Daylilies forum: Foliage That Shines in Warmer Climes

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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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chalyse
Jul 23, 2014 3:59 PM CST
Does anyone in the warmer climates have daylilies with foliage that is fairly narrow from edge to edge and that seem reluctant to bloom, or that seem to fade as time goes by? I took inventory and found that nearly all of mine that have never bloomed are mostly of that type (excepting very small daylilies where the foliage, though thin, is more proportional to the plant) . The full size but narrower leaf daylilies do not seem to thrive or prosper here, and I'm wondering if it may be that they don't have enough leaf area to survive when the combination of sun and heat hits them for the summer.

I know we all have different humidity, sun exposure, and watering/feeding routines, but ... no matter where I've moved mine, or whether they are in pots, in full sun or full shade gardens, or have been here two or three years ... the un-bloomed list from my gardens includes quite a lot of those with narrower foliage. So, if anyone has wider-foliage cultivars that have done well for them, I'd love to learn some of thsoe cultivar names! The wider leaf look is something I like a lot aesthetically, too, and since they do so much better for me (maybe not for anyone else) any that you might list would be of interest.

I wish there were an easier way to find out ahead of time what a daylily's foliage is like. Any cultivar can be an unknown gamble as far as what kind of leaves it might have, unless there happens to be a good foliage photo in the database, so I'm just looking for a very simple way to learn some cultivar names that would better match my daylily's needs, and provide for their future with a chance for more robust garden presence. Group hug

Thumb of 2014-07-23/chalyse/c0d409

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 23, 2014 5:43 PM CST
I don't know if it was the winter and spring weather or the shade, but this year for the first time I had a entire sections of NOID daylilies with the thin almost grass like foliage that did not bloom, they are normally very early, but this year nothing. I noticed the other day that now they have all but disappeared. I passed it off as summer dormancy because at the first part of spring they had noticeably multiplied for the first time ever, after being there for several years. I also have another section also in the shade with almost the same daylily and they have not bloomed at all this year so far either and they are slowly disappearing.These did bloom reliably and pretty decently when they were in the sun, so I guess I need to move them again.
I do have some Crimson Pirate with those narrow grass like leaves and they bloomed but were not anything to brag about this year, but I am hoping for better results next year being they were all planted late last year or early this year.
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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chalyse
Jul 23, 2014 8:26 PM CST
Thanks, Seed, I appreciate the time you took to think about what is happening. Group hug My NOID section is also doing that ... very thin blades and though they are mostly in sun (shaded by a bush in the afternoon) and start out really well in spring they don't bloom and have a hard time maintaining many leaves. What is left has a hard time staying upright and it is looking as though they'll likely be lost by end of summer. I hope I can rehome them before they disappear altogether, but I also wish I'd known that foliage type, beyond Dor/Semi/Ever, would be so important to cultivar selection here. Live and learn ... buyer beware Rolling my eyes.

Some of the broad-leaf cultivars that are doing great after three years, with lots of foliage and repeat bloom every summer, are: Darker Shade, Enchanted Elegance, Fanciful Finery, Frankly Scarlet, Lullaby Baby, Party Popper, Prairie Blue Eyes, Rose Emily, Sings the Blues, Spotted Fever, Trahlyta, Tropical Centerpiece, Uninhibited and Whooperee.

Some of the narrower leaf ones that are really struggling and have never bloomed even though they are planted right next to broad leaf ones that are thriving are: Fin and Feather, Highland Lord, MacMillan Memorial, Mardi Gras Parade, Peacock Maiden, Pink Super Spider, Priscilla's Dream, Quest of Dreams, Red Ribbons, Rendezvous with Roses (Unreg.), Royal Eventide, and Super Purple.

Lots more narrow than wide ones, but I had no idea what kind of foliage each had ... so I'll really have to hunt that info out on new cultivars I'll need to replace them.
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 23, 2014 9:57 PM CST
Do you know if the thin leaved ones were mostly dormant?
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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chalyse
Jul 23, 2014 10:03 PM CST
Ah, I meant to include that, thanks for asking. They are evenly split between evergreens and semi-evergreens, with just one dormant in the group (Mardi Gras Parade). But, only 10% of my cultivars are dormants, and most came in as bonus plants. So, no more than expected average - one in ten of the narrow leaf daylilies was dormant. I just haven't had any success with dormants, though I love their color - nothing else like their pastels! Lovey dubby

Your dormants do well, though, right? Maybe it is the extra moisture in your area? Shrug!
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 23, 2014 10:29 PM CST
Well, just today I went though and made a list of the dormants I have or had. However, most of my daylilies are only a year or two old, but I realized I had lost completely 'Double Bold One' , 'Siloam Peony Display','Children's Festival',
and I am thinking maybe two more and 'Happy Returns' is looking pretty weak now. But I will have to go though at least a couple of more seasons to see how the others do. 'Baja' did very well this year, 'Chicago Apache' bloomed, but had a short bloom season, (as a mater of fact I feel all my daylilies had a very short bloom season this year with the exception of 'My Path'). I am starting to get rebloom now on several varieties. 'Kwanso' is blooming on prolifs and I think it is a dormant. This year is so different from normal, I am afraid to make any conclusions about anything.
My elephant ears never had a year like this they were very late , my caladiums were nearly totally wiped out. The glads bloomed about half as long as usual, the hostas are having a banner year, and the daylilies are so confused they don't know what to do.The phlox is a standout this year, but very short bloom times for the yarrow. The columbine did very well it bloomed for about a month I think.
This year my Daylilies were a month behind last year.
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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chalyse
Jul 23, 2014 11:04 PM CST
Yup, its been a shame watching the narrow leaf fans get beaten into the ground, while the broader ones sit pretty. I don't think it needs more years for me to understand it - it just took this long for me to look at the data. Its right there in black and white.

I find that once you learn all you can from something, then it is time to move forward or risk falling into deeply worn ruts. When it is clear that the environment and conditions are incapable of sustaining and supporting healthy growth, especially for otherwise fantastic-choice cultivars, data can lead the way out of the ruts, though, and back into rapid healthy growth. I'd rather more enjoy watching the soil go fallow again and invest my time in building on what's already been documented and learned, in order to keep that good pace in moving forward. Thumbs up

Seed, you always have a way about you of helping to sort things out - I am most grateful! Group hug

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

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jul 24, 2014 6:05 AM CST
Tina and Seedfork - I can concur, the narrow leaf varieties take forever to bloom here ... if at all. My biggest problem with all of my daylilies is that I do not know what the parentage is (except the newer seedlings). But I will say the ones with the thin leaf blades don't ever seem to do well or as well as the wider and larger leaf daylilies. Many of my thin leaf varieties do bloom eventually (most of them), but they usually take an extra year or two before they do. I had some that bloomed this year, but those blooms were smaller blooms like 4" - 4 1/2" blooms. And I think that is what they are supposed to be. Many of mine do not appear to be dormants either. I've had to be careful not to pull them as they do resemble over-grown grass in my daylily beds.

It sure would be helpful if some folks here would add a photo of the foliage to each daylily cultivar in the database.

I would also be interested in what any of the daylily growers and sellers have to say with their observations! Hopefully, some of them will chime in here!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 24, 2014 6:07 AM CST
I just thought of something else .... when mine finally do bloom, there is usually a larger clump of leaves. I am wondering if the thinner leaf varieties need a bigger clump before they have the energy to produce scapes?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 24, 2014 6:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 24, 2014 7:07 AM CST
I got to thinking about it and did try several different searches on information about the daylilies with very narrow leaves, I found nothing except the very general statement that "daylilies have very narrow grass like leaves) but we know some are much more narrow and grass like than others(but then some grasses have pretty broad leaves). When I do a search and find no information, often that indicates that I am a little crazy and nobody but me is interested in the subject.
But being two other people have posted here I know that is not totally true. However, I can't help but believe if there were a direct correlation with performance in heat and the width of the leaves surely it would be noted somewhere already. So I feel I just have not typed in the correct terms yet to pull up the correct info. The hybridizers must have taken leaf width into consideration at some point and to some degree if it is an actual factor in hot weather performance, I would think.
I will keep looking, if anyone out there finds any info please post it here.
I was looking at the AHS page and found that "foliage habit": evergreen, semi-evergreen, or dormant actually refers to the winter behavior of the foliage, but the page stated that cold hardiness is not determined by foliage habit. I keep reading that but keep seeing that most of use do use foliage habit as a gauge of cold tolerance and heat tolerance. The summer behavior of daylilies on the site seems to have been just skipped over.
I saw no mention of the width of the leaves of daylilies being any kind of indicator.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jul 24, 2014 7:26 AM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
Jul 24, 2014 9:02 AM CST
It's quite typical that spiders have narrow leaves, even if they are true Evergreens. They usually don't have trouble blooming and are often vigorous growers.

I can't grow dormants, so can provide nothing there. However, how can I say this ..... some hybridizers in FL breed with strong dormants so that their plants can grow almost anywhere. And yet many of the resulting cultivars are classified as Evergreens. In my garden ... and that's critical .... in my garden, many of those cultivars have narrow leaves and after two or three years they are still sitting there with a skimpy clump and lackluster bloom performance. Due to environmental issues this year, I'm loath to remove some of those in the fall, but I think I've just got to do it.

Other Evergreen plants have narrow leaves and good strong clumps, so leaf width is just one way to judge them.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jul 24, 2014 9:08 AM CST
Arlene - Thank you! I was relunctant to say that some of the "spiders types" in my garden have the thinner leaves, but that is what I am also seeing. When they do bloom, they produce numerous blooms .... better than many of my wide leaf seedlings. But it seems to take them a year longer to bloom during which time they expand into a clump with numerous fans. So I am still thinking that they need a decent clump to bloom. I've never had a bloom on a single fan of a thin leaf daylily.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 24, 2014 9:09 AM (+)]
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Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Jul 24, 2014 10:32 AM CST

Crimson Pirate (with thin leaves) was new this year and did bloom here, although lightly and briefly.

Other dormants gotten from "cheap" sources early in the year have gone to what is called "grassing" I think.
Gave up on getting any blooms from them and plan to get rid of them.

However, I do have dormants that have been here for at least 8 years (and were ignored) that got attention this year and have bloomed nicely.
A few set pods and are now increasing in fans.
They seem no more affected by the weather than the evergreens at this point.

I've been told that over time dormants would die out in my area of Florida, so the 8-year-olds must be pretty tough.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 24, 2014 10:56 AM CST
I had never head of the term grassing, so I looked it up.

"Grassing
An overabundance of grass-like shoots growing closely together occurs in clumps of dormant daylilies that have been raised in a cold climate, trying to adapt to hot weather conditions (for example, many of the Siloams). The shoots need to be pulled apart and replanted separately."
http://www.herbs2000.com/flowers/dl_pest_dise.htm
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 24, 2014 10:57 AM CST
Pat - That's interesting. I wonder if it is a true dormant? None of my dormants last more than 2 years here. I use them for crossing if I really like the blooms. And I cross them with evergreens in hopes that it changes the child to become either sev or ev.

How many fans did Crimson Pirate have?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 24, 2014 10:59 AM CST
Seedfork - You and I posted at about the same time so I didn't see your message.

THAT is very interesting. I've never heard that term (grassing) either. Very, very interesting!!!! Thanks for posting that info. I learn something new every day! Thumbs up

So mine may be dormants afterall. Fascinating!!!!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 24, 2014 10:59 AM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 24, 2014 11:21 AM CST
I just went out to check my 'Crimson Pirate' to see how many fans it was. Well, the thin grassy leaves make it very hard to tell where one fan starts and another ends. I got my first ones as little roots in a bag from Walmart or Lowe's and it was planted late last year I think, (I have to dig though my records because somehow I missed posting that in my plant list). That plant bloomed for a short period this year, and I was shocked to see when I went out that it was actually reblooming now.
Thumb of 2014-07-24/Seedfork/0c6e2b
The other plant of 'Crimson Pirate' I got as a bonus from Wild's and it was planted back in March of this year. It also bloomed some this year, but is not reblooming now. But wow, must be 20 little fans or more in that clump, Like I said it is hard to actually tell, but certainly a lot of fans.
Thumb of 2014-07-24/Seedfork/8e5417

Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jul 24, 2014 12:52 PM CST
These questions made me curious so I just did an experiment. Vital statistics are as follows: Beautiful clear day, beginning 12 noon and ending 12:30 CDT in the far western corner of Kentucky, zone 7a. Garden established for 30+ years with Crimson Pirate planted in about 1982 and ending with a lovely spidery lavender a year ago that came from Bluegrassmom, who lives also in KY but in a cooler zone. Others planted mostly in the late '90s, but none newer than the one from Teresa last year. At this time of year, there are only a few blooms left in my garden, it's winding down. Crimson Pirate always blooms first, beginning in early to mid May. All daylilies are in ground and have been for years.

The first photo includes a ruler at the bottom, but then I realized I had forgotten Crimson Pirate and in the meantime had somehow chopped off his head, but still a good comparison. I added him to the second picture but forgot to replace the ruler. Imagine that, a writer/artist/retired humanities teacher trying to be a scientist?? Using the other side of my brain is a bit difficult, it rarely ever gets used. SO, here we go and a brief synopsis will follow, not very scientific either, but best I can do.

In the second photo from left to right, foliage cut from same (but approximate) distance from tip:

Crimson Pirate
BIg yellow NOID
Apres moi
Kwanso
Copper seedling (probably Crimson Pirate x yellow and could be MaryTL
Hot Pink Noid seedling , could be also from CP
BIg Huge RED and beautiful NOID
Small spidery red
Big wine/purple/near black NOID
Bluegrassmom spidery lavender
Small compact red
PPP derivative
Thumb of 2014-07-24/Sharon/77c1b9 Thumb of 2014-07-24/Sharon/92a3ff

I have many NOID seedlings -- as I explained in another thread - because my retired pediatrician uncle dabbled in hybridizing for a few years in the late 90s. I know he used Crimson Pirate as a parent often. Most of them are tagged in my own system as Adams/copper #1 or Adams/hot pink #6 or whatever, with a parent named if known. Also, last year's ragged winter destroyed tags and I'm not disturbing their roots digging to find buried tags.

And my very scientific synopsis . . . Green Grin!

Daylilies that are well established in ground with similar or same existing conditions -- water, soil, sun -- are not going to have very much variance in foliage width size, only fractional differences at best. Perhaps the smallest minis or some spiders might show a difference, I have none of them, though no difference in my stellas or in the spidery lavender that BGM sent.

However, Seed, I would note that there is a very high chance that those CPirate plants are tissue cultured and I've read that tissue cultured plants have been found often to be inferior (read grassy) to the natural divisions that come from the hybridizer. Mine is very old and came with me from the mountains of SE KY, as did those of my uncle.

I mention 'well established' because of this particular situation: See the strand of foliage that is labeled PPP above and to the far right? That is a plant that is said to have Purple Paw Print in its lineage. I don't know, but it was sent to me in 2009 from a friend in California. When I received it in early spring, it had the most gorgeous big wide dark green foliage I had ever seen. I was so excited. It bloomed and grew lush that first season in KY. It's second season I noticed its foliage was a bit smaller in width, it seemed to blend in well with those others near by that had been here for years. Now, this fifth year of its life in KY, there is no difference in it and the others in my gardens. Even the bloom has changed somewhat:
A couple weeks ago on the left (after a rain) and in 2009 on the right
Thumb of 2014-07-24/Sharon/baeab8 Thumb of 2014-07-24/Sharon/2f90e5

So for me, there is little to no obvious difference. I tend to believe it's because I live on old farmland with rich soil and I have a natural underground spring that flows from a little hill above my back yard where the daylilies all grow. Same sun, same soil, same water amounts and several years of in ground growth = very similar foliage on most daylilies. That could also explain why you won't find much on the subject of 'narrow or broad leafed daylilies' online. I couldn't find anything either.

Or so says the little used scientific side of my brain. Big Grin
Now I need a nap.

Edit: thought I might need to clarify and emphasize that this info pertains to my little corner of zone 7a.
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[Last edited by Sharon - Jul 24, 2014 2:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
Jul 24, 2014 1:11 PM CST
Sharon, a lot of this discussion is applicable only to Florida. We have a unique situation down here in that we have 3 distinct growing zones, and maybe 4. When plants are not perfectly suited to the area they are in, they act differently than where they belong. Thus, grassy leaves. Slow growth. Sparse blooms. I KNOW I need Evergreens where I live, but a lot of people want to experiment or deny their zone (and that goes both ways). I don't want to fight with my garden .... I want it to flourish. That means choosing plants that are well suited to this 9a zone where it doesn't frost or freeze. I've lost hundreds of dollars on plants that haven't thrived. Now, I buy on the Daylily Auction, because if some cultivar isn't well suited to my location, I haven't lost a lot of money. Thank god for a understanding husband who has an expensive hobby too--imported sports cars.

Too bad that not all cultivars that are labeled "Evergreen" are Evergreen. If a hybridizer doesn't give parents, it's a crapshoot. Also, not all Semi-evergreens are Semi's either, that's a marketing ploy for many. My hat is off to Fred Waring (Spunky1) here. He really, really tries to differentiate between different classifications.

(Don't you just hate it when a Financial Analysist analyses everthing! Sometimes I can't stop myself!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Jul 24, 2014 1:32 PM CST
Actually in the long run, I was agreeing with you Arlene. You are absolutely right, financial analyst or not, you are so right.
But my very unscientific point is that as you originally said, environment plays such a big part in all of it and so do periods of time, there almost can't be a general consensus about foliage or bloom specifics that would apply to everyone of us in every place we live.
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