Daylilies forum: Can Daylily revert back?

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Claudia
Jul 17, 2014 12:01 PM CST
Someone asked me if it possible for a daylily to revert back to one of its parents in the same manner that some hostas can. I don't think it is possible but thought I would ask here anyway. Some of you are way smarter than me!
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Name: Lin
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plantladylin
Jul 17, 2014 1:16 PM CST
I know nothing about Daylilies but I'm curious about the answer to your question too. I googled and found this: http://www.daylilies.org/Whatley/IdentifyingConvertedTets.ht... but not knowing anything about hybridization etc. it's hard for me to understand so I'm not sure if it's the same thing you are talking about.
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Name: Maurice
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admmad
Jul 17, 2014 10:01 PM CST
No a daylily cannot revert back to one of its parents. There are a few daylilies that have some variegated leaves and those are known to be unstable - that is some of the fans can be all green. However, that is not reverting back to one of its parents.

If a daylily is allowed to set seed and the seeds are not removed then they can fall to the ground and germinate into a new daylily plant. That plant will not be the same as its parent but may be quite plain. It may also be quite vigorous and outgrow its parent as time passes. If that is the case then after a few years only the seedling will be growing and flowering and then some may look at it and consider that it looks old-fashioned and like an ancestral daylily. But the original plant did not revert; it was more or less killed by its offspring and the offspring was not a parent or ancestral daylily.
Maurice
Name: Tina
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chalyse
Jul 17, 2014 10:26 PM CST
I agree with Maurice, and I think the reversion in the case of hostas is due to the variegated foliage being a sport of the parent plant's foliage. So, for example, the variegated "offspring" is not really an offspring of a parent hosta, but an unstable mutation that can revert back to producing the original color of its leaves. I'm not aware of any documented cases of daylilies producing flower-sports, though it may be possible as in other flowering plants. So, we don't know at this point whether daylilies may, even rarely, create sport's that might revert to a previous flower form.

Other known reasons to consider why daylilies might look like they have changed:

Ploidy: One type of "reversion" that daylilies have been documented doing is where the daylily has been converted to a tetraploid form, and later converts spontaneously back to diploid form, as Lin had found, though this would not likely result in the plant losing its own basic characteristics and picking up or losing different parental colors. It is just the loss of "extra copies" of their own unique genetic material rather than a change in their unique genetic material.

Underground Rhizomes and Natural cross-pollination: Daylilies can appear to revert back to older-type or species plants when pollinated by natural means, if the seeds drop and grow into new offspring (they may have some characteristics that resemble a cultivar father back in the line). And, many daylilies can self-propagate quite easily by rhizomes that tunnel underground some distance away and pop up right in the middle of another cultivar, also possibly crowding it out.

Years to First Bloom: Daylilies often need to grow for a number of years before they flower for the first time, so new fans can appear without showing themselves to be from a rhizome that has traveled some distance from a different cultivar (or may have arrived hidden within a newly purchased set of fans), or may even be a mis-identified daylily to start with. In that way, it might seem as though the original clump has suddenly changed its appearance once those "tunneled" fans are ready to bloom. Many daylily cultivars propagate this way.

Settling In: Once a daylily begins to produce blooms, they may look very different initially from what they will become. Over the span of three years many daylilies need to "settle in." For example, an expected double bloom may appear as single blooms, or a purple patterned bloom may appear light lavender with no pattern, or an expected large bloom may start out small. Usually by three years of blooming time the flowers will stabilize in color, size and form.

Heat and Sun Exposure: The daylilies that I have growing in shade grow almost twice as large and tall as the same variety that is grown in full sun. Color can be quite different depending on location, as can be patterns or other characteristics (for example, "teeth" or "broken eye patterns"). In some cases those characteristics may never show up (climate too hot or too cold).

It might also help to ask your friend some more questions, to understand the core nature of the question they are asking. Are they growing both a parent and offspring daylily in their garden, so that rhizomes and proximity may be mixing the two together? Are they seeing a daylily that has been stressed in some way take on a different look (possibly quite temporary, or permanent if new soil or climate conditions are introduced)? Is it possible they have had some seed pods release seeds into their garden? Or, are they just wondering if daylilies that look different from their parent plant are sports instead of unique genetic crosses between two sets of chromosomes? If you'd like to detail more background or specifics, there may be additional information we could share. Group hug
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Claudia
Jul 18, 2014 2:50 PM CST
Thank you both. That is what I thought. I have an odd plant and what I think happened is at some point a seed dropped a seed and it germinated and grew in the middle of a clump. I try to take all seed pods off since I do not dab pollen or grow seedlings. But it is kind cool, nothing fancy so I am going to take the one fan out and separate it and see what it does. Thumbs up

This is my plant FLASHER. FLASHER is the one on the left. The odd one is the lighter on growing in fan in the clump. The friend who asked is the one who gave me FLASHER. So she was curious.


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Name: Tina
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chalyse
Jul 18, 2014 10:38 PM CST
Oh, @Claudia , that is indeed very cool! As you dig and divide out the lighter fan, maybe have your camera at the ready in case it seems to be fully connected with the other flower's same crown? There's at least one other case of a different looking flower showing up in a clump that was professionally handled - very unexpected - and people are waiting to hear if it is a sport or the case of somehow getting mixed in some other way. If the two scapes are from the same crown though, a picture of it would be perhaps the first documentation of a sport possibly occurring.

With its faint reddish eye and even the faint reddish edge (especially on that top sepal) ... it is just very intriguing. Let us know what you find? Thumbs up Hurray! Group hug
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Claudia
Jul 19, 2014 2:28 PM CST
Thank You! I will do that!!

This is today's blooms and it seem 2 fans will need to taken out!



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daylily
Jul 19, 2014 5:26 PM CST
@admmad .....wondering what you think of the photos Claudia posted today? I have seen some of this before, rarely, but never a sort of mirror image like this in the same clump.
Name: Maurice
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admmad
Jul 19, 2014 7:18 PM CST
Today's photos indicate that something mysterious has happened and is still happening with Flasher. I do not think this is a simple case of a dropped seed sprouting nor of a simple sport (mutation). This may be much more interesting and possibly important. To my knowledge something like this has happened once before in daylilies and produced the cultivars "Willy" and "Willy Nilly".

"Flasher" is normally the brownish red orange colour. It is a tetraploid. The parentage is below:
Flasher (Romine, 1979) height 24in (61cm), bloom 6in (15.0cm), season EM, Dormant, Tetraploid, Brownish red orange blend with orange throat. (Commandment × Paprika Velvet)

Commandment (Reckamp, 1968) height 30in (76cm), bloom 6.5in (16.5cm), season M, Rebloom, Dormant, Tetraploid, Bright pinkish orange blend with green throat. (Minted Gold × (Summer Splendor × Paris Gown))

Paprika Velvet (Hardy, 1969) height 24in (61cm), bloom 4.5in (11.5cm), season M, Dormant, Tetraploid, Paprika self . (Rocket City × Rocket City)

I assume that in today's blooms the two flowers are on different scapes and the two scapes are in two different fans.

To produce the yellowish flower there has to be a problem with the normal reddish pigment - it is not produced. That can be caused by an error during a flower's development (the pigment should have been produced but the error caused it not to be) or there is an error in the gene for the pigment so that it can typically it no longer could be produced. But clearly the pigment can still be produced at least in some locations or at some times during the flower's development. That suggests that this is a case of a new "jumping gene".

A "jumping gene"(or transposon) is a reasonably large piece of genetic material (DNA in this case) that can be removed and inserted (more or less at random) into different locations in the normal DNA (chromosomes) of the plant. When it is inserted it causes a mutation. In these pictures the mutations are shown by the yellow areas. When it is removed it returns the mutation, more or less, back to normal. In these pictures the normal areas are the reddish sections of the flowers.

As a flower develops in a bud a transposon may jump out of the gene at any time. Once it is out, it is difficult for it to get back into the same gene (this happens rarely). On flowers that have some yellowish areas and some reddish areas, the size of the reddish areas provides an estimate of when during that flower's development the transposon "jumped out". Large reddish sections mean early and small reddish sections mean late in flower development.

Fans that produce the yellowish flowers are a "sport" or (somatic) mutation of Flasher. The reddish areas on yellowish flowers are reversions to the expected colour. If you look up Augie's Unique Beauty (for example at http://daylilydatabase.org/detail.php?id=158632&name=Augie's Unique Beauty) there is a picture of a cultivar that has something similar occurring (but there was no sport in that case - Augie's Unique Beauty probably has always had an active transposon).

The different flowers on Flasher can be on the same scape, but presumably the all yellowish flowers are on a different fan. If the fan continues to produce flowers that are unstable the plant could be introduced.

I should add that in the case of fans that produce the yellowish flowers these can revert back to producing only all-red flowers like their ancestor, Flasher. That is because in this case the yellowish flower mutation (or sport) is specifically of a sort that is unstable in a particular way. Most natural sports cannot revert back to the parental (previous) form (at noticeable frequencies, although theoretically every mutation can mutate a second time and by chance that second mutation can be the original form).
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Jul 20, 2014 5:42 AM (+)]
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Name: Juli
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daylily
Jul 19, 2014 7:43 PM CST
Thanks! That is really interesting!

Maurice, I really appreciate the time you spend here explaining things to us! Thumbs up

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flaflwrgrl
Jul 19, 2014 7:50 PM CST
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chalyse
Jul 19, 2014 9:30 PM CST
A cultivar that is blooming correct, as well as sporting yellow-with-red-edged flower, and producing split-color on other scapes at the same time ... what are the odds? Thumbs up I'm so glad you continue to document this, Claudia, as I really do think it might be in part a first in the daylily world to be brought forth and shown so superbly. As there can sometimes be strong preconceptions about the limitations of daylily performance ... maybe you might even use cell-phone video capability to take some footage, as it would be difficult for anyone to later say of the possible yellow-sport "was it photoshopped or just seeds that dropped?" That is just how unprecedented a sport would be, and I'd think it would need to be shown by virtue of the scape's connection to the same crown or rhizome root growth of the original cultivar. Ditto for determining if the split-color is a self-pollinated seed-drop or part of the original plant, too. Of course, here at ATP we are lucky to have open-minded, acknowledging, and forward-thinking peeps on board, so my pressing the point of documenting the possible yellow sport, is really just a nod to how important such an event and cultivar might be to the world of daylilies. Group hug

First, you may want to be sure to ID the scapes and put in-ground IDs next to each fan, so that as you decide what to do, you'd still be able to identify them even if the flowers drop. And, I hope you'd at least consider getting all of those photos to the ATP database, Claudia, as you can note on each photo, and for the cultivar, what they may represent (perhaps even including a link back to the discussions about it). I noticed there are other ATP members who also have Flasher, and wonder if there is something similar happening in their clones of the cultivar. Perhaps @nutsfordaylily is waiting on their bloom this year, and could let us know if they see anything similar happen? A sport occurs to any part of any plant (leaf, flower, etc), and has not been shown to be universal to a cultivar's performance in different gardens. **So perhaps the yellow flowers are unique to your fans only, and would be a first and only documented case in daylilies if they are connected to the original plant by crown or rhizome.**

If the yellow flower is confirmed as a sport connected to an original true-to-form fan, and it doesn't revert back to full color in subsequent scapes, I would imagine that you could be the first to register a daylily sport in the history of DL hybridization (as I'd think it should be attributed to whomever owns the sport).

On the other hand, the split-color flowers seem to be more universal and wide-spread in the genetic mix of daylilies, and perhaps would be so in other Flasher fans too, since split-colors have been seen, documented, and when stable, registered quite a lot over the years. Still a very lovely look, even though not so unusual to find. I'd think it would still need to be shown that it is connected to the original plant versus self-pollinated seed that could have fallen to the ground though? Either way, it is always nice to see split or streaked colors in daylilies.

Perhaps @floota would know how a stable sport, or some complex sport/jumping-gene mutation that's been postulated (if that is separate from what has been shown, for example, in discussion of other split-color daylilies at: The thread "Oddities" in Daylilies forum )...



... or a stable split-color, would each be handled for registration if they are shown to be connected to the original plant and not self-pollinated dropped seed? And, my guess is that Dr. Terry McGarty @terry2, another brilliant ATP contributing member who has written a free book on daylily colors (linked in ATP discussion thread at: The thread "Hemerocallis Species, Hybrids, and Genetics. Terry McGarty." in Daylilies forum ), may enjoy seeing your amazing photos, too!

@tink3472 may also have some kind of sporting going on, both in form and color -- this is the only other possible daylily sport we've ever seen being explored before, and we all wait with excitement to hear if she might find if it is from the same crown or rhizomes as the original. The thread "Unidentified Flowering Oddities" in Daylilies forum Group hug

Such an apt signature line, Claudia. Many would hesitate to come forward and share news that others have discounted so often, and in some cases for many decades, but you are in a growing number who let nature tell you her own story straight up from the garden. You are quite an inspiration to everyone who goes out to garden and remains open to the myriad potential, and endless gifts, of nature. Thank You!

"When we come to an edge we come to a frontier that tells us that we are now about to become more than we have been before."
~ Claudia, quoting William Irwin Thompson
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Name: Maurice
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admmad
Jul 20, 2014 6:52 AM CST
There was a note in the Daylily Journal some years ago describing the history of the sport and its ancestor for 'Willy' and 'Willy Nilly'. These were registered by Saxton in 1963, although the sport apparently occurred in the 1950s.

Willy (Saxton, 1963) height 36 in (91cm), bloom 5in (12.5cm), season E, Dormant, Diploid, Light pink self.

Willy Nilly (Saxton, 1963) height 38in (96cm), bloom 5in (12.5cm), season E, Dormant, Diploid, Spider Ratio 4.30:1, Light yellow with an underlay of pink.

Willy Nilly is not only a sport but shows small sectors of a darker pink/reddish occasionally suggesting that it may have a slightly active jumping gene.

See "Daylily sports - a rarity" pages 259-260 in the Daylily Journal, Volume 45, Number 3, Fall 1990.
----
I'm going to make matters somewhat more complicated for interpreting what may be happening when flowers have sectors of different colours.

Usually one might consider that the differently coloured sections are either genetic or non-genetic (environmental, developmental, etc). When a genetic cause is considered we might think of somatic mutations or "jumping genes". These two can effectively produce new mutations (new phenotypes or characteristics, such as new flower colours). But there are other possible genetic causes. Some of those do not produce anything new. One of those is called somatic crossing over. An example of this for diploids would be if we have a plant that was say from a cross of a red with a yellow. The plant would be heterozygous, Rr but reddish flowered. In every cell of the plant, in every part, it should always be Rr. In somatic crossing over what happens is that during development, instead of producing Rr cells, one RR and one rr is produced. This would typically cause the appearance of the flower to change. It would have what are called a twin spot, one red and one yellow. But Rr is also red so it might be impossible to distinguish an RR spot from the normal Rr background. We might only see the rr or yellow spot or sector. In these cases there has been nothing new produced. The yellow spot is the same as the original yellow-flowered parent.
Maurice
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Name: Tina
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chalyse
Jul 20, 2014 7:51 AM CST
Additional free open-source and post-1990 writings that may be of interest include Maurice's jumping gene theory about Willy and Willy Nilly at:

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/daylilies.site-ym.com/resource/resm...

As well as:

http://www.hartsdaylilies.com/genetics1.htm

And the previously mentioned book that addresses the continuity of pattern and color differences while developing a full approach to daylily colors and genetics:

The thread "Hemerocallis Species, Hybrids, and Genetics. Terry McGarty." in Daylilies forum

Happy reading, and happy gardening! Group hug
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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Claudia
Jul 20, 2014 11:36 AM CST
Omg.... who knew!! Now these were on two different scape on two different fans. My gosh what should I do? I have no clue but man I am overwhelmed. Like I said I do not dab pollen or even grow seeds so I not sure if I should leave them alone or move them!!!

I will have to read thru this a few times to grasp all the information. Thank you so much Maurice and Tina!
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
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flaflwrgrl
Jul 20, 2014 1:15 PM CST
Maurice, does this mean that if Claudia were to get her Flasher cloned, the clones would retain the same qualities?
And can you possibly break this down into a slightly more layman friendly discourse? I'm following most of it but want to make sure what I think you're saying is indeed what you're saying.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



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Sharon
Jul 20, 2014 1:38 PM CST
Anni, this is another thread with much the same discussion. You might want to read it too:

The thread "Do daylilies revert?" in Daylilies forum

Truly, jumping back and forth is getting a little confusing but it is such a tremendously interesting topic!
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Claudia
Jul 20, 2014 1:54 PM CST
Sharon, you are right it is getting confusing with two thread but wow so interesting!! I followed Tina's advise and I have submitted the photos to the database. So I hope they don't get rejected.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
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flaflwrgrl
Jul 20, 2014 2:30 PM CST
Sharon said:Anni, this is another thread with much the same discussion. You might want to read it too:

The thread "Do daylilies revert?" in Daylilies forum

Truly, jumping back and forth is getting a little confusing but it is such a tremendously interesting topic!


Thanks Sharon, I had somehow missed that one.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Maurice
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admmad
Jul 20, 2014 3:25 PM CST
flaflwrgrl said:Maurice, does this mean that if Claudia were to get her Flasher cloned, the clones would retain the same qualities?

Clones are meant to retain the same qualities. So if the two fans of Flasher that have the yellow sections keep acting in the same way, then clones of them should continue to do the same thing (retain the same qualities). What that means is that any new fans made by those two Flasher fans should also show the same qualities. New fans made by a specific daylily fan are clones of that fan (except when relatively rare 'accidents' happen).
And can you possibly break this down into a slightly more layman friendly discourse? I'm following most of it but want to make sure what I think you're saying is indeed what you're saying.

I can rephrase the explanations but could you please let me know which parts you are not certain about?
Maurice

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