Random Thoughts

DORMANT!There is much unnecessary confusion surrounding the word “
dormant.” Many factors, excess heat, excess cold, lack of water, often occuring simultaneously cause the daylily to recede underground into a “dormant state.” The only type of dormancy that is of value to the Northern grower is “cold dependency” caused by release of abscisic acid due to several weeks of freezing weather. TRUE cold-dependent dormants go underground due to decreasing daylengths in the fall, like all the other “pseudo” dormants. Then, with the onslaught of prolonged cold weather, the chemical abscisic acid is produced causing the crown to swell and often double in size compared to the plant's crown size prior to dormancy. A TRUE NORTHERN dormant like the classic plants from Brother Charles, James Marsh and Steve Moldovan, exhibit strong blue infusion in the leaves, indicating an “anti-freeze” that permits these to withstand Arctic blasts in the early spring with little or no damage.
TRUE dormants only go underground due to photo-cell period. A few nights in the teens does not trigger dormancy-EVER! There are no plants of this foliage type (TRUE DORMANT) coming from the deep south due to the fact that several weeks of freezing weather is necessary for them to thrive and perform. With so many Northern hybridizers migrating to the Lake Charles-Orlando region, combined with green-house seedling selection and lack of seed chilling, any trace of TRUE northern dormancy has been selectively bred out of the Southern daylilies.
It can be difficult to distinguish the “pseudo” Florida dormant from a true Northern dormant when they break ground in early spring. The most notable visual difference is that the crown of the Northern dormant is simply bursting with energy and much larger in diameter than in the fall, whereas the Florida dormant emerges with ramets the same size as when it went under. A hardy evergreen is not a semi-evergreen. If the plant is not dormant, and comes up in the spring with burnt foliage, the daylily is EVERGREEN and should be listed as such!

A totally erroneous notion being currently postulated is that we should replace the term DORMANT with the absurd and non-applicable term DECIDUOUS!
The most basic and absolute requirement for a plant to be listed as deciduous is that such plants must shed or drop their leaves every fall. Dormant daylilies die back, but the leaves remain attached at the base of the plant all winter until they are manually removed in the spring or just decompose. Read my lips: There is no such thing as a deciduous daylily! "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Deciduous | Define Deciduous at Dictionary.com

  1. specific sense of "trees whose leaves fall off" (opposed to evergreen) is from 1778. deciduous in Medicine Expand. deciduous de·cid·u·ous (dĭ-sĭj'ōō-əs) adj.
  2. Falling off or shed at a specific stage of growth, as teeth of the first
  1. What I liked last year

Jeff Salter has long selected for “total plant,” combining beauty of bloom, branching, and reliable rebloom with large robust plants of excellent vigor. I love his ARTS AND CRAFTS, CAMELOT RED FABULOUS BLACK PEARL, and LIGHTNING THIEF, and SPELLBOUND SECRET are outstanding and his FANTASTIC FRINGE is essential to anyone breeding for extreme teeth. Jeff doesn’t use photoshop and his introductions are always better than his pictures. I look forward to his new ARABIAN MAGIC—incredible! And if you are breeding blue eyes and patterns; remember that Liz Salter practically invented these. The liz Salter eyes are the foundation of every patterned tet program.

I consider Jamie Gossard the premier northern hybridizer and his new intros never fail to impress. His VAMPIRE FISH, HEAVENLY NEW FRONTIERS, HEAVENLY QUEEN OF SHEBA, MAN EATING BAT, are awesome! DRAGON’S PREY, like KING COBRA, is far more impressive than Jamie’s lackluster picture. Have you seen his BLACK WOLF?

I would be truly remiss if I fail to mention Paul Genho, who I consider the most brilliant mind in daylilies today. Paul has a Ph.D. in Animal Science and has served in numerous leadership positions within the NCBA, scientific, agriculture and academic communities. He is now utilizing his expertise in over 30 years of hybridizing cattle to benefit his daylily hybridizing. New intros from Paul Genho coming soon! Paul is currently faculty at University of Florida.