Hello Ro





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 -- 




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.


Mick Morry