A Word About Daylily Language
Daylilies provide abundant bloom and make a stunning complement to the mixed perennial border. Some of the taller cultivars have grassy foliage with graceful scapes and beautiful blooms that seem to dance and float in the air. Many shorter cultivars are loaded with exquisite blossoms suitable for the front of the border, as edgings to shrub or rose beds and combine well with annuals in containers on the patio. When considering the microclimates in your garden, the spaces with deep, reliable snow cover are better off than areas with varying snow cover or exposure to drying winds.
Daylilies provide three-season beauty to the landscape with their beautiful foliage and have scrumptious flowers – literally! They look great around water features or as a companion to lacy or round-leafed shrubs and perennials. They form impressive ‘drifts’ in the same or complementary colors.
The play of light and shadow on the tones and textures of light colored daylilies is truly amazing. Apricots, yellows, lemons, pinks, and near-whites are sure to become some of your favorites. They give a great show! They are also useful in connecting, pushing forward and highlighting the stronger hues of the red and purple daylilies and other dark colors in your garden design.
For your convenience we have arranged the daylily cultivars from our collection into various categories. Choosing by COLOR, HEIGHT, BLOOM PERIOD or FLOWER FORM will help you identify cultivars to more easily satisfy your gardening needs.
The information supplied for our daylily collection is taken from the official registrations made through the American Hemerocallis Society. (AHS) That being said, some varieties may perform differently than described because of inconsistencies in weather and climate. For example – the long summer days here in Alberta may cause some cultivars to produce taller scapes than further south where they were hybridized and registered. Weather and climate will also affect flower color, with some daylilies being paler in cool weather and others deeper in hot weather.
REBLOOM (Re), FRAGRANCE (Fr – VFr), PLOIDY (PL), NOCTURNAL (Noc) verses diurnal, EXTENDED BLOOM (Ext), BRANCHING (BR) and BUD COUNT (BC)
Rebloom occurs when a cultivar produces a second or third set of flower scapes in the same season. Many daylily cultivars are bred, tested and registered in a warmer climate with a longer growing season. Most rebloomers are not dependable here, especially in cooler years. Sheltered south facing walls and niches will sometimes create microclimates in the garden for rebloom to occur. Rebloom is also influenced by generous amounts of rain or applied water.
Fragrant (Fr) or Very Fragrant (VFr) is listed in the registration where applicable. Yellow, cream, white, and pink varieties of daylilies are almost always fragrant to some degree; other colors not so much. Daylily fragrance tends to be light and may change from day to day depending on temperature and humidity.
Nocturnal (Noc) daylilies open late in the afternoon, remain open all night and close the following morning. Most cultivars are the opposite or ‘diurnal’ and open during morning hours and close in evening. Some cultivars that are nocturnal in warm climates will not always bloom at night in cooler regions but open in the morning instead.
Extended (Ext) daylilies are those cultivars that have blooms that remain open for at least 16 hours. Both diurnal and nocturnal daylilies can have extended bloom.
Ploidy (PL) refers to the number of chromosomes in each cell. Diploids have 22 chromosomes and tetraploids have 44 chromosomes. This aspect of daylily biology is important to the hybridizer because diploids and tetraploids do not cross with one another. Both are uniquely and equally beautiful.
Branching (BR) and Bud Count (BC) refers to the way the buds form on the scape. A well branched daylily has a good balance of different sizes, and not crowded buds near the top of the scape. Bud Count (BC) refers to the number of buds on each scape. Good branching and Bud Count determine the number of weeks a particular cultivar will bloom. Eg. “20 b on 4 b” will bloom longer than “12 b on 2 b”. Many of the new hybrids have this information included in their registrations with the American Hemerocallis Society.
DAYLILIES BY COLOR – Color, color and more color! The faces of modern daylilies are magnificent!
In the eyes of most daylily aficionados the modern daylily is far superior to the original 13 or so species daylilies in their original shades of yellow, orange, fulvous red and pink. It is clearly amazing from the relatively small gene pool of 13 to the current 70,000 plus registered cultivars world-wide, how the diversity in color has emerged in less than 100 years. The only colors notably lacking are true blue and pure white.
The future of daylily color and pattern is as open and wide as the dreams and imaginations of the hybridizers themselves and will continue to change and evolve in the 21 century.
The colors of Hemeocallis flowers or hems as they are sometimes called range from single shades and lovely pastels eg. ‘Flasher’ and ‘Lullaby Baby’ to fabulous blendings eg. ‘South Seas’ and patterns eg. ‘Magic Elf’.
Near-white and cream: Absolutely Fabulous, Arctic Snow, Bernice Watt, Blueberry Sundae, Canadian Border Patrol, Canadian Diamonds, Feather Down, Gentle Shepherd, Inwood, Joan Senior, Kathleen Petrie, Moonlit Masquerade, Pandora’s Box, Siloam Ury Winniford, Sunday Gloves, White Temptation
Red: Anzac, Bologongo, Chicago Apache, Chicago Ruby, Christmas Is, Highland Lord, Japanese Brocade, Morning Fire, Night Embers, Pardon Me, Point of View, Red Ribbons, Red Suspenders, Rocket Man, Ruby Stella, Salieri, Salzberg, Three Diamonds
Gold, Green Yellow and Yellow: Atlas, Big Smile, Custard Candy, Double River Wye, Easter Sunday, First Knight, Flasher, Fooled Me, Froufrou, Happy Returns, Hudson Valley, Hyperion, Irresistable Charm, Jamaican Me Crazy, Jo Barber, Morocco, Siloam Space Age, Sixth Sense, Smugglers Gold, Speckles
Amber, Melon, Peach and Orange: Bobo Anne, Burning Daylight, Congo Coral, Ever So elegant, Eyes of Fury, Kwanso, Mauna Loa, Outrageous, Real Wind, Rocket City, Ruffled Apricot, South Seas, Tigger, Yazoo Double Butterscotch
Rose and Pink: American Folklife, Barbara Mitchell, Blue Happiness, Cherry Cheeks, Daring Deception, Dublin Elaine, Elegant Candy, Exotic Candy, Fairy Tale Pink, Jolyene Nichole, Joyous Wonder, Lake Norman Spider, Lullaby Baby, Mabel Nolen, Mumtaz, Prague Spring, Preppy Pink, Rendezvous, Rose Emily, Siloam Double Classic, Strawberry Candy, Taking Care of Business, Thai Ballet, Violet light, Vintage Passion, Wineberry Candy
Lavender and Purple: Always Afternoon, Amethyst Art, Asian Artistry, Bela Lugosi, Chicago Royal Robe, Court Magician, Designer Gown, Designer Jeans, Entrapment, Grape Ice, Ilonka, Kiss Me, Little Grapette, Magic Elf, Nairobi Night, Night Beacon, Prairie Blue Eyes, Quinn Buck, Tooth, Trahlyta, Violet Light
Brown, Tan and Copper: Brown Witch
Bicolor or Bitone: Avante Garde, Frans Hals, Parson Weems, Startle
DAYLILIES BY HEIGHT
Daylily height is determined by the leafless stalk or scape that bears the flowers. Most scapes have two or more branches, each with several or many flower buds. Most of the cultivars at Gablehouse Farm and Gardens are in the MEDIUM range, having scapes from 24″ to 36″. Other daylily heights vary from less than 12″ to over 72″. It is best to chose varieties where the scape is in proportion to the size of the flower.
Low and Very Low-Growing Daylilies – 0” to 23″: Absolutely Fabulous, Always Afternoon, American Folklife, Amethyst, Art, Arctic Snow, Barbara Mitchell, Bologongo, Congo Coral, Highland Lord, Jolyene Nichole, Kiss Me, Little Grapette,, Lullaby Baby, Magic Elf, Mauna Loa, Morning Fire, Outrageous, Pandora’s Box, Pardon Me, Rose Emily, Ruby Stella, Salzberg, Siloam Double Classic, Siloam Ury Winniford, Vintage Passion, Wineberry Candy, Blue Happiness, Joe arbre
Tall Daylilies – 36″ plus: Coral spider, Grape Ice, Hyperion, Joyous Wonder, Kathleen Petrie, Point of View, Red Ribbons, Rocket City, Canadian Diamonds
DAYLILIES BY BLOOM TIME
Daylily growers use the following symbols to indicate when a cultivar will bloom during the season:
EE – Extra Early – Blooms appear from April in the south to the end of June in the north.
E – Early – Blooms appear two to three weeks prior to the mass of bloom at midseason.
EM – Early/Midseason – Blooms appear one to two weeks before the height of bloom of most cultivars.
M – Midseason – Peak of the daylily bloom. (Mid July to Mid August for Alberta)
LM – Late/Midseason – One to two weeks after the height of the bloom season.
L – Late – Blooms appear when most other cultivars have finished blooming.
VL – Very Late – Last bloom period. (Not recommended for Alberta)
We suggest that each of these designations be interpreted to fit the climate or microclimate where the plants will be grown. For example – northwest facing daylily beds will bloom as much as two weeks later than beds facing the southeast or southwest where they receive sunlight for more hours of the day. Daylily culture, like all other aspects of horticulture is dependent on weather conditions; therefore predictable weather is conducive to consistent bloom time patterns.
Early blossoms are always appreciated by us northern folk, as are the great masses of flowers so abundant during mid-season. The cold nights of our late summers and early autumns can make the blossoms of late blooming daylily cultivars appear washed out, however most daylily buds will tolerate a few nights of moderate frost.
EE – Extra Early: Happy Returns, Morning Fire
E – Early: Always Afternoon, American Folklife, Blue Happiness, Burning Daylight, Chicago Royal Robe, Little Grapette, Mumtaz, Ruby Stella, Salieri, Salzberg, Tooth
EM – Early/Midseason: Amethyst Art, Avante Garde, Blueberry Sundae, Bobo Anne, Canadian Border Patrol, Christmas Is, Congo Coral, Court Magician, Custard Candy, Daring Deception, Easter Sunday, Elegant Candy, First Knight, Flasher, Fooled Me, Gentle Shepherd, Inwood, Japanese Brocade, Joan Senior, Lullaby Baby, Kwanso, Mabel Nolen, Magic Elf, Mauna Loa, Moonlit Masquerade, Night Beacon, Night Embers, Pandora’s Box, Point of View, Rendezvous, Rocket City, Rocket Man, Ruffled Apricot, Salzberg, Siloam Double Classic, Siloam Ury Winniford, Strawberry Candy, Sunday Gloves, Trahlyta, Vintage Passion.
M – Midseason: Absolutely Fabulous, Anzac, Arctic Snow, Asian Artistry, Barbara Mitchell. Bernice Watt, Big Smile, Bologongo, Burning Daylight, Canadian Diamonds, Chicago Apache, Chicago Ruby, Coral Spider, Designer Gown, Designer Jeans, Double River Wye, Dublin Elaine, Entrapment, Ever So Elegant, Exotic Candy, Eyes of Fury, Fairy Tale Pink, Froufrou, Grape Ice, Hudson Valley, Hyperion, Ilonka, Irresistable Charm, Jamaican Me Crazy, Jo Barbre, Jolyene Nichole, Kathleen Petrie, Kiss Me, Lake Norman Spider, Morocco, Nairobi Night, Outrageous, Pardon me, Parson Weems, Prague Spring, Prairie Blue Eyes, Preppy Pink, Quinn Buck, Red Ribbons, Red Suspenders, Rose Emily, Siloam Space Age, Sixth Sense, Smugglers Gold, South Seas, Speckles, Startle, Taking Care of Business, Thai Ballet, Three Diamonds
ML – L; Mid/Late – Late: Atlas, Cherry Cheeks, Feather Down, Frans Hals, Highland Lord, Joyous Wonder, Real Wind
DAYLILIES BY FLOWER FORM
Double daylilies make a lush and beautiful feature in any garden. They produce double and sometimes triple petals, sepals and/or petaloids, giving the flower a completely new look – ‘Wow! That’s a daylily?!’
Some varieties will bloom in single form after initial planting or division but ‘double up’ once they become established. Doubling is influenced by temperature and becomes more reliable as temperatures increase during the season. With new double formed hybrids being developed every year, double daylilies are progressively becoming more consistent in their doubling as well as appealing and beautiful.
Double Daylilies: Absolutely Fabulous, Amethyst Art, Double River Wye, Dublin Elaine, Froufrou, Highland Lord, Jo Barbre, Kwanso
Spider, Spider Variant and Unusual Form (UFOS) Daylilies
Spiders and Unusual Form daylilies are the newest and most controversial daylily category. The differences in opinion are due to the fact that many of these daylilies grow differently in the north than they do in the south. Colors are consistent but length and width of petals vary as well as other details like petal separation. A bona fide Spider must have a 5 to 1 ratio between the length of it petals and their width. The Spider Variant has a 4 to 1 ratio.
UFOS (Unusual Forms) are based exclusively on flower form. They have distinctive petal or sepal shapes or combinations of Crispate segments, Cascade segments, and Spatulate segments. The Crispate category is further subdivided into pinching, twisting and quilling.
Spiders, Spider Variants, and UFOS seem to be a ‘love them’ or ‘leave them’ flower form. Here at Gablehouse Farm and Gardens, we love them! They are delightfully different with a real WOW Factor. They fit anywhere daylilies are used in the landscape and are absolutely charming in an informal or semi-wild garden design.
Spiders, Spider Variants and UFOS: Brown Witch, Coral Spider, Lake Norman Spider, Prague Spring, Red Ribbons, Red Suspenders, Rocket Man, Tooth
Daylilies are hardy, exotic and beautiful!
They are perhaps the most admirably suited of all perennials for use in landscape design. Blessed with an easy-going nature, limitless colors and heights appropriate for a myriad of placements in any landscape, the daylily makes it possible for anyone to be an artist.
If you haven’t grown them before give them a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Choose some rock solid dormant types to start. Later, once you discover for yourself how great they are, you can begin to play with the microclimates that exist in every garden. Don’t be afraid to try some Evergreens and Semi-evergreens for the more sheltered spots in your yard. Evergreens and Semi-evergreens often exhibit some of the more exotic color forms and patterns and are no more expensive.