Past Plants of the Day forum: Daylily of the Day: Bela Lugosi

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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Sep 1, 2015 8:02 AM CST
'Bela Lugosi' is very hardy here, growing on top of a retaining wall where it is presumably more exposed to temperature swings than it would be in flat ground. It flowers well enough but I really can't comment on increase because it is battling with invading Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' so that wouldn't be fair. It's doing well enough that the Rudbeckia hasn't won the battle Hilarious!
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
Sep 1, 2015 9:25 AM CST
admmad said:It is interesting that there are registered offspring with it as a pod parent as I have pollinated all its flowers for many years and never had a pod mature. I think it is pod-sterile.


I don't get many pods to mature, but a few do set every year. The summers are relatively cool and comfortable here, and pods set on most things fairly easily. My 'Bela' is growing in dappled shade, with good moisture.

Everyone used to think Matt was pod-sterile, however many years ago I set several pods on a rebloom scape. Since then, I've noticed this same "rebloom fertility" with many cultivars.

East S.F. Bay Area
USDA Zone 9 - mediterranean

Sorry, I'm not sure how this double-post occurred…
[Last edited by CaliFlowers - Oct 8, 2015 11:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Amy
Michigan (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Bulbs Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Michigan Lilies Cat Lover
Sep 1, 2015 7:11 PM CST
This is one great daylily in my zone 6a garden. Multiplies very well, has a nice height, blooms ALOT, and is a very " beefy" plant. It looks fabulous in a clump. The color is a lovely purple ( red tone to it) and the color does melt some on hot sunny days though ( my only complaint). One of my favorites.

[Last edited by Growgirl - Sep 2, 2015 5:18 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Sep 2, 2015 10:31 AM CST
touchofsky said:I just went to my local daylily supplier to see if they had Women Seeking Men, and they do, but it looks lighter than Bela Lugosi. I know pictures are deceiving, how would you describe the colour?

To me there is a big difference in color, one being much lighter than the other.
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Bela Lugosi') is described as Deep Purple self with green throat.
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Women Seeking Men') is described as Rose blend with soft Strawberry watermark and green throat.
Closer in color to Bela Lugosi is Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Women Seeking Hobbits') described as Wine, yellow green throat.

~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!

Name: Juli
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Sep 2, 2015 6:42 PM CST
I wonder how many of dissatisfied people with poor performing plants have a division of Bela Lugosi that came from one that was tissue cultured.

Daylilies are not as "purple" as other some other types of flowers. Bela Lugosi is as purple as any daylily was of it's day. I bought mine from the hybridizer's garden in 1997 or 1998. It holds its color well and is still the daylily that I compare all other purples to for color and holding up. Bela has a sheen to it that seems to reflect the sun. My clump was planted in sun years ago but the small trees have grown and it has been in shade the last few years. I just dug it up this year and it was a bit of a tangled mess. I don't think it's been divided in over 10 years. Maybe longer.

I will say that it has not been one of the extremely fast increasing daylilies. Moderate increase. I do not fertilize or water regularly. I **might** put some fertilizer on every other year. I only water established plants if there has been no rain for several weeks.

I have set pods on Bela and have seen bee pods on it, but it's not a super easy plant to work with.

I remember when daylilies were first being taken overseas to be tissue cultured and remember hearing that Bela was one of them. Some said that it would not make a difference, that the plants would grow and bloom the same.

Read here about Julie's @floota experience growing the tissue cultured versions of daylily cultivars next to the "real thing"….

I bought a few tissue culture cultivars that I knew I had natural division of and grew them alongside to test, just like Julie did. I found the tissue culture plants to be inferior. The flower colors were muddier, they were smaller. The bud count was reduced and the branching less impressive. The foliage was thinner and less healthy. I composted the tissue culture plants after testing for 4-5 years and never knowingly bought another one.

So - when I see in the database, there are photos that are clearly more purple, and others clearly more burgundy - and read in this thread people with poor performers and others with good experiences -- makes me think some have the tissue cultured and others have natural divisions going back to the hybridizers original plant.

Even if the plants were bought at daylily gardens - they could have come from divisions years ago that were from tissue cultured divisions. The TC Bela was done a long time ago. There would be so many of the tissue cultured ones now that they far out number the natural divisions. Especially since Bela is a moderate to average increasing plant. I think the tissue cultures were sold at most nurseries and big box stores for several years. Being dark purple, they were popular.

Bela has never had a super high bud count (I consider over 50 a high bud count in my garden) for me - but remember I don't water and fertilize a lot. Without having the old scape out there to go out and look at, I would guess it averages about 22-25 buds and 3 to 4 way branching. It always looks above average at the hybridizer's garden where it's properly watered and cared for.

It was one of the first daylilies I paid more than $5-10 for, and I am sure I paid at least $150 for it. That was a lot back in the 1990's. I have never been sorry. I still love it.

I've done a huge cut back in my garden this year.

But Bela is still here. Thumbs up

Name: Karen Skedgell-Ghiban
Nashville, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dyslexics Untie!
Sep 2, 2015 7:02 PM CST
Bela Has been a moderate grower for me. Scapes are thick and strong and produce many buds (I don't keep track of bud counts). It's a nice dark grape purple in the morning that fades to a red-purple in the sun by late afternoon. I have it growing with Dracula, Nosferatu, and Killer, all dark reds and purples. I don't have the deep rich colors on my dark daylilies like I used to have and I believe it's because of the soil. I lived in Ohio for a few years with clay loam soil where the colors seemed darker and more rich, but now in the sandy loam of Michigan they seem less so. But Bela still looks nice, especially in the morning before the sun fades it along with many of my other darks.
Name: Chuck
northern IL. (Zone 5a)
Sep 3, 2015 7:28 PM CST
this was the first year that it had a chance to bloom after a full year and the blooms were at the registered width and held there color in the afternoon without melting because of afternoon shade, it did not quite get to it's regular height but came close and bloomed about a month here in zone 5a, am expecting better performance next year also increased well here too.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Sep 4, 2015 7:39 AM CST
'Bela Lugosi' (BL) like most purples, actually like most daylilies that have red or purple coloration from anthocyanin pigments, is quite variable in flower colour. Below are photos of its different looks seen in my field in different years or sometimes at different times of the same year. These depend on temperature or the amount of sunlight or both. None of these photos have had their colour manipulated with software and they are as close as to the actual colours shown in the field as digital cameras show. BL can look normal in my field but I have never taken a photo of it when it was.

Thumb of 2015-09-04/admmad/f4b91c

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A look at a single petal in higher resolution to show some dotting.

Thumb of 2015-09-04/admmad/9ef400

[Last edited by admmad - Sep 4, 2015 7:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Sep 4, 2015 8:28 AM CST
When tissue cultured (micropropagated, etc.) daylilies first started appearing and buyers complained about the plants not being the same as the asexually propagated versions (divisions/clones) I also ran a small test. I bought a half dozen tc cultivars of which I also had the clonal versions and I compared the two types. I did not find any significant differences. None of the tc versions I bought were small; they were blooming size.

I did notice one important difference. Daylilies bought from nurseries typically were not the same flower colour as those I had growing in my field - at first. It took quite a few consecutive blooms before the nursery plants were the same as the field plants. It turns out that is because the nursery plants are typically grown in greenhouses all winter and do not receive enough light to be normal when the flower buds first start to develop (months before they bloom). That is apparently a well known effect of growing plants in greenhouses during winter in the north.

I am going to open another thread to discuss why most tests looking for differences done in home gardens do not show or test what the gardeners think they are testing (The thread "How to test for differences in the home garden." in Daylilies forum). I will discuss why that is and what would have to be done to make such tests actually look at the possibility of certain effects.
[Last edited by admmad - Sep 4, 2015 12:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
Sep 4, 2015 6:35 PM CST
Bela Lugosi has been in my garden for about 5 years, I bought it from Veseys cagalog when I just started getting into daylilies and didn't know any better, so I think it is CT, that said, Bela Lugosi has done very well, it took a long time to get going as the roots from those catalog places are so small. It has increased well the past couple of years, nice thick fans, sturdy 25 inch scrapes, but like most of my dayliles in this climate not a very high bud count. I really like this one and plan on keeping it.
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Name: Shirley
Franklin, NC (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member
Sep 6, 2015 7:14 PM CST
I have grown Bela Lugosi for 15 years or so. I bought if from a local nursery and it does very well here in zone 6b. I worried about the sun fading it out but have no problem where I chose to plant it. It is still one of the best purples in my garden.
Name: Lindalee Stuckey
Glen Ellyn, IL (Zone 5a)
Sep 7, 2015 10:01 AM CST
I have had Bela Lugosi for about 7 years. It is a moderate grower. I have divided it once and given it to a friend. I have it growing on the north side of the house near a clump of milkweed I keep for the butterflies and I can see out the window as I am working on the computer. I love the deep color. I never let any of my daylilies seed because I like to give tours of my garden and keep it neat and tidy. I livehead before I have any garden group come over.

This year it had ten scapes and 104 blossoms.

My garden is zone 5 in the western Chicago suburb.

Sep 7, 2015 12:57 PM CST
Bela Lugosi in my area "Kansas City" is relatively successful but a somewhat average daylily. It's success is in its local marketing with venders, plus the name of course. It's one of the few purple cultivars carried at the local nursery's. Flower size is good and holds color here in full sun. Scapes are above average size with blooms having a nice rise above the foliage. Where this plant falls short in my garden is its overall foliage habbit, It is not a robust cultivar. I think the name and pedigree sometimes trumps performace. As much as I love the name this plant is going to be gifted away. Hanson has done a lot of work with purples, I have quite a few and I can tell you Bela Lugosi next to Bob Wilcox is not even close. Sometimes a catchy name is all you need I.e. Primal Scream.
Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Region: Northeast US Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Herbs
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Sep 10, 2015 8:48 AM CST

Sep 6, 2015 11:59 AM EDT
Hemerocallis 'Bela Lugosi' has been in my garden for two years now. It grows in full sun with no additional watering. The flowering on this day lily had rich colors and the foliage held up well after flowering. I break off each spent flower the following morning and allow no seed pods to develop. I love the color combination this flower offers.
Name: Peggy yost
Loudonville,Ohio (Zone 5a)
Sep 20, 2015 5:50 PM CST
Bela Lugosi seems to be the plant everyone is drawn too.I bought it from Amber Strope Ward a few years ago and it is still my favorite
Name: Liz Quinn
Statesville, NC (Zone 7a)
Region: North Carolina Cat Lover Dog Lover Daylilies Bee Lover Birds
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Oct 26, 2015 5:33 PM CST
Bela Lugosi was added to my garden several years ago, this the first year it bloomed. The blooms were gorgeous but not very plentiful. Still like the flower and will keep.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger .
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
(Lee Reinke X Rose F Kennedy) X Unk
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
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Oct 30, 2015 8:00 AM CST
Bela Lugosi has just started flowering for me. It usually blooms in the last week of October or the first week of November. It dies down over winter but still has leaves throughout the colder months. It produces lots of scapes and bud. I also find it a good increaser - even in clay. The colour varies from near black to purple, sometimes with a darker halo. It is very rust resistant.

The clumps benefit from urea and Alfalfa (=Lucerne) pellets.

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PS Epsom's salts does not go astray either.
The problem is that when you are young your life it is ruined by your parents. When you are older it is ruined by your children.
[Last edited by Gleni - Oct 30, 2015 8:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Oct 30, 2015 5:12 PM CST
Thanks, Glen for the report about this plant exhibiting rust resistance. Beautiful photos!
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: Mary Anne Jay
Wentworth, NS, Canada (Zone 4a)
Region: Canadian Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Nov 3, 2015 11:37 AM CST

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This is a photo of the best bloom I have had on Bella Lugosi. I have been growing it for 5 seasons but I have never been happy with the blooms. Most are blothchy, rain or not, it is slow to clump up and the bud count is not high. Another one I plan to remove from my garden.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
(Lee Reinke X Rose F Kennedy) X Unk
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Nov 3, 2015 6:01 PM CST
BELA LUGOSI so plush today.

Thumb of 2015-11-03/Gleni/024365

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The problem is that when you are young your life it is ruined by your parents. When you are older it is ruined by your children.

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