Daylilies forum: ATP Series: The Daylilies of Ned Roberts

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Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
Apr 15, 2013 4:21 AM CST

Moderator

Our featured hybridizer this week is Ned Roberts.

For this week’s hybridizer pick we choose a hybridizer neither Juli nor I have ever had an opportunity to meet. While researching for information to present a brief introduction and start a conversation about Ned and images of his introductions, I found myself pulled in by the personal comments written by the people who knew him and the chapter he wrote in the AHS publication “Caught In The Web” Spiders and UF’s. This brief introduction may be a bit longer than the last due to a quick change in the weather which kept me inside and a desire to satisfy my own curiosity about a man they called “Spiderman”.

In the 1980’s Ned was drawn to and embraced the differences of the narrow segments seen in the early Spider and Unusual forms going completely against the current fashion of the round tetraploids becoming popular at that time. He was known for his great sense of humor and a willingness to share information for better understanding of the narrow forms he loved. Ned was passionate about the Spider and Unusual forms, no stranger to the controversies surrounding them and looked forward to a time when, with positive change, others would recognize the beauty of these two forms.

Ned started hybridizing while working at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in the late 1980’s. He had begun to acquire daylilies that would contribute the characteristics he desired and form the backbone of his program. The cultivars of John Lambert, which can be found in the background of many of his introductions, were highly regarded and collected. A friendship developed after meeting Bill Oakes of Oakes Daylilies in 1989 at the AHS National and Ned and Bill began to work together with their shared common interest of spider and unusual forms and the Lambert cultivars. During the early 1990’s Ned’s selected seedlings were grown in Tennessee at Bill’s. In 1995 Ned and his wife Betty moved the Albuquerque hybridizing program with them to Colorado Springs, Colorado so they could be closer to their family. Bill Oakes passed away in 1998 and the collection of Ned’s daylilies at Bill’s was then moved to Dan Hansen’s Ladybug Daylilies in Florida where he continued to hybridize and introduce with the help and friendship of Dan Hansen. The intriguing names of many of his cultivars reflect his interest in Native American folklore. Ned passed away in 2006.

His first introductions in 1994 were Banana Glow, Happy Hopi, Fat Man, Lavender Handlebars and John’s Heritage. Among his many award winning cultivars are Brer Rabbit’s Baby which won the Lambert Webster Award for Unusual forms and an Award of Merit in 2010. Desert Icicle received the Lambert Webster Award in 2012 and Skinwalker was awarded the 2004 Harris Olson Spider Award and the Stout Silver Medal in 2009.

Skinwalker the 2009 Stout Medal winner




In 2007 Ned received the Bertrand Farr Silver Medal in recognition of his hybridizing accomplishments , if my memory serves me right I believe his wife Betty was at the National that year and accepted the award for him( if my memory has failed, someone please correct me). Also in 2007, in honor of his memory, the AHS established the Ned Roberts Spider/Unusual Form Award for the most outstanding clump of a registered Spider or Unusual form seen in a convention tour garden to be awarded yearly during the AHS National Convention. At the 2011 AHS National Convention Ned’s Licorice Twist received this award.

If you would like to read more about Ned Roberts, his cultivars and the history of the spiders and unusual forms there is an excellent article in the Winter 2007 Daylily Journal by Sharon Fitzpatrick. For a general history the “Caught In The Web” Spiders and UF’s publication from AHS is recommended. For those on the AHS email robin a search of the archives will give more information. I also found a link to a website with a tribute to Ned Roberts.

http://daylily.shannan.f-m.fm/Ned.html

A few of my favorite Ned Roberts cultivars are

Bark at Me - a few years ago I built a bed for dayliles with a dog theme. Bark at Me was one of the first placed in the new bed.



Navajo Grey Hills - tall, with a huge flower and sturdy scapes.



Purple Many Faces - excellent for getting clear colors in seedlings.



Purple Corn Dancer - a fun twisting late bloomer here.



and Talon - strange, interesting blooms with sepals that frequently are upright rather than recurved.


[Last edited by Char - Apr 15, 2013 4:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Mary
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fiwit
Apr 15, 2013 5:36 AM CST
Doris is planning a Ned Roberts bed at her place. She tells me about his plants every now and again, and now I know him better. Thanks! Thumbs up
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
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Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Apr 15, 2013 6:20 AM CST
We had the honor of meeting Ned in May of 2005 in Dan Hansen's garden. We talked with Ned for at least 30 minutes, mainly about people we both knew or had knowledge of. As you can see below, his vocation was in education. I had gone to two colleges that he knew some of the administrators, plus my hometown is about 40 miles from the college that his father was the president and where Ned and his wife Betty married. To say the least, this is one meeting that I will long remember. At that time we were very new to daylilies, and this was our first Florida Mecca. I was in total awe that this noted hybridizer would take his time to talk to ME! Two of our good friends have just moved to Colorado Springs and are staying with his wife Betty until they can move into an apartment this week. We met Betty on that monumental day in May 2005 and look forward to seeing her again when she come to the 2015 National in Atlanta. We have been acquiring Ned's daylilies and now have 64. We will be making a NED ROBERT'S MEMORIAL BED next year in time for the 2015 National. I am very happy to see that he is the second hybridizer to be featured in this series. I do not have time now to post any pictures but will enjoy seeing others' pictures (and probably add more daylilies to our Ned list). BTW, Dan Hansen (Ladybug Daylilies) was offering Ned's intros for $10 each (must purchase at least 10) and may still have this offer available.

This was taken from his obituary:
January 29, 1935 - September 1, 2006 - Lucien Edward "Ned" Roberts, age 71, died September 1, 2006 in Penrose Hospital. He was born in Carrollton, GA, on January 29, 1935 to Dr. and Mrs. Lucien Emerson Roberts and Ellen Ballard Roberts. While doing his undergraduate work at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM, Mr. Roberts met Betty Tovar, whom he married in 1955. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy and Political Science and a Masters Degree in History and Education. He taught English and History in the Las Vegas Public Schools. In 1961, the Roberts relocated to Albuquerque, and Mr. Roberts taught in the Albuquerque Public Schools before working on his Doctorate at the University of New Mexico. He remained at UNM until he retired in 1988. During his UNM tenure, Mr. Roberts was an Administrator with the Institute of Applied Research Services. Mr. Roberts began hybridizing Hemerocallis (daylilies) in the 1980's. His interest was in developing new forms, and he concentrated his efforts on Spiders and Unusual Form types. He began registering his daylilies in 1994 and registered a total 125 cultivars in a period of twelve years. During this time, Mr. Roberts won a multitude of awards from the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS). His Hemerocallis `Skinwalker', a huge, beautiful pinkish/lavender cascading form, is recognized all over the United States and abroad. It has won Honorable Mention and Award of Merit citations, and in 1994, it won the Harris Olson Spider Award. His flowers have also garnered awards on the show table. H `Skinwalker' and H. Desert Icicle' have won Best Spider and Best Unusual Form in daylily shows in nine regions. Mr. Roberts was co-president of the Colorado Springs Daylily Society. He was an AHS garden judge and instructor and an exhibitions judge and instructor. He has served as a Garden Judge Liaison for Region 6 (New Mexico and Texas) and Region 9 (Alberta, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Saskatchewan, Utah, and Wyoming). As a noted hybridizer, Mr. Roberts has conducted programs, and/or Exhibitions Clinics and Garden Judges Workshops in 13 of the 15 AHS Regions. He recently won the Region 9 Service Award.

Doris
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Apr 15, 2013 6:40 AM CST
Char, that was very informative along with the nice pics. I only have three of his, two of which I got last spring.Thumb of 2013-04-15/Hazelcrestmikeb/e804aa Zuni Thunderbird
robinseeds.com
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
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fiwit
Apr 15, 2013 6:43 AM CST
Just what I need Doris, information on a cool Spider/UF daylily sale Glare Rolling on the floor laughing

Y'all, it's still going on: http://ladybugdaylilies.com/ned%20roberts%20sale.htm

If you don't find 10 you want, it's only $20/clump.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Apr 15, 2013 6:45 AM CST
Doris, we cross post. Thanks for your lovely input! Thumbs up
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Apr 15, 2013 6:52 AM CST
Another educator. Lovey dubby I have family on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and Native American names catch my attention. Even though spiders are not my favorite form, several of the 'want to get' daylilies on my list are from Ned Roberts.

I have these.

Desert Icicle
Thumb of 2013-04-15/lovemyhouse/01ea81

Kachina Dancer
Thumb of 2013-04-15/lovemyhouse/857baf

Kachina Firecracker
Thumb of 2013-04-15/lovemyhouse/320aef
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Apr 15, 2013 7:01 AM CST
I only have one LAVENDER HANDLEBARSThumb of 2013-04-15/Hemlady/a37b10


Well actually I have 2 Skinwalker, which is already pictured here.
Lighthouse Gardens
[Last edited by Hemlady - Apr 15, 2013 10:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America Roses
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Betja
Apr 15, 2013 9:16 AM CST
I didn't think I had any of his daylilies until I saw this and realized I have two:

DESERT ICICLE (Thanks Sue!)




SKINWALKER



Beautiful spiders!!! And thanks so much for the informative narrative on his life.

Betty
[Last edited by Betja - Apr 15, 2013 9:21 AM (+)]
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Name: Kim W
Md (Zone 6a)
More daylilies!!!!
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kimkats
Apr 15, 2013 9:38 AM CST
I only have one with a pic, and I just got skinwalker last fall, can't wait to see it bloom. Smiling

Black Arrowhead
Thumb of 2013-04-15/kimkats/3b7c17
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Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
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floota
Apr 15, 2013 10:15 AM CST
Some of you might enjoy reading my blog post from last summer when I visited Region 9 for their Regional meeting, and stayed with Betty at their house. They had a garden tour of Ned's and Betty's garden on Sat. and I was able to get out and get images of a lot of Ned's daylilies ( actually early Sat. AM before the tour.) . Personally, I love Ned's daylilies, grow a large collection of them and was surprised to note that in the arid Colorado climate, some of them look different there. It was a real treat to visit with Ned's family and even daughter Betty's Sheepdog, who was visiting for the weekend! The one pic I regret not getting was to get Allison to pose beside her namesake that was really showing off when I was there. http://juliecovingtonat.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-visit-to-colo...

Here is the link to "A visit to Colorado." http://juliecovingtonat.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-visit-to-colo...


Two of my favorites of Ned's that aren't very widely grown are in the group Ned called his "RFFs" or "refugees from Florida." They originally grew in Dan Hansen's garden but had to be moved as they were too dormant for the area.
This one is called, 'I Ain't Nevah'



and the second was named for Betty's college sorority! This is 'Tri Sigma Love.'



[Last edited by floota - Apr 15, 2013 11:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Apr 15, 2013 11:16 AM CST
Here is Tet Skinwalker a few years ago, in John Rice's Greenhouse - it was amazing as a Tet! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
Thumb of 2013-04-15/daylily/21763a
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Apr 15, 2013 3:20 PM CST
I have some of his that I bought without knowing they were Ned Roberts. But since Doris so kindly posted that information about the sale, Whistling I ordered 10 clumps. I've been wanting to add more nocturnals to my mix, and this will get me a good way there.

Dixie Rooster
Skeleton Man
Raven Woodsong
Licorice Twist
Green Warrior
Kathy MaCartney
Navajo Rodeo
Zuni Thunderbird
Purple Grasshopper
Rainbow Serpent
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Apr 15, 2013 4:42 PM CST
I wish I had met Ned. I adore spiders and UFs. I have been to Sharon Fitzpatrick's and seen many of them there. I encourage anyone who wants to learn more to look at the link that Char gave to the article Sharon wrote.
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Apr 15, 2013 9:23 PM CST
Apache Beacon (Ned Roberts 2005) Black Arrowhead (2002) Chief Four Fingers (2002, 80% Polymerous)
Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/65c23e Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/156b4d


Cricket Call (2004) Cripple Creek (2005) Go Seminoles (2003) Kathy Macartney (2005)
Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/f40ee6 Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/3f5861 Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/c60374 Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/102390


Laughing Feather (2003) Mount Echo Sunrise (2003) Navajo Curls (1995) Purple Many Faces (1995)
Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/5a50b0 Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/9d32b5 Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/e63e6f Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/820dff


Truchas Sunrise 92002) Winds Of Love (2001) Zuni Thunderbird (2002)
Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/3af7f4 Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/d6337e Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/528437

This is all for tonight. These pictures were taken in 2011 in our garden.
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Apr 16, 2013 7:06 AM CST
I also got Medicine Feather last year but it didn't bloom. Does anyone have a pic of that one to add to this thread??
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
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floota
Apr 16, 2013 7:12 AM CST
MEDICINE FEATHER is the perfect example of cascade form! I think we used this picture or a similar one of this cultivar to demonstrate in one of the training PowerPoints . Here are a couple pix of it.
Thumb of 2013-04-16/floota/ef06f1
Thumb of 2013-04-16/floota/a399a6
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Apr 16, 2013 7:13 AM CST
Oh thanks!!! Hope mine blooms this year.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Apr 16, 2013 8:07 AM CST
Pink Rain Dance (1995)Thumb of 2013-04-16/Casshigh/8b9bcb
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Apr 16, 2013 8:16 AM CST
After seeing Doris' post of Zuni Thunderbird I am now inclined to believe that my pic is that of Black Arrowhead that Kim posted. This was sold to me as ZT. Oh well!
robinseeds.com

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