DAYLILIES: THE ONE PERENNIAL FLOWER YOU MUST GROW

When I hear the name Daylily I automatically think of the orange flowered variety, but I now learn that there are some 75,000 different cultivars in all shades you can imagine. Perhaps this is why it has been described as the perfect perennial. This tough plant grows reliably and lives up to its name by producing new flowers every day for a large part of the summer. This information has been gleaned from an article by Charlie Gomer which I found on The Master Gardeners website.

The daylily offers many different choices for the landscaping or garden at your home. The scientific name of this perennial plant is hemerocallis. A cultivar is a registered named daylily. There are over 75,000 different registered cultivars. This large number covers cultivars registered from the beginning of record keeping to the present, so many of these cultivars are old and some even lost. Every year hybridizers introduce new cultivars. In the last ten years there have been around 2,200 new daylilies registered annually. The changes in daylilies over the last several years have been dramatic in plant sizes, flower sizes, flower colors, and flower shapes. Every year new cultivars add to the interest in daylilies. This variety gives buyers many options to choose from for their gardens.
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In the Gettysburg area, daylilies will bloom from June through September, but the peak bloom time is the end of June until the third week in July. There are also early daylilies that bloom in June and many late bloomers that extend the season through August and September. Planting all three types of blooming time daylilies will provide blooms all summer long. Take a visit during peak season to a display garden and get familiar with the cultivars in which you are interested. By visiting a display garden in your region, you can see how well cultivars perform in your area, what they look like in clumps, and how many buds the plants produce. The bud count can vary considerably among the different cultivars. Observing daylilies in your growing area will assure you the cultivars you choose are hardy and will perform well in your garden compared to buying from a catalog or buying shipped-in plants from other regions.
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Daylilies have many unique characteristics. The daylily bloom comes in all colors except solid white and blue. However, many newer complex cultivars do have white and blue within the bloom. Various ranges of color in yellow, red, pink, purple, and melon are found in the daylily. The bloom can be a solid color or a combination of colors, and many are complex with patterns and ragged edges called teeth. Some daylilies have tiny crystals on their cells that reflect light giving them a sparkling or glistening appearance and a gold, silver or diamond dusting. The part of the plant the holds the blooms is called the scape and sizes can vary from a few inches to over five feet. Different hydridizers have been working on these visual effects that really add to the interest of the cultivar types.

 
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