Wednesday, November 01, 2006

1954-55 Farr Catalog of A.B. Stout Daylilies

This catalogue, generously shared by a member of the Spider Robin, states the following about a 'good daylily':

Good daylilies take care of themselves. They thrive in spite of weeds or neglect. They last for a lifetime. When age, or circumstances, discourage the labour that roses, gladioli, or annuals, etc., require, plant daylilies and let them take care of themselves.

On 'How to Judge a Daylily'
1-Is it hardy? Will it survive in sub-zero temperatures? In poor soil? In spite of neglect?
2- How long does it bloom? The number of bloom buds to a stem equals the approximate number of days of bloom.
3- How dependably and profusely does it bloom? Does the plant produce a liberal number of bloom stems, with many branches and many bloom buds, year after year?
4- Do the blooms and the stems have goood substance? Are the blooms resistant to hot sun and to rain? Or do they curl, bleach, burn or open poorly? Do the stems remain upright and graceful regardless of winds, drought or beating rains?
5- Is the plant clean? Do the shriveled buds hang on to disfigure or do they drop quickly? Does the foliage remain green and upright into fall or does it sprawl or flop? Does it become 'blightly' by late summer?
6- Do the blooms remain open evening?
7- Is it distinct from other daylilies? Does it vary sufficiently in season, type, shape, pattern or color from others already existing?

Sometimes, it seems, it is good to go back to basics, and these seem to me worthy goals to pursue in any modern hybridising program.