Daylilies forum: Do daylilies revert?

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 17, 2014 8:12 PM CST
Hey Daylily boffins, we have had two questions over at the Ask a Question forum about whether or not daylilies revert to their not so attractive forebears.

We really need one of our experts from here to pop over and give an answer to this puzzle.

The thread "Daylily" in Ask a Question forum

The thread "Can Daylily revert back?" in Daylilies forum
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jul 17, 2014 8:13 PM (+)]
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Weedyseedy
Jul 18, 2014 8:35 AM CST
I don't think so. Some can pop out a seed and if it grows it will be a different daylily. Lemon Lily is self pollinating so it can spread by seed and theseedlings may differ slightly' on the other hand flava and minor cross easily and all sorts of seedlings will come up. Middendorf and minor cross in my garden and all sorts of sized seedlings pop up.-Weedy
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
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Hemlady
Jul 18, 2014 2:54 PM CST
I thought I had lost my lemon lily and this yellow daylily started blooming and I didn't recognize it. Then I remember where I had planted it 2 years ago and it is now a thriving plant. The fragrance is divine.
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caitlinsgarden
Jul 18, 2014 5:46 PM CST
No, but they can reseed from bee pollen pods, and mama plant and children plants can all grow together. Each child will different from the mama plant.
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
Jul 19, 2014 2:51 PM CST
Hi, I am the one that asked the question now I have a different question. Should I separate the 2 fans that are showing unusual markings/colors are is it okay to leave them? I guess my main purpose to separate them would just to be able to watch and monitor what they do and also to be sure I did not accidentally give them to someone as FLASHER. Any thought. I know nothing about genetics ans I do not dabble in pollen or seed growing..... intentionally anyway!










Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore

dkr
Jul 19, 2014 6:40 PM CST
All I know is that I have the original orange daylilies in my yard. Most of the new ones I plant change from their original color to shades of orange over a period of time. Sad. Should I get rid of the orange completely?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 19, 2014 7:17 PM CST
They're really pretty, Claudia. They look more like sports to me than the plant reverting with those random flashes of orange appearing in the yellow flowers. And yellow in the orange . . Maybe that's why they named it 'Flasher' ??

I'd be inclined to leave it alone for another year and see if it keeps doing this. And yes, remember not to divide it and give pieces away until you're sure who's who.

Did you ask the friend who gave it to you if hers does the same thing?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Iowa (Zone 4b)
pinkpurple
Jul 19, 2014 9:08 PM CST
Wow that's neat! I really like that. Do they always do that?

rkrende do you mean ditch lilies = original orange daylilies? Then yes, try to :))
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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chalyse
Jul 19, 2014 10:18 PM CST
Just adding two-cents on dividing or leaving as is. Group hug First, you may want to tag the scapes in some way to make sure you have an ID for each while you take time to decide what you'll do (in case the blooms fall off and make it hard to remember which was what). If you might end up keeping them as a clump, then you'd probably want some more permanent way to be sure which fan was which by perhaps putting ID markers in the ground right next to each fan.

Since this may be a rather important set of daylily fans, especially the possible yellow-sport with faint red edge and eye, I'd wonder if you might want to maximize your chances that nothing unfortunate happens to them, though. I was reading about a wonderful 3+ years old seedling clump that ATP member Spunky had bred, for example, and before he could introduce it the clump was surprisingly and suddenly lost to crown rot at the end of summer. I know I also have lost very otherwise healthy daylilies to unusual and completely unexpected circumstances. So, at the very least, perhaps an inexpensive chicken-wire type "cage" to protect it from critters (you can get it in green, too, and it blends right in to the garden greenery). Along the way, if you decide you can bear to dig-and-divide, documenting that the yellow-flowered fan is a sport from the same crown or rhizomes as the original would establish the unique nature of that one fan, and if the stripe-split-color fans are something you end up wanting to register or introduce, you'll likely divide them eventually anyway, too.

If it were me, I might want to have the fans separated at least by type ("normal," possible yellow sport, and split-color) so that it would be easier to track each type. And, if you can stand to put them into one-fan-each areas that are very protected, it might increase the chance that one or the other fans would fare well? Since it is a dormant daylily, I'd try different locations in the garden where cultivars have done well and shown that there is excellent drainage, winter snow insulation, sun exposure, etc. To dig and divide them, I'd work very carefully to dig as wide and deep as possible to avoid disturbing roots too much, and work very slowly and gently to either untangle the particular crowns from each other if they are perhaps separate plants from seed (or cut them apart as needed if they are connected to the original plant as sport or otherwise). There are a few step-by-step accounts of how to divide daylilies successfully, if that is of interest.

http://garden.org/thread/view_post/216886/
http://garden.org/ideas/view/Char/1544/Dividing-Daylilies-Ov...
http://garden.org/ideas/view/chalyse/1423/Potted-Daylilies-T...
http://garden.org/ideas/view/daylily/1031/Make-Dividing-Dayl...

I would especially consider doing that for the yellow flower sport, since it would be uniquely rare to daylilies as far as we know right now, but cannot be shown for sure unless it is examined at the crown or underground rhizome level, I believe. And, it would be hard to tell if it were producing reverted blooms the next time it sends up a scape if it is left in the clump and an ID gets lost over winter. Again, perhaps consider getting some chicken wire and sturdy stakes to anchor it, even to isolate it within the clump if you decide not to divide, in order to fashion a protective "cage" for it?

Again, just two-cents worth, since you are asking. Hilarious! I'm sure they will be fine whatever way you handle it, and any photos or video that you take can document for posterity, even if you don't confirm the possibility of a first-ever sport by digging and dividing. The photos alone are valuable for their educational contribution, even if only to show precedent if and when someone finally demonstrates that a sport has occurred in the daylily world. Group hug
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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chalyse
Jul 20, 2014 1:05 AM CST
Just one example of the many other split-color daylilies seen before, and one of a number of discussion threads on ATP that have shown pictures like them. Thumbs up

The thread "Oddities" in Daylilies forum

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 20, 2014 5:44 AM CST
rkrende,

The orange daylilies (ditch lilies) are very aggressive growers and send roots underground to spread. What probably happened is that they took over your other daylilies and eventually caused the other colored daylilies to die by competing for nourishment.
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 20, 2014 7:16 AM CST
I would separate the fans that are showing the unusual flower colours. The only way to know if a fan is unusual is when they flower so there may be more than two unusual fans in a clump (fans that do not have scapes). Depending on the size of the clump, how many fans it has, how many have scapes, whether there are very small fans in the clump, etc. I would try to separate the one clump into two. One part would have all the normal flowering fans (and those not flowering) and the other part would have the unusual flowering fans. If that is not possible then I would keep the fans in three groups, one of normal flowering, one of those that are not flowering and one of the unusual flowering fans. Once all the fans in the second group have flowered they can be moved to either the first group for the normal flowering fans or the last group for the unusual flowering fans. Then there would be just the two groups.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Jul 20, 2014 12:46 PM (+)]
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Claudia
Jul 20, 2014 11:56 AM CST
Thank you very much. You have given some idea on how to proceed. I will give thought on how I plan to proceed from here and hopefully not damage the fans in the process. Now I am really nervous!!
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
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Claudia
Jul 20, 2014 12:49 PM CST
This is fortunately not a large clump. 7-8 mature fans, 7 scape in all. The 2 with unusual blooms are next to each other towards the outside edge of the clump on one side. There are no small fans that I see. In the fall I will take the fans out and put them in a good spot and see what happens next year I guess.

I have been in touch with the person who gave me Flasher and she said hers has been stable and not shown any signs of doing this.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 20, 2014 1:29 PM CST
@rkrende
@Hemlady
What Hemlady says is most likely true, your orange ditchlilies or Kwanso have taken over your bed of daylilies and the other colors have had no chance to grow. Once a daylily has been crossed with another, the resulting plants have a new gene or two added, the genetics have forever been changed and won't revert to either parent. It was explained to me one time like this:

If you have a cup of flour and you add a spoon full of sugar to it, you no longer have that original cup of flour. You have a whole new cup of something, but not the original flour. If you take out a spoonful of the mix, you still have flour+sugar, another spoonful might give you more sugar than flour or more flour than sugar, but it will still contain the mix, never again will it be the original cup of flour because the grains of sugar have become a part of that flour. Same when you cross two different daylilies. One might show more of one parent than the other, but it won't ever be simply either parent again. Most likely you can add genes but you can't take them away, at least that's true for most of us.

On the other hand, there are people like @admmad who have devoted a lifetime of studies and work in the field of genetics, particularly that of daylilies, for whom I have the deepest respect. Maurice, as Juli said previously, we really appreciate the information and the truths you bring to our discussions. I've spent the better part of 50 years with daylilies, growing them, tending them and enjoying them. I know a lot about their history, from the old ditchlily onward through Stout's studies in the early 1900s, but I've never been involved in hybridizing except to enjoy the results.

However, I have read of many studies pertaining to daylilies and a year or two ago happened upon a series of articles in an AHS publication that came as a result of in depth scientific studies of daylilies. Not being very scientific oriented, I didn't give those articles much thought but one in particular stuck in my mind: Daylily Genetics 3 Variegated or Broken Flower Colors: Jumping Genes. I remembered it last night when I was reading various threads in the Daylily Forum and I had to look it up again because honestly all I remembered about the article was the 'Jumping Genes' part of the title. That term seemed to fit what Claudia had showed us and I've always delighted in catchy word phrases. I found what was written about that article and others related to it, I'll have to get a copy of the AHS Journal to read it through again. What I also found is that Maurice was the scientific mind behind those articles and that delightful 'Jumping Genes' title that I remembered, and I found his doctorate in plant genetics to be an eyeopener. And here I find him again on ATP with down to earth explanations that even I can understand. . . if ever there is to be an understanding of the tricks that Nature sometimes plays.

So one more time, Maurice, thank you for your contributions and for your lifetime of studies pertaining to this beautiful plant, the daylily. From humble beginnings it has taken quite a turn in the past hundred years. It's a little bit humbling to think I have spent my entire adult life tending these gentle flowers and never knew till now what complex beauties they could and absolutely did become. And now because of people like Char and Juli, Tink, Hemlady, Betty, Spunky and numerous others who hybridize, I'm learning more every day. Thumbs up

@Claudia, you are my shining star, your question and your pictures jolted my mind and my thoughts.
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 20, 2014 1:36 PM CST
These two threads are very nearly the same, you might want to read both:

The thread "Can Daylily revert back?" in Daylilies forum
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Claudia
Jul 20, 2014 1:47 PM CST
Sharon thanks for sharing that explanation. I can wrap my head around that. You have been and continue to be a grand Teacher in so many ways. Group hug clearly you know who Maurice is and while a lot of what he is say is way over my head I may be able to grasp it yet. I hope!
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore

caitlinsgarden
Jul 20, 2014 5:18 PM CST
I have irises that do this patchy color change thingy. It is called a chimera I think? Doorakian showed some very strange DL patterns he was breeding in this mode in an AHS journal.
Name: Juli
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daylily
Jul 21, 2014 8:56 PM CST
Sharon said:If you have a cup of flour and you add a spoon full of sugar to it, you no longer have that original cup of flour. You have a whole new cup of something, but not the original flour. If you take out a spoonful of the mix, you still have flour+sugar, another spoonful might give you more sugar than flour or more flour than sugar, but it will still contain the mix, never again will it be the original cup of flour because the grains of sugar have become a part of that flour. Same when you cross two different daylilies. One might show more of one parent than the other, but it won't ever be simply either parent again. Most likely you can add genes but you can't take them away, at least that's true for most of us.


Sharon, I have never heard it put that way, but it makes perfect sense. Thumbs up

Sharon said:And now because of people like Char and Juli, Tink, Hemlady, Betty, Spunky and numerous others who hybridize, I'm learning more every day.


Thanks Sharon … who knows… one of these days you might start dabbing pollen …. Whistling

I've learned so much from Maurice's posts here, as well as from his AHS Journal articles. The Journal is a wealth of information, as is the AHS Email Robin. I have great respect and admiration for people like Maurice, spending all the years doing research, and am thankful when they take they time to share some of what they have learned with us.
Name: Char
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Char
Jul 23, 2014 5:21 AM CST

Moderator

This thread was started in the Daylily forum continueing a discussion which originally began in the Ask a Question forum. These two threads contain information related to the same topic and both threads are now in the Daylily forum. Additional information on this topic can be found in

The thread "Can Daylily revert back?" in Daylilies forum

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