Great white tetraploid daylilies
their development and promising future
posted on the robin April 15th 2010
Verna's post earlier this morning
asked 'Why don't we have more white
daylilies?" It was a question that had me scratching my head till I realized
that all the whites cited as greats of the past by Verna are diploids, and
her list does not (to my eye) contain a single white tetraploid. Perhaps
Verna you need to look to the tetraplolid daylily to see where the the
future of white daylilies lies -- as found in the incredible profusion of
stunning modern white daylilies that have been introduced in recent years.
In case anyone hasn't been watching Pat Stamile's concerted breeding program
for whites -- which has footprints going back a full 25 years when he was an
active northern hybridizer in New York state, to his more recent incarnation
in Florida up until he sold the current Floyd Cove program -- those of us
who own, love and hybridize with tetraploid daylilies owe Pat Stamile the
earth for what he has done to make the modern white daylily the treasure it
is today. Beginning back in the early 1980s Pat took modest, creamy/yellowy
basically unruffled flowers showing some promise of white and hybridized
them cleverly, producing generation after generation of increasingly more
promising, more near white, and ultimately truly white daylilies. Just look
at the hybridizing record amongst the plants he produced that has taken the
tetraploid white from where it began - being compared unfavourably with the
white beacon of the 80s - Yancey's diploid Gentle Shepherd which many
claimed would never be surpassed as a white -- into mainstream hybridizing
and modern faced, truly white, ruffled daylilies.
Significant Stamile introductions over that time period catalogue the road
to modern whites:
Porcelain Pleasure - Stamile 1983 (sdlg. x White Illusion which was a Hite
1979 near white registration)
Arctic Snow - Stamile 1985 (Porcelain Pleasure x French Frosting - a 78
Munson intro x Nuka)
Wedding Band - Stamile 1987 (French Frosting x Porcelain Pleasure)
Ptarmigan - Stamile 1989 (Arctic Snow x White Tie Affair - a Peck 82 intro
which interestingly is out of Tet Iron Gate Glacier, hybridized by Grace
Stamile's brother Van Sellers )
Admiral's Braid - Stamile 1990 (Wedding Band x Pink Scintillation x sdlg.)
White Crinoline - Stamile 1992 (Ptarmigan x Tet Gentle Shepherd)
White Zone - Stamile 1992 (Arctic Snow x Tet Gentle Shepherd) x Ptarmigan)
Druid's Chant - Stamile 1993 (the pollen parent of which was Admiral's
Arctic Ruffles -Stamile 1993 (Florissant Pearl x Arctic Snow) x Tetra Monica
Marie - a conversion of a 92 Gates near white)
Alpine Snow - Stamile 1994 (Ptarmigan x Tetra Monica Marie)
Glacier Bay - Stamile 1995 (Arctic Ruffles x Admiral's Braid)
Great White - Stamile 1996 (Glacier Bay x Whisper White)
Platinum and Gold - Stamile 1996 (Admirals Braid x Alpine Snow) x Glacier
Nordic Mist - Stamile 1996 (Glacier Bay x (Rhythm N Blues x Seminole Wind)
Knights in White Satin - Stamile 1998 (Druid's Chant x Big Blue)
Mal - Stamile 1998 (White Zone x (White Hot x reg. 1998)
Key Lime Ice - Stamile 1998 (Mal x Great White)
Victorian Lace - Stamile 1999 (White Zone x Alpine Snow) X Nordic Mist
Michael Miller (Stamile 2000) (Great White x Platinum and Gold)
Winter Springs - Stamile 2001 (Magic Amethyst x Lake Effect x sdlg x Be
Thine) X (Big Sur x Great White)
Amish Linen - Stamile 2003 (produced from Victorian Lace (Stamile 1999) x
Michael Miller (Stamile 2000)
Boundless Beauty - Stamile 2006 (Great White (96) x Key Lime Ice (98) ) x
J.T. Davis (Grace 99) x Amish LInen (Stamile 2003)
The combination of these cleverly bred Stamile genes, united with a couple
of other very very important plants, the very most important of which to
modern white hybridizing is Larry Grace's 1999 registration J.T. Davis, has
given the tetraploid world an abundance of truly hardy advanced whites that
leaves the storied whites of the diploid world in their dust. Also of
considerable importance is Tetra Siloam Ralph Henry.
In addition to the Stamiles noted above, a large number of which we own and
grow very successfully here (Boundless Beauty is my hands down favourite of
the bunch... it is stupendous here!) here are some of my personal
favourite modern whites that I think every lover of white should hunt down
and plant in their garden:
Kennesaw Mountain Lemon Sorbet - a 2007 intro by Bill Waldrop. A stunning
white with a slight yellow cast, so thick and heavy rain cannot destroy it,
wonderful piecrust ruffles that open positively perfectly every day, even in
cold weather, It is out of Stamile's Michael Miller and Grace's J.T. Davis.
Playa Blanca, Peat 2007. The biggest and cleanest white in the garden.
Multiplies faster than weeds. Very tall and vigorous with extensive
branching. A fabulous plant.
Tacia Marie, Peat 2005. Out of Tet Champagne Elegance x Winter Palace, a
1998 Petit white. Great plant.
Tropical Snowflake, Peat 2008. Our of Playa Blanca x Tacie Marie.. Need I
say more? It is wonderful.
Frosty the Snowman. Another great white Peat. Is John Peat working on
building the next great white program?? Curious minds want to know.
Not here now but I intend to buy it from Mike Holmes is his King Solomon's
Treasure. This is a 7.5 inch very very white bloom from all the photos I
saw in Mike's presentation to the recent Can-Am Niagara . It comes out of
Stamile's Michael Miller and Tet Snowdrift a conversion of a 1969
introduction by Stutson. Good things can come from many places and boy it
worth clearly worth reaching back for that '69 plant and converting it to
make King Solomon's Treasure!
Snowbrooke. Bred in the north by Bryan Culver. A big white flower but not
with quite the same substance of the other whites noted above. A White
Crinoline kid, it has the thinner substance of its parent. I am thinking it
would be worth taking Bill Waldrop's indestructible Kennesaw Mountain Lemon
Sorbet to it to add edge and substance to any subsequent generation.
Flutter of Angels by Ted Petit. Very very hardy in our garden, this is a
clump that sends up an impressive number of wonderful white double flowers
in mid summer. A real crowd pleaser here.
White Swan - a Nicole Harry 2008 introduction. This is a J.T. Davis x
Winter Springs kid. An easy grower in the north.
J.T. Davis. Not a white, but a white producer, J.T. took a couple of years
to establish in our garden but it has now been here five or six years and is
rock solid. It sets pollen on anything it touches easily and should be in
the arsenal of anyone looking for white.
Spacecoast White Out. Does very well here.
Spacecoast White Chocolate. A wowzer here and a strong plant. We liked it,
and its parents (White Out x Tetra Siloam Ralph Henry) so much we bought the
2010 white intro Spacecoast Ivory Icon this year.
Tetra Siloam Ralph Henry is not really happy here because its increase is
slow, but it comes back reliably every year. It would probably be happier
in zones higher than our 4b.
President Ronald Reagan - a J.T. Davis kid from Frank Smith. We have had it
three years and this compact plant had gone from 2 fans to 10. The flowers
are beautiful and it reblooms well into late August and early September.
This is a treasure, if you can find it.
On the other hand, the jury is still out on Frank's Wedding Gown which we
got as a fall buy two and a half years ago, never a bright thing to do here
in the north. It survived but did not bloom in 2008, then came up in 2009
and bloomed strangely yellow flowers, and not many of them at that. We had
a weird summer in 2009 so we will assess it again this year. It is up
strongly this year and we are hoping for blooms like it is supposed to be,
seen so far only in photos. If not it will be outta here!
Time to go and let out the pooches so I will end at this point.
Avalonia Whippets and Daylilies