Past Plants of the Day forum: Daylily of the Day: Sears Tower

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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
Sep 19, 2016 6:01 PM CST
Background history:

'Sears Tower' is a dormant tetraploid introduced in 2000 by Al Goldner. Al did his hybridizing in Michigan at the J&O Tree Farm:

Al Goldner has since passed away and his grandson acquired the J&O Tree Farm.

Sears Tower is a tall polychrome mid-season extended bloomer. It has earned the Honorable Mention: 2007 AHS award. It is pod and pollen fertile with 16 registered children:

This plant can be found in the NGA Plant Database at:
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Sears Tower') .

Please join in, if you own this plant! We would love to know more! I award an acorn for performance information posted to this thread.

Also, please consider adding a "Local Report" to the NGA Plant Database! Thank you!

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Sears Tower')
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 - Sep 20, 2016 6:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Sep 20, 2016 6:26 AM CST
First of all, Al Goldner is no longer hybridizing as he passed away about 15 years ago....and the tree farm in Michigan where some of his cultivars can still be found is now owned by his grandson.

SEARS TOWER is one of Al's most notable introductions. BIG, TALL, and bodacious, it was developed for the landscape trade and a mass planting of SEARS TOWER once graced the landscape of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. It takes water for it to grow its full height, but it makes an showy display when established in mass. When used in a hybridizing program, it makes enormous seed pods....I was always amazed when it produced over 25 seeds per pod that were so squeezed in the pod that the seeds would be square. Developed and planted all over Michigan landscapes (highway plantings, subdivision entrances, etc.) before it was registered, SEARS TOWER was finally registered shortly before Al's death by his best friend, Hal Rice, because it was distributed so much and Hal felt Al's name should be on an official registration. Al was not registering anything at the time and Hal paid the registration fee to make it happen.
Name: Kathy
(Zone 5a)
Daylilies Seed Starter Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
Sep 20, 2016 7:45 AM CST
One of our favorites. I can't imagine not liking Tall, Big, and Yellow. ;)
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
Sep 20, 2016 9:26 AM CST
It seems that there are tall daylilies, and then there are tall daylilies.

I've grown Curt Hanson's Notify Ground Crew for about 6 years, and in a 5 gallon container, it consistently bloomed around 30". This year, after planting in the ground last fall, it hit 48" easily.

Owens' Eminent Domain has spent two seasons in the ground at the foot of a brick wall, and is consistently 10-12" tall. I'm almost positive that the soil there has a problem, and the plant will be moved. I've read from more than one source that the giants take a couple of years to settle in and show their stuff, but it is what it is.

Sears Tower, on the other hand, planted in a 5 gallon container right next to Notify Ground Crew, reached 44" in its first season, and backed up its performance this year, even though the fans are on the small side. It's easily pod-fertile, and the scapes are slender, but well-anchored.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (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
Sep 20, 2016 11:41 AM CST
@Davi, I enjoyed reading the background information on Sears Tower!
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Southern Indiana
Sep 20, 2016 11:51 AM CST
I have been growing Sears Tower for four years now, reliable bloomer and a real eye catcher, it reached 66 in. this summer.
Pod and pollen fertile and the scapes are strong, I have made several crosses with Sears Tower the last couple of years and am
looking forward to seeing what the offspring will be. Love the tall ones.
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
Sep 20, 2016 6:36 PM CST
Judy - Thank you for the information about Al Goldner. I have corrected the background info in the first post to reflect your information and I tipped you 2 acorns. One for the updated info about Al and one for your wonderful evaluation. Thank you! Thank You!
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 Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Sep 20, 2016 10:45 PM CST
Someone sent me seeds for Sears Tower two years ago. I managed to get them to germinate and then planted seedlings in my garden a summer ago. They came up and now I have some plants. No blooms yet though. Maybe next year.
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
Sep 21, 2016 8:37 AM CST
Sears Tower does well in my garden. Topping out at 65 inches thus far. I have collected many pods from it. I am going to plant some late winter and see what happen.
"Life as short as it is, is amazing isn't it ?" Michael Burton
"Be your best you".
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Sep 21, 2016 5:14 PM CST
Up until this year 'Sears Tower' was one of my favorite daylilies. It earned some disfavor late this season when it developed some rust; not horribly so, but enough that I had to trim the foliage back and do a spray with 'Sentinel'. The rust may or may not be related to the fact that last fall I finally planted it into the ground (as opposed to the 1.5-2 gal pot where it had lived several years). The ground spot was the exact same location where the pot had lived all these years, and that area gets hit by irrigation spray, so my guess is that the spray got the foliage this year, whereas in previous years it did not.

What was interesting to me was that all the years that the plant was still in the pot, the scapes leaned so badly once flowering began that they needed support. Growing in the ground, this has not been the case - the scapes all stood up strong and proud. Some of them were quite high (no, I didn't measure, but I'd say easily over 4 ft), whereas others (on the shadier side of the clump?) were shorter. (I am hoping that next year, after the plant has settled in more, all of the scapes will have similar heights.)

Apart from that, the plant has large fragrant flowers that always open well here, nice looking foliage (before the rust Glare ), and it provides welcome color to the garden when many (or most) daylilies have bloomed out (and/or are a month away from rebloom). Bud count is on the low side (10-15 per the registration data and that is what I get) and it does not rebloom, but with a large clump the show is adequate, especially for that part of the daylily season. The clump always reliably starts bloom here towards the end of June (overlapping a bit with the ending of 'Osterized', another desirable daylily), and ends the first week of August (this year it bloomed from 6-21 to 8-3), making it (in my opinion) a solid Mid Late bloomer (and hang the registration data).

'Sears Tower' is both pod and pollen fertile, however using it as a pod parent, I have never gotten anywhere near 25 seeds. (This has been true for all tets here, not just for 'Sears Tower'.) I have used it as a pod parent with pollen from only a few other daylilies; some years it has been relatively easy to set pods on, other years, not (this with pollen from the same parent). (This year I believe I got all of one pod from my clump.)

Being a dormant daylily, I am hoping that the rust will not rear its head on this plant again next year. If it does, 'Sears Tower' may have to go back into a pot (a larger pot this time, I promise) placed well away from any rusty daylilies.
Daylily season is almost done, barring scattered rebloom. This was the LFO on a new diploid seedling; image from 8-17-17.

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