HYBRIDIZING CHICKEN FAT EDGES--PROS AND CONS
The modern daylily is an ever advancing and evolving beast.
Daylily genetics are pushing the envelope in so many new directions
--colour, form, edging, size, texture, substance are just some of the most
popular goals being worked on. My favourite program to breed for
is in creating monster edges. When I first got into daylily hybridizing
I tried for these large edges, but I did not have the right
necessary plants with the edges I needed to combine together.
Hybridizing for a particular style or type of daylily means you will
have to research and learn what makes what and what does what
before the pollen is spread around. You also need the right tools.
So I went about buying and also breeding for large edged cultivars.
There is no "dabbing" or putting "pretty on pretty" once you are focusing
on getting a certain type of flower--this applies to all flower breeding.
Line breeding is usually the most commonly used form of hybridizing
in such focused programs. You must know your parents and all plants
being used, and you also need to know what they have in their
own background as family going back several generations.
So researching of pedigrees becomes not just important,
but necessary in many cases to achieve what you are breeding for.
You also need to breed your first few seasons by casting an open net
--meaning you need to try every combination of this and that
to see what makes what and what does what when you breed
two flower types together. In edge breeding you need to breed
every type of edge to all the different edges out there
to learn what does what. This is what I did to find out in concrete
what makes a beaded edge or how you make a pie crust edge.
There is, however, a much quicker route--one you only think of
in hindsight years later. Rather than hitting a plant here and there
with a knobby edge or toothy edge-- you focus your attention
on what is bred on the day instead. If I was to do it all over again
I could have learned this particular part of my hybridizing program
in just a single season of breeding. I would have just had to wait
to see them bloom and I would have had the same answers
much sooner and a lot easier too I might add. Hindsight is always 20-20.
What I would do now is this.
For 2 entire days I would breed a knobby edge and throw it at every
good flower I think will work with it. Don't just use one knobby flower
--use many knobby flowers that same day of knobby hybridizing
so that there will be colour variations that will allow you to hybridize
as much of your garden as possible with this form of edging.
You also want to have genetic diversity, and more importantly
you will have a more positive answer that is likely to be correct
the first time around. You need multiple identical results all meeting
on the same ground before you can say I nailed how to get teeth.
A plant may be carrying recessive genes or have very dominant genes
that throw a completely different form of edge than a cultivar carries itself.
The only way to find out what makes each form of edge is to breed
for that form and have dozens of examples displaying
the same characteristics. If you breed a flower such as Gretchen Baxter
from Phil Reilly-- which has a very heavy chicken fat edge,
and you throw it at flowers with no edge or very little edging
you will get some seedlings that are chicken fat edged and open flawlessly.
You can repeat and repeat such a cross and you will find nearly
every cross you make will have the same resulting features and edge size.
What you will find is you will get flowers very with large,
prominent looping edges quite often. Some will have a chicken fat edge,
but it will be reduced by at least 20%. Typically breeding a solid
1 inch flower to a non ruffled or lightly ruffled flower will produce
flowers with edges between a half inch and 3/4 of an inch.
Some however will go to a full inch. This all depends on the genetics
behind both of the cultivars used. Recessive genes could come into play
at anytime and in any cross and force change where you did not see
it happening in your mind. Hunches only go so far and prove so much.
You must test all your theories or read up on them and ask others
to find all the possible variables, problems and solutions.
So each couple of days you should try a different edge type
and select 5 or so dads that have this exact form of edge.
In daylilies where edges are concerned the dad is King.
Dad should be your ruffled hitter. The pod bearing plant must be
the lesser of the two edges. Your pod parent should be used as the
stable safe cultivar used in the crossing. The dad should be a
ground-breaking, cutting-edge plant. Throw them at all the other flowers
you wish to breed them to, and that also fit your program style.
Try breeding them with all the multiple different edges you have
and throw different pollen parents to keep diversity up and inbreeding down.
Find out what happens if you breed a monstrous half inch pie crust edge
to a 1 inch toothy wonder. You must do a bit of experimenting
as there is no solid set in stone formula that will work
for every plant of a certain style.
Why? It is those pesky recessive genes coming back to haunt you
or it could also be a set of truly dominant traits in play too.
The variations are as unlimited as there are stars in the sky.
You can even get dominant genes that – let’s say -- will give you
sculpted flowers that came from the grandfather.
Meanwhile you could have recessive genes making nearly every
seedling creped as much as another parent --generations back
in that crosses pedigree. Due to the variables of both dominant
and recessive genes coming into play--combined with a flower
that can show traits from any of its parents in its pedigree
for up to 5-6 generations back-- perhaps even further--
means you only partially know what to expect to get in
any given cross you make.
We can be mostly right, however, and more often than not too.
So you can swing and miss hundreds of times, but if you get that
one good seedling that is that leap you are looking for--then
you are in home run territory. It only takes one great seedling
of the type you are looking for to build a single trait you are breeding for.
Get a truly great seedling and you may be able to build
your entire line off of this plant. We call these plants
"Foundation Plants" in the business.
Once you have one or two foundation plants--it all begins.
My love affair with Chicken Phat or Fat--whichever way you decide
to spell it--is a long one. It started when I first saw Jack Carpenter's
HOW BEAUTIFUL HEAVEN MUST BE--aka HBHMB in the daylily world.
When I saw the level of ruffles on this perfectly formed dormant
I knew this would be my most prized turf to stomp on.
I wanted ruffles like this plant had--more so I wanted even larger ruffles
on an even larger flower than HBHMB.
So began my journey to build up ruffles.
My first best results came from using my Area-51 which is a very knobby,
hooked and heavily beaded edged UF I bred.
It breeds all forms of edges I have found, but when bred with large looping ruffles
it produced Chicken Fat edges, such as in this future of mine
being named DAVID DEKORT. http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=7170 This Area Fifty-One cross has solid 3/4 inch edging
and then has little shingle like teeth added on to the 3/4 edge.
These "canine molars" as I call them are a full 1 cm.
So this edge is a solid 1 inch edge due to those little
leaf shaped additional portions of tissue.
This is where the magic of hybridizing starts to show its face,
and where the adventure and fun begins.
I took Area-51 and cut it to plants such as Jack Carpenter's
BANANA CREAM BEAUTY – a huge flower -- and got a really
good seedling I named WINTERLUDE. Winterlude is a simple
tall dormant white with a thick 1/4 inch edge. It is not very ruffly,
but it carries those special genes you always hope to get.
I then took my WINTERLUDE and cut it to Oscie Whatley's
incredible BUTTER CREAM. . BUTTER CREAM has a perfect
always open flat early in the morning chicken fat edge.
It is perhaps the most stable edge of this type for ingraining
deep chicken fat characteristics that will latch on and
become very dominant in future generations.
Here are just some of the seedlings that came out of this chicken fat cross.
I kept every seedling in this cross. I think I have over 20 of them due to
the fact I repeated the crossing again the following season to see
what would happen. All are different and nearly all
of them have serious polymerous activity going on.
http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=7236, http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=7251, http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=6323, http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=6323#/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=6325
The polymerous genes are coming down the pipe from one
of AREA-51's parents -- I DREAM IN GREEN--which is a reliably polymerous
daylily and more importantly breeds polymerous daylilies.
Here is another example of going radical in edge.
I took CZARINA'S TREASURE from Jeff Salter and bred AREA-51
to it and got this 6 inch seedling. Remember Czarina's Treasure
is an older far less ruffled Salter. It is no more ruffled than DARING DECEPTION
or any of the other beaded edged daylilies out there.
It has that unmistakable solid 1990 look to it.
So I got this seedling, and I thought great--this is working out splendidly,
and so I went deeper with my theory on how to build up ruffles from scratch.
This is what I got.
This seedling looks average, but make no mistake about it,
this is a superior seedling. This flower first opened just shy of 10 inches.
We measured it at 9.6 inches. It then of course shrunk in subsequent flowers
down to a more reasonable 7.5 to 8.5 inch flowers--typical!!! <BG>.
However it is carrying the giant genes and more importantly
genes that form monster ruffles.
That flower in the photo is the 9.6 inch flower.
Those ruffles that look small or average in this photo are a solid 2 inches!
Hey-- this article says we are going to be talking about
chicken fat ruffling!! Where is the chicken fat on this seedling
or the others without chicken fat you are showing? The answer is plants
such as this are major breakthroughs that are needed to go
mental on ruffles. The really short answer is you cannot put 3 inches of ruffles
on a 5 or 6 inch flower. You can't put them on a 7 inch flower either.
You can however put them on a flower that is 8 inches or larger.
The secret in how to get the largest ruffles in the world is through
breeding for the largest flowers in the world.
Then you must mate the two together. Flowers such as that pink seedling
will be meeting flowers such as this. http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=7128
This is a future of mine being named after a friend DEBBIE FRIEDLANDER.
This is a perfect example of ruffles gone wild and out of nowhere.
This cross came out of my GOLDEN BUDDHA--which is a non ruffled
solid yellow UF which I bred to Pat Stamile's unbelievable
chicken fat edged BOUNDLESS BEAUTY – a true star of a plant in our garden.
When I saw what was going on in my line I began to take notes
and then I used those notes the following year to build and build the ruffling.
Soon after I created Area-51 I got another ground breaking cross
I named SUN MOON STARS--aka SMS.
Rather than bore you with a photo of it I will show you a couple of it's kids. http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=6260, http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=7172, http://www.mydaylilies.com/daylily-photos?func=viewphoto&id=33784
These seedlings all have a few things in common.
They all open early in the morning and never hang up and are
perfect every single flower. No blemishing, no form issues, no ugly anything!
I could not find anything to complain about.
They even had height, branching, dormancy, bud count and substance too.
They were exactly what I was looking for and now I am using them
like mad in my program.
The first serious hitter and the most beautiful flower I have ever bred
out of SMS is LARRY LONGSON shown here.
When bred intelligently I found it would breed chicken fat ruffling that never tears,
hangs up or fails to open at all. Every seedling I am showing in this article never,
ever hangs up. I cull a seedling if I ever see a hang-up.
Hang-ups and form issues are amongst my largest beefs,
and I act immediately on it.
So in the next generation I threw plants such as Phil Reilly's
SIMPLY SCRUMPTIOUS at my LARRY LONGSON and I got monster edged,
open full and clean in the early morning seedlings.
Here is a seedling out of that cross.
This brings us to the second and almost as important part of
line breeding for traits. When you get a great cross --you repeat it.
So I remade that CZARINA'S TREASURE X AREA-51 cross again
and this is what I got the second time around.
I was shocked and it taught me a lesson that I have never forgotten.
While you may have got gold out of a prior cross --
you should never discount the fact that you may very well not have seen
the best seedlings out of that crossing yet.
The other lesson I learned is that you must breed chicken fat ruffles
to any other edge, but not to any other chicken fat edge.
You can come back and breed two seedlings out of chicken fat breeding
together and remain relatively safe, but they must have at least
one stable non chicken fat parent on one side of crossing
being used to ensure perfection --
(TWIST OF LEMON x BOUNDLESS BEAUTY) x
(BETTY WARREN WOODS x BUTTER CREAM).
In my view, it is breeding such as this that will truly show you
how large a flower and its ruffles can become,
and it is only possible with the use of chicken fat edging.