Daylilies forum: ATP Series: The Daylilies of Bob Carr

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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
May 13, 2013 3:59 AM CST
The hybridizer we are spotlighting this week is Dr. Robert Carr, M.D.

Dr. Carr graduated from The University of Miami School of Medicine and was a pediatrician who practiced emergency room medicine for many years. He was well known and well respected in his community, and to law enforcement. Bob named the daylily ‘Sherry Lane Carr’ after his wife in 1993. The ATP Database entry for Sherry Lane Carr shows 113 child plants. Click on the child plants to see the impressive list of many famous daylilies with ‘Sherry Lane Carr’ as a parent.

Lee Pickles of Chattanooga Daylilies and Bob were long time friends and were known for their friendly, joking banter. Bob attended the Mid Winter Symposium for many years, where he presented many scientific talks, as well as doing the slide shows of new introductions and seedlings each year.

I first time I met Bob was at a luncheon held by one of the Ohio daylily clubs. Bob was their guest speaker later that day. There were 10 or 12 of us at the table, and he kept us all laughing the entire meal. His humor even focused on his own seedlings now and then - he once said “I had seen better color and form on the sole of my shoe.“ I met Bob several more times at MWS, and that is one thing I remember about him - his humor. He was one of those people who always had a twinkle in his eye.

I had several conversations with Bob on the phone back then, because I was - and still am - very interested in relief sculpting. I grew many of Bob’s new introductions, and they always grew well here in the north. He had a lot of patience with my list of questions on how to enhance the raised ribbing on the petals. America’s Most Wanted, Sherry Lane Carr, and Wonder Of It All are just a few of the sculpted introductions of Bob’s that are still widely grown and still being used in hybridizing today.


Bob translated his scientific training and knowledge into his daylily hobby in several ways. Bob was already scheduled to be this week’s hybridizer when I noticed a discussion of Bob’s charts on color possibilities and some discussion about them popped up in a thread on crossing for certain colors. There is a link to the charts in the thread, and also some interesting discussion about the charts.
Click here to go to the Thread on Crossing for certain Colors

Dr. Carr was also credited as one of the first people to use frozen daylily pollen. I remember talking to him about how to freeze pollen, and how to use it all those years ago during our phone conversations. As a pediatrician, he must have been knowledgable about the techniques being used in humans and animals to store sperm - and thought why wouldn’t it work for flowers? I don’t know how he came up with the idea, or if he just took someone else’s idea and “ran with it” but I think that really changed hybridizing. No longer did two flowers have to be open the same day to cross them. Not even the same year!

He was very focused and deliberate in his hybridizing, spending a great deal of time planning his crosses in advance. By doing so, the morning pollenating would be done efficiently. The plants he was using for breeding were growing in pots, and he would move them into the shade of a big oak tree to set pods. He was known for his focus being on breeding - not on selling.

Bob was often asked how he selected his seedlings. He had a long list in his mind of certain faults he looked for. If the plant had more than one of these faults, it was not selected unless it was an exceptional breakthrough that he had never seen anywhere before. Some examples of items on that list would be early morning opening, blooming down in the foliage, bad branching, bad proportion of branching.

“Bob Carr’s Daylilies,” as the garden was known, was located in Ocala, Florida and Dr. Carr registered 135 daylilies between 1992 and 2005. Bob was not big on submitting his daylilies for awards, yet America’s Most Wanted, Pearl Harbor, Sherry Lane Carr and Wonder Of It All received Awards of Merit. AM winners must be beautiful, of course, but also distinctive and perform over a wide geographic area. His cultivars also received 27 Honorable Mentions. To win an HM, the cultivar must receive votes from at least 4 regions.

When reading about Bob to write this introduction to his daylilies, I ran across this quote from him, and I think it sums up his feelings about hybridizing.
“If you aren't creating daylily seeds you are missing one of life's greatest joys.”

Bob passed away on Oct. 29, 2007. Lee Pickles wrote Bob’s obituary for the AHS Journal. If you would like to read the obituary, which tells more about Bob than I do here, how he became known as Awesome Bob, see his last website, his color charts, or the famous photo of Awesome Bob with Lee, please go to this page that Lee maintains in Bob’s memory.
http://chattanoogadaylilies.com/Bob_Carr.html

Photos from my garden here in Ohio
America's Most Wanted Thumb of 2013-05-13/daylily/b0fd85

Sherry Lane Carr Thumb of 2013-05-13/daylily/e9248d

Never Been Kissed Thumb of 2013-05-13/daylily/fd80c1

Engraved Invitation Thumb of 2013-05-13/daylily/3f8ae6

Key To My Heart Thumb of 2013-05-13/daylily/2a441b

and photos taken at Rice's in KY
Rage of Paris Thumb of 2013-05-13/daylily/b99ca9

Storm of the Century Thumb of 2013-05-13/daylily/8ccde1

From the ATP Database
[Last edited by daylily - May 13, 2013 4:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
May 13, 2013 6:30 AM CST
I have Passion District and Wait Until Dark, which is one of my favorites.
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
May 13, 2013 7:29 AM CST
I only have one, mainly because most of his are evergreens.

GOLDEN TEAR DROPSThumb of 2013-05-13/Hemlady/5186cc
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Name: Kim W
Md (Zone 6a)
More daylilies!!!!
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kimkats
May 13, 2013 11:47 AM CST
I have a few.

Element of Surprise
Thumb of 2013-05-13/kimkats/d2fe14

Inherited Wealth
Thumb of 2013-05-13/kimkats/2e2d65

Key to My Heart
Thumb of 2013-05-13/kimkats/823de4

Smith Brothers
Thumb of 2013-05-13/kimkats/a90fe3
Thumb of 2013-05-13/kimkats/43e9c4
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Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
May 13, 2013 2:14 PM CST
Juli, I enjoyed your comments about Dr. Bob Carr. He was one of the first hybridizers I spoke to ever, and I vividly recollect walking in from school very late one day ( after 6 PM) - this was back in the mid to late 90's - and right as I walked through the door, my husband handed me the phone, saying, "this is for you." It was Bob Carr and during the entire conversation, I kept thinking, wow, I am talking to Bob Carr!! At any rate, I used to grow quite a few of his cultivars, and still grow a few. The vast majority were really good garden plants. Here are some have grown or still grow here:
Art of Seduction:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/e9d783
Candied Popcorn Perfection still grows here - great plant!
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/23a1b6
Engraved Invitation:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/fac349
Inherited Wealth:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/577958
Living in Luxury:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/1a5a47
Key to My Heart: ( still here)
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/47c111
Origami Angel:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/4beffa
Pearl Harbor:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/2519b2
Pagan Ritual:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/be7e26
Rags to Riches:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/4e253f
Sherry Lane Carr:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/b6f0c3
Up In Flames - a great red:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/1cd397
Wonder of It All:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/a9ddac
Better Than Butter:
Thumb of 2013-05-13/floota/d606b2


Name: Elizabete Rutens
(Zone 10b)
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ElizabeteRutens
May 13, 2013 3:44 PM CST
Juli, this is a great series that you and Char put together! : ) Many thanks!

Kim, when I saw your image of “Key to My Heart” with a pang I instantly thought of Moldovan’s “Avant Garde,” which I miss dreadfully. Its palette and slapdash colors – making each flower unique – so reminded me of my late husband’s paintings. (I had to get rid of AG because it was a rust bucket, at least in my garden.) Well, it turns out that AG is a parent of KTMH! No wonder it brought to mind AG. : )

One question. I also looked at the image of a clump of KTMH that you have in the ATP database. One not-so-great habit of Avant Garde was a tendency for its quite sturdy scapes to love each other a bit too much, and almost fall on top of each other, rather than stand erect. Does “Key to My Heart” tend to do that, too?

Thanks! : )
Name: Mary
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fiwit
May 13, 2013 4:11 PM CST
I currently have Rue Madelaine, and will have Smith Brothers when Robin C. sends my order. But I told her to put me at the end of her list because I still have to build my beds. Hilarious!
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Name: Kim W
Md (Zone 6a)
More daylilies!!!!
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kimkats
May 13, 2013 6:21 PM CST
Elizabete, I have not had Key to my Heart have scapes falling over on each other. I have however had it have trouble opening fully some mornings. All in all it is a nice plant.
It's my cats world, I'm just here to open the cans.
Name: Elizabete Rutens
(Zone 10b)
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ElizabeteRutens
May 13, 2013 7:24 PM CST
Thanks again, Kim! Good to know that it has trouble on cold mornings. But, now that I think of it, so did Avant Garde, somewhat. On the other hand, Carr's "Living in Luxury" is always perfect regardless of the weather : )

Thumb of 2013-05-14/ElizabeteRutens/c759f5
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
May 14, 2013 5:43 PM CST
What a great article and such lovely daylilies. I especially like the pictures of Key to my Heart.

I only have two of his. Inherited Wealth is one and here is Blackjack Cherry with its 2012 drought-ridden foliage.




Thumb of 2013-05-14/blue23rose/189f08
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Debra
Nashville, TN (Zone 7a)
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shive1
May 14, 2013 8:41 PM CST
Here are two of my favorites by Carr:

WORTHY CREATION
Thumb of 2013-05-15/shive1/920212

CHARMED EXISTENCE
Thumb of 2013-05-15/shive1/17adbd
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
May 14, 2013 8:51 PM CST
Debra, I don't think I have ever seen either of those before. Charmed Existence is really different!!
Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Calif_Sue
May 15, 2013 10:16 AM CST

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One of my best memories when I visited Florida was my visit to Bob Carr's garden, he was so funny! We were there with Francois Verhaert and friends. My fun memory of that day was standing in a field of blooms, camera in one hand and an umbrella in the other. It had just started raining but I didn't want to stop taking pictures. I finally had to when it started pouring so hard there was literally a sheet of water coming off the umbrella all the way around me and I went into hysterics laughing, telling my Mom what a crazy die hard photographer I was doing this! Good times. Thumbs up

His Sherry Lane Carr, named for his wife, is an excellent classic daylily!
Thumb of 2013-05-15/Calif_Sue/6e8c54

as is Presumed Innocent, which I photographed in his garden.


His blooms have this classic 'Carr' shape.
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[Last edited by Calif_Sue - May 15, 2013 10:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Debra
Nashville, TN (Zone 7a)
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shive1
May 15, 2013 11:29 AM CST
Juli - Here's Charmed Existence in a clump. It's very well budded and always reblooms here in my Nashville, TN garden. Being a dormant, it's taller in the north than it was in Florida. Scapes are 27-28 inches tall here.

CHARMED EXISTENCE has a small flower in the 4-inch range, but it makes a big impact in a clump.
Thumb of 2013-05-15/shive1/c4d63a

WONDER OF IT ALL - One of very his best!


CHASING SHADOWS
Thumb of 2013-05-15/shive1/3f95ae

NEVER BEEN KISSED
Thumb of 2013-05-15/shive1/4ca3a1

HERO WORSHIP
Thumb of 2013-05-15/shive1/26939a

ABUNDANT RUFFLES
Thumb of 2013-05-15/shive1/040aa6

Debra
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
May 15, 2013 3:28 PM CST
I forgot to mention Presumed Innocent and Blackjack Cherry. Both of those were favorites and grew here for many years!
Thumb of 2013-05-15/floota/c312f8

I saw Presumed Innocent at the first National convention I ever attended ( 2003) and came home and ordered it. Wonderful substance!

Thumb of 2013-05-15/floota/5ad757
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
May 17, 2013 5:28 AM CST

Moderator

A bit late this week in adding to the hybridizer thread, spring is a small window of opportunity to get so many things done up here plus it just feels so good to be outside!

The images are all beautiful! Charmed Existence and Blackjack Cherry are now on the "when there is room" list which continues to grow longer as we do the series on hybridizers. I may have to make a new bed and call it the ATP Hybridizer bed Smiling

Excellent intro Juli. Like you I became interested in Bob's daylilies because of his relief forms. He was one of the few early hybridizers to work with the sculpted forms, Tycoon's Treasure (96) appears to be the first one he registered. America's Most Wanted registered the same year, 1996, is the parent of some very nice relief forms. Jeff Corbett registered Shelter Cove in 2002 and Bonnie Holley in 2005 both from America's Most Wanted. Ashwood's Magic Crystal, Empire of Desire from Richard Norris and Conga Line form Dan Hansen were from AMW and registered in 2010. Jack Carpenter has two of my favorites, Sculpted Treasure and Song of the Empirte both registered in 2004. The same year, 2004, Lee Pickles registered Montana Gold with Groovy Guy (2006) and Groovy Chick (2007) following. Bob's own Beyond Riches was a 2000 introduction from AMW and Ancient Echoes (2005), a pleated sculpted form with a complex patterned eye, was a preview of the different colors and patterns that can be worked into these forms.

Ancient Echoes (Carr 2005)

Thumb of 2013-05-17/Char/7319cc

I used Bob's plants in my early hybridizing and now use a few from other hybridizers that carry his plants in them. My Mandarin Firecracker (2008) is from 2 of Bob's intro's, America's Most Wanted X Quality of Mercy. It has a vibrant orange throat that glows when the light hits it.

Mandarin Firecracker (Rich 2008)

Thumb of 2013-05-17/Char/adf067

Over the years there have been a few of Bob's many daylilies grown here, his plants do very well in the north. America's Most Wanted, Call to Worship, Girl's Night Out, Sherry Lane Carr and Quality of Mercy have all been here and moved on to make room for new plants. Still here are Beyond Riches, Ancient Echoes, Engraved Invitation, Permanent Impression, Wonder of it All and Worthy Creation with a new addition of Living in Luxury which I can't wait to see blooming!



Name: Ann
Manhattan, KS (Zone 5b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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annred97
May 17, 2013 9:00 AM CST
Several years ago I purchased what was labeled as CHARMED EXISTENCE at our local club's sale. Unfortunately, when it bloomed it was yellow..... After seeing your beautiful pics of it, Debra, I really really wish I had had the real deal. Love bitones/bicolors! Of course, I don't really have any room and have to get rid of one for every one I add to the garden (and should really be cutting back to make room for seedlings......). Oh well, the daylily lover's lament.
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Gleni
Jan 31, 2014 6:09 PM CST
There is no photo of H. 'Robert W. Carr' (Pickles, 2010) in the database. There is one at http://chattanoogadaylilies.com/Bob_Carr.html. How do you normally go about getting photos you see on the web for ATP?
Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Calif_Sue
Jan 31, 2014 8:23 PM CST

Plants Admin

I got permission from Lee to add his photos in the past so I'll go grab it, thanks for the heads up. Thumbs up
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