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Avatar for ohiodirtdigger
Jun 9, 2021 11:56 AM CST
Thread OP

My lemon lily has opened its last bloom today and I wanted to try to store some of its pollen. It has been raining all morning, will there still be some there?

I've never done this before, what's the easiest way for me to save it? Can I just pick the flower and put it in the freezer?

Yesterday's bloom is still hanging, will there be pollen in it?

What would you attempt to cross it with? I have Autumn Red, an unnamed peach one, and orange ditch lilies.

Is there a database that I can look to see what has been crossed with Lemon Lilies?
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My peach one

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Last edited by ohiodirtdigger Jun 9, 2021 11:58 AM Icon for preview
Jun 9, 2021 12:01 PM CST
Name: Dave
Wood Co TX & Huron Co MI
Birds Daylilies Hostas Butterflies Peonies Native Plants and Wildflowers
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I have crossed it with Crimson Pirate prior years. I have a pod on it this year nodding from a NoID yellow.
Life is better at the lake.
Jun 9, 2021 12:41 PM CST
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 7a)
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Without their official cultivar names you would be in trouble knowing what prior people had crossed them with. There are tens and tens of thousands of different daylilies, many of them yellow. I tried to look up "lemon lily" but had no luck, directly finding anything called that. I would have linked you to the official page where its children would be listed. Perhaps someone else with better skills searching databases would be more help to you. But that does not mean you cannot have a try with what you have. I see daylilies like dogs. There are plenty of mongrels that we do not know the heritage of. Then there are the pure-breeds whose ancestry can be traced back for generations. Mainly there are genetically diploid daylilies, and genetically tetraploid ones. And they mostly cross with their own kind.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
Jun 9, 2021 1:17 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
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plasko20 said: There are tens and tens of thousands of different daylilies, many of them yellow. I tried to look up "lemon lily" but had no luck, directly finding anything called that.

Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus (syn. flava) is what is usually called the "lemon lily".
Avatar for ohiodirtdigger
Jun 9, 2021 2:00 PM CST
Thread OP

sooby said:

Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus (syn. flava) is what is usually called the "lemon lily".

I'm 99.99 % sure that's what I have
Jun 9, 2021 3:36 PM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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Here is the page from the database:
Daylily (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus)
So it appears to be a dip with only two child plants listed. I get lost when dealing with the old species daylilies.
Avatar for Wildbirds
Jun 9, 2021 5:37 PM CST

I have not attempted to 'save' (Freeze) this specie's or any specie's pollen for that matter. However, I would expect it to be no different than any other daylily - species or otherwise. (Assumption on my part here) ....

One key point for saving pollen is to take the freshest - early morning - pollen. Although NOT actually proven here by myself, insects visiting any particular bloom could transfer pollen from some other cultivar thus contaminating the integrity of the pollen you want to save.

The 2nd factor justifying early morning harvesting is that heat & moisture (Humidity? - NOT necessarily rain) can deteriorate the pollen effectiveness (Viability).

Lastly, harvest it early when ideal circumstances prevail .... But lacking such ideal conditions/timing you've not much to lose taking that pollen whenever you have the opportunity. (It simple may NOT work as well for you)

Techniques for harvesting & freezing pollen are in other threads here that should be easy to find. I have saved pollen by freezing & used it as much as 2-3 years later & it worked, However, for whatever reason(s) I've had many failures when using frozen pollen.

Lastly-lastly (Hah!) just a plug for daylily clubs/organizations. Reading about how to save pollen is one thing. BUT having a fellow club member explain - or even better - show you - demonstrate for you - how to do such things is the best way to learn me thinks. (There are various ways to save & freeze pollen )
Jun 9, 2021 6:33 PM CST
Name: Maurice
Grey Highlands, Ontario (Zone 5a)
Unfortunately, rain tends to destroy pollen.

If there is sufficient rainwater the pollen grains will absorb the water and they can burst. Whether any pollen is still alive (viable) may depend on how much rain has fallen. It also will depend on whether the rain started before the pollen actually finished its "ripening" process - whether the anthers had actually opened and the pollen grains had dried out and fluffed-up. If the rain had started before then, and it stops and the sun warms and dries everything out then the anthers may open and the pollen will most likely be good because it will complete its "ripening" process after the rain or in a dry period between rainfalls.

On some days, even after long rainfalls, it is sometimes possible to find a flower or two that opened in such a way that the rain drops did not manage to wet the anthers and harm the pollen. Sometimes that is because one or more other flowers (or flower buds) prevented the flower from opening properly. You may then find "good" looking pollen (dry & fluffy not lumped together in what may seem to be hard clumps).
Jun 9, 2021 6:34 PM CST
Name: Dave
Wood Co TX & Huron Co MI
Birds Daylilies Hostas Butterflies Peonies Native Plants and Wildflowers
Region: Texas Region: Michigan Irises Hybridizer Greenhouse Garden Photography
Further to your original question, the orange "ditch" daylilies are genetically triploid and are not generally compatible with the diploid "lemon" daylily for crossing.
Life is better at the lake.
Avatar for ohiodirtdigger
Jun 9, 2021 9:48 PM CST
Thread OP

Thank all of you for all the info you have shared. I tried a q-tip and didn't get anything so the rain must have been an issue. It's been raining for 3 days. Angry I should have asked about this last week.
Jun 11, 2021 8:21 PM CST
Name: Pat
Columbus, Ohio (Zone 6a)
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@ohiodirtdigger Sorry you missed the chance to cross with your lemon lily. From what I can see it does look like H. lilio-asphodelus but I wouldn't consider that a positive ID, ok?

If it is, you'll find when it starts flowering again that it tends to be nocturnal - the flowers begin opening in the evening or the night before it will be open. Then it stays open 24 hours, closing about when the new ones are opening. This gives a fairly long window for crossing it, but if it's not protected as soon as it opens, it could get pollinated by a visitor.

The pollen needs to be collected as soon as the flower starts to open, to get it before critters or dew or rain.

You can pluck out the anthers, lay them on a napkin indoors, and let them dry. You can collect and store the pollen if you want. I've found pollen usable up to a week, almost always for 3 days, just leaving it on the dry anthers on the napkin (in an air conditioned house).

Knowledge isn’t free. You have to pay attention.
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Avatar for Wildbirds
Jun 12, 2021 8:58 AM CST

A few observations re 'Flava' daylilies (h. liliasphodelus) I use in my breeding are addressed below .....

One of my breeding targets are Extra-Earlies (EE) diploids consequently, I sometimes collect blooms (pollen) from EE diploid blooms encountered around the nearby countryside. There are at least 3 cultivars I've found that bloom in early-mid June hereabouts (FFO June 12-16 usually - some seasons even earlier) with colour (Black-purple & brick-red & peach-pink) all with acceptable scape structure .... Nice to have access to these as so many EE dips are shades of gold & yellow.

I consider them no different than a few NOIDS I hold in my own beds - Thus are pollen-parent 'UNKOWN' when recording the crosses/seedlings. As for integrity I simply determine that acceptability by visual aspects plus their EE blooming dates. The bloom characteristics - other than colour - are secondary for me at this stage of my attempts. FFO & blooming period length are my primary focus at this stage for EE breeding attempts.

As for FLAVA cultivars I've located 4 clumps within range of my rural place. Two I consider 'wild', growing (1x) along an old fence line & the other probably a previous home site. The fence-line cultivar could be wild seeded (?) whereas the old home site (Signs of actual buildings are gone now) was probably planted there decades ago. The other two are in current properly cared for residential gardens.

What is significant to me is that I'm comfortable identifying them as h. flava (I also have one cultivar here purchased several years ago from a commercial daylily retailer) .... BUT there are differences between all of them. One has much better branching structure than the other 4 (ALL are acceptable) One seems to have a few more buds than the other 4. ALL are similar in actual bloom colour & form etc. There is very little variation in scape heights. (I would think that a non-specialized gardener would see them - all 5 - as the same plants.) .... For me, it is a learning example determined first-hand, of the variations that exist between clones of a given species.
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