the Daylily... a perfect perennial!
The daylily is a reliable, lovely blooming perennial capable of holding its own in any landscape design and is now one of the most popular choices. The botanical name is Hemerocallis derived from two Greek words meaning "beauty" and "day" - thus the common name of daylily. The daylily can be characterized as a clump-forming perennial with four distinct growing parts which consist of the roots, the crown, the foliage, and the scape. Each daylily plant puts up scapes that have several buds and each bud gives one day of loveliness, fragrance, color, and grace thereby providing several weeks of garden beauty throughout the bloom season. The daylily is available in wide ranges of color, size bloom, height, form, and patterns priced as low as a few dollars per plant up to hundreds of dollars per plant depending on its availability. Performance is as widely varied from scapes with only a few buds to scapes with high bud counts in excess of 60 per scape! Where older varieties might only put up a few scapes per season, now newer established varieties may put up dozens and repeatedly throughout the season - all will vary somewhat depending on basic variables. There are literally hundreds of varieties available today in all size blooms, scape heights, colors, habits & bloom time, forms, and patterns.
When I first became interested in daylilies I distinctly remember noting that they were available as "evergreen" which to me meant the foliage would remain nice and green during winter. Well, when selecting my very first order of daylilies, I naturally chose those daylilies that were going to stay nice and green during winter here in Indiana. Guess what? ..they don't stay green here in Indiana and some, NOT all, but some can, in fact, be somewhat tender in this climate. However, as many things in life do, this error on my part turned out to be a plus as it allowed me the opportunity of growing several evergreens and therefore learning first hand the difference. It also gave me a basis for my hybridizing program that included a few of these evergreens that do well in a cold climate - a definite plus if you are breeding for all-around good performance.
I have found there to be many definitions of the daylily plant habit and want to emphasize the following is my definition as noted by me in my Indiana garden. All of my cultivar daylilies have markers which give their registered details and I often note that the plant habit in my garden does not necessarily coincide with the registered habit. This tells me that daylily plant habits can and will vary according to the zone or climate in which they are being grown. If you are unsure about how a specific habit will behave in your zone, check with the hybridizer, the grower, or find out if it is grown in your area.
SELF- The flower segments, petals and sepals, are the same color
EYE or EYEZONE - A distinguishing pattern on many daylilies which is a ring of a different or darker color at the juncture of the segments at the throat and is present on both the petals and sepals
CIRCULAR - Flower appears round and segments overlap
Tetraploid vs Diploid
Diploid daylilies have 22 chromosomes with two sets of chromosomes in each cell. Tetraploid daylilies have 44 chromosomes with four sets of chromosomes in each cell. The larger cells of tetraploids result in bigger leaves, flowers, and other plant parts. An important advantage of tetraploids is the additional breeding possibilities brought about by the increased number of chromosomes. Both are equallty lovely and delightful to grow.