 2018 Season
Sun Dragon Daylilies

To begin, let me thank everyone who purchased plants last year and helped to make my first year a good success. I am especially grateful to all of you who bought some of my own introductions and I hope you will keep me updated on how they do for you. I have more introductions for Spring 2018. They are pictured above (click on the picture for a larger image) and you can find out about them by clicking here.

Last year, 2017, was my first year selling and shipping daylilies. In many ways, it was a test-run to figure out what I was doing, and how to do it. My experience last year made it clear to me that I am in the right place, at the right time, and doing the right work for me. I love daylilies and I love sharing the best daylilies with other growers and breeders! I also determined a few tweaks I needed to make for future years to be more practical.

One of the main lessons of last year was that I have trouble making a double fan division on any but the very largest and easiest-to-divide cultivars. I find it to be far more work to take a double fan off most clumps (and have what I consider a suitable division, especially in terms of roots) than it is to take off a triple fan or larger division. Very few of the divisions I sent last year were of double fans. So for future shipping reference, I will be selling the majority of the cultivars I sell by other hybridizers as triple-fan or better divisions. Some plants are still listed as double fans (and those are noted on the sale listing). These are plants that are larger, are in shorter supply, are easier to divide or are more expensive. However, even with these, where possible, the chances are good I will include extra fans if at all possible. I want to send you divisions I would be happy to receive and that will perform well for you and establish quickly.

However, to do this, I feel I need to raise the base-price of my lowest priced stock. My base price stock is now $10.00/division, so all cultivars that were previously $5.00 or $7.50 are now $10.00. This is not done out of greed, but it is simply to price my divisions at a fair market rate for divisions of this size and quality. Other prices have generally not changed and some of my own 2016/17 introductions have come down in price for 2018. I feel that the new base rate is fair to the buyer (for the size and quality of division you will receive) and to me (considering the work that goes into digging, cleaning, packing and shipping quality divisions of well-grown plants).

The second point that I worked out last year was how to figure shipping rates. I am shipping using USPS flat rate medium and large boxes in most instances. If you order a single division of many things, that can go in the small flat rate box, but in general most orders (except for minis or orders of 1 division of a small or medium type) will start with the medium box for 1-6 divisions and the large box for 7-12 divisions. Now, of course, there will be some variation. Twelve small plants like Kanai Sensei will probably easily go in the medium box, while 6 large divisions of plants like Solaris Symmetry may require a large box. I am listing shipping at base rates of 1-6 fans (or medium box) and 7-12 fans (large box). Once you have decided what you wish to order and I have confirmed their availability, I can make a fairly accurate guess as to the size (and number, for large orders) of boxes needed and will figure your shipping charge then. Use the listed shipping information at my About/Contact page as a general guideline. I am going to work to make shipping as fair and accurate as possible.

As a reference, I would like to show some photos of examples of divisions I shipped last year so you can see the size, quality and cleanliness of the divisions I ship. I always spray divisions with neem oil and spinosad (which are both organic), allowing the plants to dry before packing. This ensures that any pests from my soil are killed before your receive them. My garden was rust-free throughout 2017.

A nice division of Insider Trading. The price of Insider Trading, being $10.00 per division, has not changed from 2017 to 2018 and I will still be shipping divisions of this quality.

Dad's Best White 

Kanai Sensei - The divisions of this cultivar tend to be more like small clumps with several fans. I couldn't bring my self to pluck this one down to two or three fans. Price increase on this one is from $7.50 to $10.00, but you are getting an excellent division.

A nice four-fan division of Clean Slate

A nice multi-fan division of Wild Wookie. When cultivars have many smaller fans, it always feels bad to me to try to pluck out two, and is much easier to just send a nice section. A section of this cultivar with bigger fans might not have as many fans in a division. It all depends on the size of the fans, the growth-pattern of the cultivar in question, and the quantity I have on hand. You are guaranteed to receive a division of the number of fans listed with the cultivar in the sale list, but if possible, I like to send more.

Five nice divisions of Siloam Mama, each three fans or more.

Two divisions of Mardi Gras Parade. Like Kanai Sensei, this small cultivar divides best into small clumps of several fans.

Four divisions of Substantial Evidence

I still think it is important for people to have access to very inexpensive daylilies. I think I am offering an excellent price for the size and quality of divisions I ship. However, I understand that some people have very limited resources and so I want to offer a list of sellers to look to for smaller divisions that are in the $5.00-$6.00 or under category. The reason I am doing this is because I want to promote the daylily. If you can't afford $10.00 for a division, you shouldn't have to go without. When I was a child, all my daylilies came from the Gilbert H. Wild and Sons fall sale list. Many of them were $0.75 or $1.00 per division, though this was in the 1970s and 1980s. I remember when I could afford my first $3.00 division (1985 or 86). I thought that was really something! 

Here then is a list of sellers where you can access inexpensive divisions. They are generally smaller divisions than I sell. Some of them offer fresh dug, others send bagged, dried up divisions, but cheap daylilies are usually tough daylilies and they tend to make it just fine. They take longer to establish, but if you are patient, then it all works out in the end.

Amador Flower Farm - In California, field dug divisions. In my experience, usually a double fan. Base price of $6.00 division for many offerings. Some things are more. Fairly long shipping season.

Smokeys Daylily Garden - In Wisconsin. Field dug single and double, small fans. A wide range of cultivars, with the expensive ones as small as the cheap ones in my experience. Often offers special sells and 10-fan specials, many things under $5.00. Great source for the older and inexpensive things. They call a 'fan' a 'plant'. 1 'plant' = 1 'fan', etc.

Roots and Rhizomes - In Wisconsin, bagged divisions. A catalog seller that carries a large number of older and newer daylily cultivars. Divisions tend to be fairly small, usually double fan, bagged (like you would get from most catalog nurseries or from the big box stores) and a bit dry, but I have never had any from them fail. I have only used them for less expensive things and they offer a good range of inexpensive daylilies, some under $5.00 each (for newer, expensive things, I always looked to hobbyist sellers). Expect them to take a little longer to establish, but still a good source if you are on a budget. Sell many other genera of plants beyond daylilies. Typical catalog nursery stock.

Gilbert H. Wild and Sons - In Missouri, sometimes field dug divisions, sometimes bagged divisions, some potted divisions. No longer owned by the original Wild family, but by cousins of the Wild family. They carry a wide range of things, older and a few newer as well. Quality of divisions vary. I have gotten some beautiful field-grow, fresh dug divisions from them in the spring as recent as 2012, but have also gotten small, dried-up bagged divisions in fall 2015. However, I have never lost any of these. Prices vary, but many inexpensive things at $5.00 or less, with special sales, two-for-one deals, etc. A good source for older, inexpensive cultivars if you are on a budget and/or can't travel to a grower in your local area. They also offer other types of plants. Their Dahlia and Lilium have been a little on the small side, but quite nice in my experience.

I hope to send you some daylilies in spring 2018 and I hope you have a wonderful 2018 flower season!

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels 

Calhoun - 1992 - (parentage unknown) - Dip - 36” - 8.5” - EM - Re - Dorm - Spider 5.50:1 - Red spider with yellow eyezone above yellow green throat.

AHS Registry Link

Hot Wheels is a very attractive, large diploid spider that shows extremely high rust resistance. It is a valuable breeder for rust resistance and spider type. I don't have a picture, but I can tell you that it is attractive in the garden, on medium-tall scapes with fair branching. To see a picture, go to the AHS link above or go to The National Garden Association database to see several pictures.

Fertile both ways, it will set pods, but pollen is a bit easier for me. It is a good parent both ways. The foliage is attractive for a spider-type and the scape is nice. The flower is large and is often quilled and curled. The rust resistance is very high and it seems to have good breeding value for rust resistance.

Ancient Elf

Ancient Elf

Gossard – 2007 – (tetra Itsy Bitsy Spider x tetra Nutmeg Elf) – T - 56” – 4” – Mid – V. Frag – Br 5 – Bc 22 – Dorm – Re – ufo crispate – Golden yellow self above yellow throat

Ancient Elf is a wonderful cultivar that I believe has been overlooked and wildly underrated. It is just a simple yellow with a small unusual form/species-like flower, but that is where the simple part ends. It has wonderful foliage that always looks good, is a fully senescent ‘dormant’ in my garden and shows fantastic branching on tall scapes. In some years it reblooms for me, but not every year. It is very hardy, handily tolerating both drought and high moisture levels. Ancient Elf is also a very fast increaser that forms a beautiful, large clump that will grow well for several years without requiring division, but also tolerates division well and recovers quickly. It is an exceptional garden plant and is a wonderful addition to the back of a border or anywhere a taller cultivar would be appropriate. It is very nice in mixed flower gardens, as its simple, small, species-like flowers are complementary with a wide range of other flowers.

However, for me there are other points that make this cultivar (and for that matter, all its siblings) very important. The first is that it is from two conversions that are both good plants with many good traits, are nearer to species materials than most tetraploid cultivars or conversions and are not a part of any other tetraploid lines. The second is that Ancient Elf is extremely rust resistant (as are many of its siblings and its parents) and has high breeding value for rust resistance in my personal experience. If you go to Jamie Gossard’s site and read his description for this cultivar and its siblings (especially Heavenly Shooting Stars, where their is a detailed description of the rust resistance of the family line), you will find his notes on this aspect. Finally, I have many anecdotal reports from multiple gardens, including gardens in the deep south, noting the extreme rust resistance in this cultivar.

My observations would indicate that this cultivar shows actual immunity. At the very least, it has shown seeming-immunity in my garden through every year of my rust screening and has shown this same level of resistance in many other gardens. This is exceptionally rare in my experience. I have been growing Ancient Elf since 2011 and have many clumps of it growing in multiple locations all over the farm. They have been exposed to rust every year for five years from 2012 through 2016 and have never shown even a speck of rust. I have made every effort to infect Ancient Elf. I have surrounded it with highly susceptible cultivars, so that those clumps had rust literally dripping on them in a full circle, among other methods of exposure and inoculation, and yet, not one drop of rust. I consider Ancient Elf one of the most important cultivars I have found for use in rust resistance breeding, as it passes its resistance to a high percentage of its seedlings, especially when crossed to other moderate to highly resistant cultivars.

In addition to the great rust resistance and breeding value for rust resistance, Ancient Elf is very pod fertile, with very good pollen fertility, as well. I can produce huge numbers of seeds from one or two mature clumps.  For its simple appearance, I have seen seedlings of Ancient Elf pick up many traits from crosses with much fancier cultivars, and it works very well in unusual form and spider breeding, as well as in tall and small programs at the tetraploid level.

The only drawback I have found to Ancient Elf is that it can show some susceptibility to insects such as thrips or aphids, sometimes showing bumps from insect predation on the buds, and in very extreme thrip attacks, I have seen it’s scapes wither and dry up. This is rare though and seems to only occur in conjunction with late freezes. However, to find a cultivar that you can say only has one flaw, to me, is extraordinary, and its many very fine traits make ironing out that one problem not really a problem at all. I have been crossing it to plants I have identified with high resistance to thrip/aphid predation and have many seedlings that show little to no insect predation susceptibility even in situations where there is a high concentration of these pests. I can't recommend this one highly enough both for breeding and for the garden.

Autumn Minaret

Autumn Minaret

Stout – 1951 - Dip – 66” – 4” – ML – Frag – Dorm – Re – Ext – OY2-S: Orange yellow with spot or eyezone

This wonderful old cultivar is one of the tallest of Stout’s introductions and is a fine garden plant to boot. Its flowers are a lovely form similar to some of the H. citrina clones, but with hints of its fulva ancestry in the coloring and eyezone. I have found Autumn Minaret to be a fast increaser that establishes quickly and blooms well in both full sun and partial shade, with equally tall scapes in both. It is a late season bloomer and has attractive foliage that is senescent, but shows some foliage above ground through most winters here, much like a large resting bud slightly above ground.

While Autumn Minaret has pod offspring registered, I have never gotten a pod on it, even when I have attempted to set every flower in a season, and over many seasons. However, I have had good results from its pollen.

Autumn Minaret shows moderately high rust resistance in my garden and I have anecdotal accounts from other gardens that report the same. In some years here it doesn’t show any rust, perhaps indicating more resistance to some strains of rust than others, or possibly indicating environmental differences in any given year, or both.

While the flower is simple, the effect of a mature clump is impressive in the garden and it works well in many garden settings, especially in the back of a perennial border. Autumn Minaret thrives in my zone 6 garden and I have reports of it thriving as far south as mid-Florida and as far north as New England and into Canada. It seems to be one of those cultivars that thrives in a wide range of environments.

Banned in Boston

Banned in Boston

Simpson – 1994 – (Ruffled Ivory x Dearest) – 26” – 5” – Mid – Dorm – Re – Noc – Rose and cream pink bitone with green to light lemon throat

I love the bicolor effect of the pale edges and darker pastel mid-petal color with the paler midrib against the palest pink sepals with a near white edge of Banned in Boston. It is a good breeder, but is only a moderately fast increaser for me. Its has average nice foliage that is senescent (“dormant”) and forms a resting bud in winter here. It survives well in winter in my garden, but I have no data on how it performs in the deep south, though I know of several growers who have found to to survive and thrive both further north into lower zones and further south into higher zones than my zone 6 garden.

It is a useful cultivar, and most importantly, it has very high rust resistance in my garden, has been listed as highly resistant in university rating lists and I have several anecdotal reports from gardens that report the same thing. In addition, it seems to show good breeding value for rust resistance as I have produced a higher-than-average number of seedlings showing equal or higher rust resistance from crossing Banned in Boston to other high resistance cultivars. A beautiful and useful cultivar in the garden and in breeding programs.

Beautiful Edgings

Beautiful Edgings

Copenhaver – 1989 – (Best of Friends x sdlg) – D – 30” – 7” – Mid – Frag – Semi-evergreen – Re – Cream with rose edging above green throat

I love Beautiful Edgings. It is a classic older cultivar of the eye-no-edge type that shows the beautiful rose edge on a cream-yellow background. It is a very good growing plant for me, with nice foliage, good increase and it establishes quickly after dividing. It has a long bloom season here and is very pod and pollen fertile.

The foliage of Beautiful Edgings is beautiful and semi-evergreen, with some foliage remaining here above ground except in the coldest winters. The plant is very hardy here in my zone 6 garden. I have reports of this cultivar flourishing over much of North America, both in the north and the south. It increases quickly and establishes quickly when divided. It puts on a beautiful show and is an excellent garden specimen.

Beautiful Edgings has been a reliable breeder for me. It shows moderately high rust resistance in my garden and I have reports of it showing moderately high resistance in many other gardens. It also shows breeding value for rust resistance in my experience and I have several good seedlings from Beautiful Edgings that show resistance to rust of equal or higher levels than Beautiful Edgings itself. A good breeder for most any program, but indispensable for starting an edge-no-eye program with rust resistance. 

Belle of Ashwood

Belle of Ashwood

Richard Norris – 2005 – [(Chance Encounter x William Austin Norris) x Pearl Harbor] – Tet – 28” – 6” – EM – Dorm – Re – Clear pink with gold bubbled edge above deep green throat

Of all the pink with golden piecrust edge types I have grown, Belle of Ashwood is my favorite. It is a very strong growing plant that is a fast increaser, and as a senescent (‘dormant’) cultivar that was bred in Ohio, it is very hardy in cold climates. The flower is lovely and it is a strong rebloomer in my garden, producing instant rebloom and usually a third set of scapes as well.

Belle of Ashwood is very fertile both ways and will set copious numbers of seed pods. I have found it to be an excellent breeder for fancy, edged flowers in many colors, on dormant plants and also for rebloom.

Bill Fall

Bill Fall

Sellers – 1994 – (Tetra Big Apple cross) – Tet – 26” – 5” – Mid – Dorm – Re – Red with slightly darker red eyezone above green throat

A beautiful red self that descends out of tetra Big Apple, and shows the exquisite red coloring of Big Apple, but on a more vigorous plant. Bill Fall is a strong grower, is very pollen fertile and moderately pod fertile. The plant shows moderately fast increase, but doesn’t tend to have the most beautiful foliage I have ever seen. It shows some susceptibility to late spring freezes, and this can make the foliage look ragged. The flower though is one of the best red tetraploids I know of and it can breed much better foliage than it shows with a pairing to a partner with beautiful foliage. The foliage is senescent (‘dormant’) and goes down to a tiny resting bud here in the winter.

The most important aspect of Bill Fall though is that it is highly rust resistant and has high breeding value for rust resistance. This has been reported to me by many people and I have observed it repeatedly in my own screening as well. I have used Bill Fall a great deal in my own breeding work and continue to use it. It is a fine breeding plant and a beautiful flower for the garden as well.