Primal Scream

By National Gardening Association Editors

Daylilies are popular plants because they are easy to grow and come in an incredible array of colors, sizes and bloom times. One way to help make a selection from among the many offerings at nurseries, garden centers, and on-line and mail-order sources is to visit the website of the American Hemerocallis Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and improving daylilies and encouraging public interest in their genus. (Hemerocallis is the name of the daylily genus.) The site includes information on growing and exhibiting daylilies, a searchable daylily data base and a list of sources by region.

There is also a Popularity Poll section, again by region, so you can find a listing of the most popular daylilies in your area. The poll is based on votes cast by AHS members from across the country. So it was interesting to note that in two-thirds of the 15 regions, a daylily called 'Primal Scream' was rated among the top 4 choices (and was number one in 6 instances). It was also the highest rated cumulative winner when all regions of the country were considered.

So what is this daylily that gets such rave reviews? As you might expect from its name, 'Primal Scream,' with its 7 1/2" electric orange blossoms on 34" scapes, adds an intense jolt of color to the garden. In addition to its fiery color, its flowers are unusually shaped "spiders", with long, narrow, twisted petals. Introduced in 1994, this mid to late season bloomer has won a number of awards, including the prestigious Stout Medal in 2003. Imagine vivid 'Primal Scream' blossoms against the cool purple-blue haze of Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) in the late summer garden or set in front of the deep reddish-purple of a 'Royal Purple' smokebush (Cotinus coggygria). No matter how you use it, 'Primal Scream' will add some zest to your garden.

To see the complete 2010 Daylily Popularity Poll results for all regions, go to: American Hemerocallis Society.

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