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Jan 1, 2022 7:44 AM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
Anyone else doing a seedling photo review?
Inevitably once or twice an off-season I'll spontaneously start to browse through the past season's seedling bloom photos.
Inevitably I'll see one or two blooms, and sometimes more, that catch my eye when they hadn't before.
Or I'll see some that I had forgotten about.
Often this leads me to make some changes to my cross planning...

Take this gal for instance. Had totally forgotten about her! But she really is quite fun to look at so maybe she merits some further contemplation:
Thumb of 2022-01-01/Dennis616/518ebc
I now seem to recall that every bloom this year displayed this quilling, and they frequently made me chuckle. Out-loud.
And for some reason the big golden yellow throat, with matching sepal segments, is pretty cool looking.

So should I work with this seedling?
One factor I consider is uniqueness, so I'm challenged with a classic hybridizer's dilemma-- how do I figure out how unique my bloom is?
If I am very active every year reviewing what's been out there for sale, and seeing what's new, I may have a pretty good feel for what is unique.
I also can ask the opinions of hybridizer and collector friends.
I also can do a database search.

Search of "quill" in the description = ~80 results. Search of quill in the name added some more.
Some do have a similar look, like
'Ready Fire Aim' by the wonderful Judy Davisson.
'Art Gallery Quilling' by Lambertson.
And 'Clarence M. Ford/Bep' by Anderson-Shull.

So my seedling isn't really ground-breaking, but based on my feel and the database search I am leaning toward considering this bloom to be at least somewhat unique.

A challenge with this type of bloom-- one that relies on one particular trait manifesting strongly-- is that it needs to be consistent.
The quilling will have to occur not only on most every bloom in a growing season, but on most blooms every growing season. And even better if it does so for people growing it in a wide range of conditions around the country. You look in the database at 'Quiller'

apparently a lot of people aren't really getting the quilling. That's not ideal. So ideally I'd be able to do a lot of testing of this plant in different grower's gardens...

Another challenge: what do you cross a quiller with if you don't have any other quillers? Maybe I'll buy some quillers and start a new area of focus.
Or maybe I won't have to make any crosses because she'll show herself to be intro-ready after moving her out of the poor growing spot she's in.
I'm glad I re-discovered this one, but not sure yet what I'm going to do with it...
Last edited by Dennis616 Jan 1, 2022 12:00 PM Icon for preview
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Jan 1, 2022 8:25 AM CST
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
I was wondering if one of these might get started, too. Excellent start, Dennis.
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Jan 1, 2022 9:45 AM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
Sometimes reviewing the previous season's blooms isn't all fun and games. Sometimes it's serious business. Because sometimes it leads to a pronouncement that a particular plant's time in the garden or seedling bed must come to an end. It can be difficult and even painful to reach this conclusion, but these tough choices have to be made. And once made, followed-through on.

Take this plant previously designated as a keeper. It pains me to say it but it's time as a keeper must come to an end. This photo is the clinching evidence:
Thumb of 2022-01-01/Dennis616/8621bc
The blooms can be very nice-looking, but in truth I don't think they're particularly unique. There are so many really great reds introduced that have a similar look, that I really feel the bar is quite high for me to introduce another one. And there shouldn't be flaws like I'm seeing here.

Notice the fading and slicking on the petals. It's not a particularly hot day and yet it is quickly fading rather badly. I'm inclined to not accept this poor sunfastness.

And see the canoeing going on with the petals. Canoeing is not always necessarily the kiss of death but I don't like the way it looks here. And it's happening way too often. That's another flaw.

After adding in some additional factors about the plant I am reaching the verdict that it must go. I can do better than this. I will focus on the promising seedlings under development that will become worthy of taking this one's place!
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Jan 1, 2022 10:42 AM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
Here's one I missed!
Thumb of 2022-01-01/Dennis616/682898
Applique is a major focus of mine and now after taking the time to look more closely I see that I had failed to notice this one actually is applique. Thank goodness I took this one and only photo of these FFEs.

It being applique is a big positive.
The applique is weak-- not very strongly visible (hence I missed it). To me that is a major negative for an introduction but not a deal-breaker for a bridge plant.
The pink petal color is a big positive for me.
The slight ruffling and the slight bi-coloration-- moderate positives.
The maximally flat presentation is quite nice here in my opinion.

It's all adding up to this one being a worthy bridge plant! I am going to add it into my cross plans for next season. Another good catch via photo review! <patting myself on the back>
Avatar for DaviJK
Jan 1, 2022 10:55 AM CST

I'm going to sound like a broken record to you by now, Dennis, as I always tell people evaluating seedlings to look at the SEPALS first!! If a seedling has horrible looking sepals, don't even look at the petals! Throw it away or you will be signing up for generations of lousy looking sepals. And with that being said, that red seedling with the quilled sepals rocks!! Not necessarily because of the quilling, but because of the cool hooks at the tips and the perfect color saturation. Quilling is something that sticks in the next generation so I would personally cross it with the biggest cascading unusual form in your playbook.
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Jan 1, 2022 11:06 AM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
DaviJK said:I'm going to sound like a broken record to you by now, Dennis, as I always tell people evaluating seedlings to look at the SEPALS first!! If a seedling has horrible looking sepals, don't even look at the petals! Throw it away or you will be signing up for generations of lousy looking sepals.


Davi that is such a great point! So true! I have to force myself to remember that!


DaviJK said: that red seedling with the quilled sepals rocks!! Not necessarily because of the quilling, but because of the cool hooks at the tips and the perfect color saturation. Quilling is something that sticks in the next generation so I would personally cross it with the biggest cascading unusual form in your playbook.


Wow Davi that really gets me fired up! Thank-you so much for that eval and pointer! I will definitely be working with this one!!
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Jan 1, 2022 11:47 AM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
I think we often forget that it is not just the look of the bloom that makes a plant unique. How about the time of bloom, what if that bloom was a very late bloomer? What if it showed no sign of insect damage and was very rust resistant. Maybe it increases at a fantastic rate. Just so many things other than just the bloom that to me could make a plant unique compared to others with similar blooms.
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Jan 1, 2022 11:49 AM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
Seedfork said: Just so many things other than just the bloom that to me could make a plant unique compared to others with similar blooms.


Very true, Larry. The points mentioned above are just scratching the surface! Lots of factors to consider when evaluating seedlings...
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Jan 1, 2022 12:10 PM CST
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Dennis616 said:Another challenge: what do you cross a quiller with if you don't have any other quillers?


You can always try self-pollinating it, especially if it is a tetraploid.
Maurice
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Jan 1, 2022 12:53 PM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
admmad said:
You can always try self-pollinating it, especially if it is a tetraploid.


I actually had not thought of that. Great idea-- thanks!
Avatar for mainer35
Jan 1, 2022 2:39 PM CST
Name: Nick Barth
Newcastle, Maine (Zone 6a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Dennis,

O'Donal's Nursery has been breeding both Diploid and Tetraploid Daylilies since 2010. All seedlings undergo a rigorous evaluation that includes
judging the complete daylily plant, the foliage of the plant, the scapes of the plant, the flowers of the plant, and any particular distinctions of the
daylily seedling. This evaluation process often takes several growing seasons. Only the very best seedlings are selected for naming and
registration.

During the 2021 growing season evaluations continued for many seedlings that have been under evaluation for sometime. Below are pictures
of six of these seedlings.


Thumb of 2022-01-01/mainer35/e6c311


Thumb of 2022-01-01/mainer35/730be5


Thumb of 2022-01-01/mainer35/6857b7


Thumb of 2022-01-01/mainer35/d7a93c


Thumb of 2022-01-01/mainer35/33fd94


Thumb of 2022-01-01/mainer35/abe147
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Jan 1, 2022 2:57 PM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
Nick, just want to say the plants I got from you are all still doing well down here in Alabama. Still waiting on 'Allison Hayley' to bloom, it is the only one that did not bloom last year. 'Christmas Cove' is looking very much like an evergreen still down here.
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Jan 1, 2022 3:25 PM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
Nick, some great-looking seedlings there! Love the consistent and symmetrical form and color saturation of the petals and sepals. "Pure" is the word that comes to mind.

Sounds like you are setting the bar high in many regards, incluing the plant underneath them, so I think it bodes well for you having some intros there! Are there any particular "distinctions" you are looking for?
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Jan 3, 2022 11:46 AM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
I've just been sharing a little bit of what I'm working on, and a little bit of how I am making evaluations. Not that I'm necessarily a great example. I'll post a bit more-- maybe a couple people are finding this helpful, or entertaining...

It's interesting to think about evaluation-- everyone can decide for themselves what their goals are, what factors/characteristics they consider, and how they go about considering them. It's all good!

I like to make uniqueness a consideration-- some make it a top priority, some don't really consider it at all, and some in-between. Like Larry said, all it takes is one characteristic to make a daylily stand out. There can be hundreds of existing daylilies that have a very similar look to a seedling, but (for example) if very few of them are bud-builders that significantly extend the bloom season, and your seedling is-- then you can consider the seedling to be unique and worthy! And so on...

I'm looking at seedlings I could potentially cross my quiller with. Here are a few that struck me as potentials:

Thumb of 2022-01-03/Dennis616/3e4269
This one seems to have a tendency to curl the sepal ends-- I feel like that might help make it a good match.

Thumb of 2022-01-03/Dennis616/1ba8d0 Thumb of 2022-01-03/Dennis616/cf3ad9
I keep wanting to select ones in the same basic color spectrum of reds. Of course that isn't necessary, I guess I just like the idea of keeping the quiller red...

Thumb of 2022-01-03/Dennis616/d74c3a
Wow I think it would be tremendously cool if I could make a red applique quiller!

I'm going to see if I can find the time to browse the named cultivars I have and look for potentials...
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Jan 3, 2022 11:59 AM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
I love the idea of people posting not just what characteristics they select their plants for but the actual physical process of doing so, especially the time line. I noticed some hybridizers growing thousands of seedlings in very small spaces and puzzled in my mind how they made evaluations when the plants were planted so close and how they could keep up with the crosses. Well, they don't keep up with the crosses was the answer, and they have to dig and transplant the selected plants to new beds to be evaluated further.
Avatar for DaviJK
Jan 3, 2022 4:01 PM CST

I noticed your quilled seedling has a watermark although it doesn't dominate the face. But you could bring that out more. I vote for the appliqued red!! It's distinctive with both a watermark and an applique! Or the first seedling which has both the hooked sepals AND a watermark and good color saturation.

I personally don't understand why people plant 20,000 seeds. Makes me tired just thinking about digging up so many rejects!! Having a purpose with every cross cuts down on the rejects!! And having fewer seeds allows you to properly evaluate what is blooming each day. I love looking at seedlings during the winter and mentally planning crosses. You'll notice features in photos that you missed in person.
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Jan 4, 2022 5:53 AM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
Daylilies
Davi thank-you so much for your insights! They definitely carry a LOT of weight with me! A bit surprised you didn't mention the third seedling-- when I saw the incredible saturation of the FFEs it immediately caused me to drop to my knees. Perhaps that's blinding me to flaws...

I've never felt the need to grow mega-thousands of seedlings, certainly not in terms of number of crosses. While I wouldn't mind being able to grow a few more seeds per cross, I totally agree-- there is no need to make a huge number of crosses and not good to get the volume of work unmanageable... I've got a plenty of targeted crosses to keep me busy and hopefully bring a few good results...
Avatar for DaviJK
Jan 4, 2022 6:37 AM CST

The quilled seedling already is saturated so #3 wouldn't improve that. The cross I would consider is #2 x #3 or #3 x #4. I'm always looking at the things that can be improved. Hard to explain my thought process, but both the quilled one and #3 are nice flowers in their own right and I look at strengthening the watermark on both of them as both have watermarks but they aren't high contrast. If you had crossed the quilled one with #3, you'd likely get the same type of watermark that is already on them. I think about photographic interest since selling is mostly done online these days. Any way you can add interest to the face helps sell the flower. Adding a strong watermark is one way. Adding a strong watermark AND an applique even better. Add a watermark, applique, 5-way branching and 32 buds….price just went up!
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Jan 4, 2022 7:15 AM CST
Name: Vickie
southern Indiana (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
Judy's comment about the sepals got my attention because I do not like sepals with turned up or dimpled ends. Not sure if that was the object of her comment, but no matter how pretty, I think it detracts from the bloom.

Like Larry said, just so many things to consider.

Dennis, I think your idea of a red appliqued quiller is great. Good luck in your goal!

Nick, you have some nice seedlings. I love the color and form on the last pic.
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
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