Daylilies forum: 'Dormant' now 'Dedicuous'

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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Feb 12, 2017 9:40 AM CST
I just lost my reply to Judy because my iPad reloaded the page while I checked something on another tab Sad Tryng again...

On the north versus south thing, it's interesting to note that Stout, when he first described semi-evergreens, referred to the cultivar 'Chengtu' being deciduous/dormant in Florida but evergreen/semi-evergreen in New York. So it isn't just a north=dormant and south=evergreen thing because the reverse can occur. Daylily dormancy is not well understood.

The thing is that evergreen is a foliage term, semi-evergreen is a foliage term, deciduous is a foliage term, dormant is a bud/meristem behaviour term, so when the AHS switched years ago from calling them deciduous to calling them dormant it mixed up terminology for what is supposed to be foliage habit by making one a growth term. The current change brings the AHS back into line with normal horticultural/botanical language use for registration purposes.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Feb 12, 2017 10:01 AM CST
Based on my observations with the limited number of daylilies I grow and the short span of time I've been doing it, using deciduous would work well, it seems. The reason is that there are some daylilies that begin to retreat for the coming winter well before really cold weather sets in. That corresponds well to the deciduous trees and their behavior which do the same thing. They react to approaching winter well before it begins. Other daylilies continue to grow until enough freezes stops active growth and kills the foliage. All those that start fading ahead of time were registered as dormants, but not every daylily purchased as a dormant daylily actually does. Most do.

My growing zone can be erratic from year to year. It can begin or end and some winters probably correspond to Zone 7a and others to Zone 8b with most winters more commonly fitting in either Zone 7b or 8a.

That type of behavior was really pronounced in some daylily seedlings. I thought a bunch had simply died by early fall, but they returned and grew well in early spring. I was glad I hadn't just dumped them, but they were in with other seedlings that stayed green and growing and were even mixed up among sibling seedlings. Those little containers that had both types from the same pods showed the effect most clearly. I didn't let those containers freeze the first year, so the behavior was not due to freezing temperatures or being treated differently.
Donald
Name: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Davi
Feb 12, 2017 12:31 PM CST
While I understand the logic, Sue, the terminology related to "dormant" daylilies has been around so long it will be a disservice to the buying public to suddenly change to "deciduous" describing foliage habit when "dormant" has be relied on to note a particular growing habit as well. It is highly desirable for plants to lose their leaves IMHO just from the rust issue alone. It is particularly problematic to people who have both northern and southern gardens....Larry Grace and Jamie Gossard come to mind. They can easily register an evergreen as deciduous (not saying they will) because where they grow some of their evergreen registrations in the north, the plants can and will lose their leaves after being frozen solid. The "it must be deciduous somewhere" approach will likely be used to register evergreen daylilies as deciduous when they should be registered as evergreen. Evergreens in the mid-Atlantic can have all their leaves frozen off some years, but will continue to produce new leaves in others years or during a warm up.....they are still evergreens....even when they have had their leaves frozen off. But without an open discussion about dormant growing habit and a place to register this growing habit on the registration form as well, I believe you leave the door open to misregistration. This is probably the most dishonest part of the registration process anyway because many hybridizers register in the off season....sometimes when daylilies are under snow and they just guess about foliage habit. The AHS truly does need to learn more about dormancy and the differences in the crowns of evergreens vs dormants. The "it's five o'clock somewhere" approach works in other parts of my life....but I can see this leading down a road I don't want to travel with daylilies. There is no consumer advocacy group or a deciduous daylily police to monitor daylilies that are registered incorrectly, is there??
Name: Debra
Nashville, TN (Zone 7a)
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shive1
Feb 12, 2017 12:33 PM CST
Sooby - I'm just getting old and don't like to change my ways, and I look at daylilies like an artist rather than a scientist. Please forgive me if I offended you and others. My earlier post just a rash, gut reaction. Like Davi, I can see some hybridizers using the deciduous designation to further muddy the foliage waters.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Feb 12, 2017 3:52 PM CST
I have learned that it doesn't matter if it is evergreen dormant or semi, however it is registered,may not be how it performs for me. I have some of each that do great for me and some of each that performed poorly and I culled. The same thing w the height, some are taller than registered, but most rarely reach the registered height here for me. Bud count? Many are registered w/o a bud count which I really see no reason for at all. If it has a low bud count, I don't want it. If it has a high bud count, why would the hybridizer not want to disclose that? Lots of dl are registered w no photo, I really see no reason for that in an age where people take photos of their morning coffee... and their kid's poo.... Rolling my eyes.
Then some hybridizers refuse to label the parentage of a dl...


In all, the registration info is often just not very handy.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Feb 13, 2017 9:47 PM CST
It is my understanding that bud count is dependent on where you live, anyway; the further north (from FL) you go, the fewer the buds. (And then there's possibly also less rebloom?) I certainly don't get much beyond the low 20s per branch here, on my large flowered daylilies.
Evaluating a reblooming diploid daylily seedling
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Feb 13, 2017 10:51 PM CST
Deciduous sounds fine to me. In the subtropics, one gets tired of saying, "Such and such does not act as a dormant here" when one cannot tell if it has stopped growing or not, just that it keeps its leaves all the time.

So the next goal for daylily hybridisers is to have a deciduous daylily that does well in the tropics? Rust begone.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Feb 14, 2017 5:26 AM CST
good thinking, glen Thumbs up

Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Davi
Feb 14, 2017 7:30 AM CST
I vote for that, too, Gleni! I've long objected to hybridizers purposely developing hardy evergreens. With the possibility of rust evolving, nobody needs rust overwintering under the snow in the north on green foliage. Love daylilies that lose all their leaves at some point. That's called "vacation time"!!!
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Feb 14, 2017 4:09 PM CST
Thumbs up

I've been leaning more and more towards the dormants (er, deciduous daylilies) myself, and part of that is because I am hoping it will help with the rust.

But the other part of that is that the foliage on most of my d. plants Hilarious! just seems nicer, and during the winter there is a nice clean look to the garden when those plants are below ground, or just (as they are now) beginning to emerge.
Evaluating a reblooming diploid daylily seedling
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
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JWWC
Feb 14, 2017 6:03 PM CST
Davi said:I vote for that, too, Gleni! I've long objected to hybridizers purposely developing hardy evergreens. With the possibility of rust evolving, nobody needs rust overwintering under the snow in the north on green foliage. Love daylilies that lose all their leaves at some point. That's called "vacation time"!!!


...I've already seen that happen with rust the year I had constant snow cover from November to April. Grumbling
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Feb 14, 2017 6:17 PM CST
Davi said:While I understand the logic, Sue, the terminology related to "dormant" daylilies has been around so long it will be a disservice to the buying public to suddenly change to "deciduous" describing foliage habit when "dormant" has be relied on to note a particular growing habit as well.


I think this is part of the problem though. The presumption that a registered dormant is therefore hardy or hardier than a semi- or evergreen.

Davi said:It is highly desirable for plants to lose their leaves IMHO just from the rust issue alone. It is particularly problematic to people who have both northern and southern gardens....Larry Grace and Jamie Gossard come to mind. They can easily register an evergreen as deciduous (not saying they will) because where they grow some of their evergreen registrations in the north, the plants can and will lose their leaves after being frozen solid.


I think you will see from the quote from Jamie that this is already happening. He knows how the plants behave in both Florida and Ohio, but registers them as evergreen based only on how they perform in Florida. Deciduous also has implications for plant physiology, particularly at the abscission zone, where the leaves would naturally separate. This year I have had temps down to -14, and there is a definite and substantive difference in the foliage habit of the many daylilies I grow, though none of them were actively growing for much of the winter. Thus, I have dormant deciduous daylilies (including I think all of the Davisson cultivars I own), dormant semi-evergreen, and dormant evergreen daylilies.

Davi said: But without an open discussion about dormant growing habit and a place to register this growing habit on the registration form as well, I believe you leave the door open to misregistration. This is probably the most dishonest part of the registration process anyway because many hybridizers register in the off season....sometimes when daylilies are under snow and they just guess about foliage habit.

I'd like to see them separate the growing habit, foliage type, and specifically identify the location where these traits were measured. Hardiness zones are a good stepping off point but I realize they don't necessarily translate well to other countries etc.

Davi said:The AHS truly does need to learn more about dormancy and the differences in the crowns of evergreens vs dormants. The "it's five o'clock somewhere" approach works in other parts of my life....but I can see this leading down a road I don't want to travel with daylilies. There is no consumer advocacy group or a deciduous daylily police to monitor daylilies that are registered incorrectly, is there??


There isn't an a dormancy police either, and we've gotten along pretty well I think. Thumbs up
Really, what they should spend some time doing, in my opinion, is coming up with a set of standards for registration as a certain type.




Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Feb 14, 2017 6:21 PM CST
I very much dislike the use of dormant for foliage type. I think it is rife with problems and should have been addressed. The scientist in me was bothered by the fact that it was an erroneous use of the term as a foliage classification; the hobby/buyer in me was bothered by the way it has been marketed. I am not entirely certain that deciduous is the be-all and end-all of this debate, as we learn more, we should be willing to update our understanding. It is, however, at least a botanically accurate classification. Until we move onto the arguably more correct term marcescent. Big Grin
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Region: Vermont
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Char
Feb 14, 2017 8:08 PM CST

Moderator

JWWC said:
I think this is part of the problem though. The presumption that a registered dormant is therefore hardy or hardier than a semi- or evergreen.


There is a presumption that a registered dormant is hardier. The difference between evergreen, semi-evergreen and dormant has meant more than simply saying foliage habit in botanical terms and included a way to explain the growth habit. The temporarily suspended growth of an evergreen in the north is very different from what we referred to as a "dormant" with a resting bud that does not break dormancy until spring. A deciduous daylily that will thrive in southern climates would be a huge step forward in the battle with rust. At the same time, daylilies from the south registered as deciduous, be it from dead evergreen leaves seen in the north or an actual resting bud deciduous, will make trying to figure out what deciduous plants will thrive and grow in colder areas more difficult to determine. Regional growers, regional hybridizers, hybridizers working in similar climates and zones, as well as hybridizers whom you have come to know produce daylilies which not only survive but thrive in your garden, will become even more important when looking to purchase daylilies.

JWWC said:
I'd like to see them separate the growing habit, foliage type, and specifically identify the location where these traits were measured.


The location where the traits are measured is in the hybridizers garden. They are then recorded on the registration form and in written descriptions if a hybridizer does them.
I'd like to see consistency in how evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous are presented by AHS.

From the Reg instructions

* FOLIAGE HABIT
Choose the abbreviation which best applies to your cultivar. Daylilies have three types of growth.
Evergreen (ev.)
These daylilies retain their foliage throughout the year. In the north, these plants over winter as a mound of frozen pale green foliage. Evergreens may resume growth during
a mid-winter thaw in mild climates.

Semi-evergreen (sev.)
The foliage of these daylilies dies back nearly to the ground in very cold climates. Some green will be seen near the base. Generally, semi-evergreens wait until spring to resume growth.

Dormant (dor.)
These daylilies lose their foliage completely before or shortly after frost and over winter with pointed foliage buds, usually just beneath the soil surface. Dormants will resume
growth in spring.


From the Daylily Dictionary

EVERGREEN:
The foliage habit of daylilies that retain their foliage throughout the year. In cold winter climates, evergreen daylilies over-winter as a mound of frozen pale green foliage. Evergreens may resume growth during a mid-winter thaw in mild climates. Evergreen daylilies do not set resting buds.

SEMI-EVERGREEN:
Intermediate foliage behavior that is not adequately described as simply DECIDUOUS or EVERGREEN.

DECIDUOUS:
The term deciduous refers to daylilies that lose their foliage completely before or shortly after frost and over-winter with pointed foliage buds, usually just beneath the soil surface. Deciduous plants will resume growth in spring. Also see Dormant.

From the Frequently Asked Questions section ...which has what I think are the best explanations of deciduous and evergreen.

Habit
The winter behavior of the daylily foliage is called "the foliage habit." For registration purposes, the foliage habit is loosely categorized as deciduous, evergreen, and semi-evergreen.

Deciduous. The leaves of these daylilies die completely back as winter approaches. They stop growing and form resting buds at the crown, and the foliage dies down naturally and gradually. In the spring, the resting buds have a distinctive spear-like appearance as they emerge.

Evergreen. These daylilies retain their leaves throughout the year. They do not form resting buds. Instead, they continually produce new leaves unless cold weather prevents growth. In mild climates, the leaves of evergreens remain green all winter. In the coldest climates, the foliage of evergreens nearly always is frozen back, but the crown survives if it is hardy (or well mulched).

Semi-Evergreen. The term semi-evergreen is used to describe any foliage behavior which is not readily classed as simple evergreen or deciduous. Originally, the term semi-evergreen (or conversely, semi-deciduous) was used to describe those daylilies which retained many of its leaves and appeared somewhat evergreen when grown in the South, but lost all its leaves when grown in the North.
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Feb 15, 2017 2:41 PM CST
Char said:

There is a presumption that a registered dormant is hardier. The difference between evergreen, semi-evergreen and dormant has meant more than simply saying foliage habit in botanical terms and included a way to explain the growth habit. The temporarily suspended growth of an evergreen in the north is very different from what we referred to as a "dormant" with a resting bud that does not break dormancy until spring. A deciduous daylily that will thrive in southern climates would be a huge step forward in the battle with rust. At the same time, daylilies from the south registered as deciduous, be it from dead evergreen leaves seen in the north or an actual resting bud deciduous, will make trying to figure out what deciduous plants will thrive and grow in colder areas more difficult to determine. Regional growers, regional hybridizers, hybridizers working in similar climates and zones, as well as hybridizers whom you have come to know produce daylilies which not only survive but thrive in your garden, will become even more important when looking to purchase daylilies.


Indeed, and I think this gets more to the core of the problem. Botanically speaking, dormancy is essentially a period of no active meristem growth. The more a plant stops growing and saves those reserves the better it is likely to be come spring. However, on another scale, cold and extremely cold temperatures naturally slow the metabolic and mitotic activity of cells. This extends beyond plants as well. For example, one of my ongoing research projects is examining the structural changes to mammary tissue that lead to the development of early, pre-malignant lesions. To do so, it is advantageous to sync the cells and I can do that by lowering the temperature and blocking mitosis. That was quite the tangent to make the point that even plants that are of other foliage classifications can be dormant.

This can also happen during times of stress etc. This is why I would like to see a move away from the foliage as indication of hardiness, and I actually think this could help because hybridizers who still describe things as hard dormant, and deciduous, will be able to convey more specific information.

Char said:
The location where the traits are measured is in the hybridizers garden. They are then recorded on the registration form and in written descriptions if a hybridizer does them.
I'd like to see consistency in how evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous are presented by AHS.


For many yes, but there are some who grow and test in multiple locations. I would like to know whether something that, for example, Jamie Gossard is labeling as an EV is an EV in OH vs in FL.


Char said:
From the Reg instructions

* FOLIAGE HABIT
Choose the abbreviation which best applies to your cultivar. Daylilies have three types of growth.
Evergreen (ev.)
These daylilies retain their foliage throughout the year. In the north, these plants over winter as a mound of frozen pale green foliage. Evergreens may resume growth during
a mid-winter thaw in mild climates.

Semi-evergreen (sev.)
The foliage of these daylilies dies back nearly to the ground in very cold climates. Some green will be seen near the base. Generally, semi-evergreens wait until spring to resume growth.

Dormant (dor.)
These daylilies lose their foliage completely before or shortly after frost and over winter with pointed foliage buds, usually just beneath the soil surface. Dormants will resume
growth in spring.


From the Daylily Dictionary

EVERGREEN:
The foliage habit of daylilies that retain their foliage throughout the year. In cold winter climates, evergreen daylilies over-winter as a mound of frozen pale green foliage. Evergreens may resume growth during a mid-winter thaw in mild climates. Evergreen daylilies do not set resting buds.

SEMI-EVERGREEN:
Intermediate foliage behavior that is not adequately described as simply DECIDUOUS or EVERGREEN.

DECIDUOUS:
The term deciduous refers to daylilies that lose their foliage completely before or shortly after frost and over-winter with pointed foliage buds, usually just beneath the soil surface. Deciduous plants will resume growth in spring. Also see Dormant.

From the Frequently Asked Questions section ...which has what I think are the best explanations of deciduous and evergreen.

Habit
The winter behavior of the daylily foliage is called "the foliage habit." For registration purposes, the foliage habit is loosely categorized as deciduous, evergreen, and semi-evergreen.

Deciduous. The leaves of these daylilies die completely back as winter approaches. They stop growing and form resting buds at the crown, and the foliage dies down naturally and gradually. In the spring, the resting buds have a distinctive spear-like appearance as they emerge.

Evergreen. These daylilies retain their leaves throughout the year. They do not form resting buds. Instead, they continually produce new leaves unless cold weather prevents growth. In mild climates, the leaves of evergreens remain green all winter. In the coldest climates, the foliage of evergreens nearly always is frozen back, but the crown survives if it is hardy (or well mulched).

Semi-Evergreen. The term semi-evergreen is used to describe any foliage behavior which is not readily classed as simple evergreen or deciduous. Originally, the term semi-evergreen (or conversely, semi-deciduous) was used to describe those daylilies which retained many of its leaves and appeared somewhat evergreen when grown in the South, but lost all its leaves when grown in the North.


Thanks! Those are good places to start. I'm not sure I had seen them previously.
Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
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florange
Feb 15, 2017 5:35 PM CST
Just to throw another spanner into the works. When a daylily is classified as evergreen in GA or SC or NC. It's performance is not equal in my rather tropical location. I have 2 daylilies in my garden right now--one from north FL and one from southern GA and both as registered as evergreen. Here in my boxes both went to ground and their foliage shank to 2.5". They are thinking about growing now but nothing is happening. I'm not sure they will survive but they were cheap and I took a chance.
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Region: Vermont
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Char
Feb 15, 2017 6:56 PM CST

Moderator

JWWC said:

This is why I would like to see a move away from the foliage as indication of hardiness, and I actually think this could help because hybridizers who still describe things as hard dormant, and deciduous, will be able to convey more specific information.


I agree, I hope I didn't give the impression I was against the change to deciduous, quite the opposite. The more information we can gather to understand a plants growth habit from the hybridizer the better. Hopefully hybridizers will think about including more information in their descriptions, myself included.


JWWC said:For many yes, but there are some who grow and test in multiple locations. I would like to know whether something that, for example, Jamie Gossard is labeling as an EV is an EV in OH vs in FL.


I'm not sure how AHS will remedy the problem for growers who work in multiple locations or if they will provide a place on the registration to record information for growth habit in the future. Shrug! It most likely will be up to the hybridizer to provide that information when they introduce a plant leaving the consumer to track it down which could become difficult with website changes, as the plant is sold through resellers, etc.




Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Feb 16, 2017 7:32 AM CST
Char said:

I agree, I hope I didn't give the impression I was against the change to deciduous, quite the opposite. The more information we can gather to understand a plants growth habit from the hybridizer the better. Hopefully hybridizers will think about including more information in their descriptions, myself included.










No worries - I understood. Was just continuing the conversation. Thumbs up
Name: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Davi
Feb 16, 2017 9:12 AM CST
Well, continuing the conversation, James, I do not mind your digression into what you are studying as I'm a dumb Dora when it comes to science but I do find these things interesting. I was reading about the new light sensitive drug that uses lasers and bacteria found on the ocean floor that can't tolerate light that is now being used to treat prostate cancers without surgery. And proposals to use daylilies as a model for cancer treatment are out there as well. Fascinating stuff. So little is understood about daylilies....the differences on the cellular level between evergreen and dormant (er deciduous) crowns, why the bloom can't last more than a day even though hybridizers work hard on it, etc. So I rely on people with bigger brains than mine to tell me using little words instead of big words and talking sloooooowly!!

Char, I agree that consistency is really important and it seems that coordination is always lacking on official AHS sites. A lot has been done recently to update the technology aspect of the database as it relates to registration and during this process, it is getting frustrating for users. I liked one of Salters new intros and wanted to see if it had been registered, but the database has not up uploaded since October 2016 and its VERY slow in uploading. It will, no doubt, be done.....but when?
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Feb 16, 2017 9:37 AM CST
Davi said:Well, continuing the conversation, James, I do not mind your digression into what you are studying as I'm a dumb Dora when it comes to science but I do find these things interesting. I was reading about the new light sensitive drug that uses lasers and bacteria found on the ocean floor that can't tolerate light that is now being used to treat prostate cancers without surgery. And proposals to use daylilies as a model for cancer treatment are out there as well. Fascinating stuff. So little is understood about daylilies....the differences on the cellular level between evergreen and dormant (er deciduous) crowns, why the bloom can't last more than a day even though hybridizers work hard on it, etc. So I rely on people with bigger brains than mine to tell me using little words instead of big words and talking sloooooowly!!

Char, I agree that consistency is really important and it seems that coordination is always lacking on official AHS sites. A lot has been done recently to update the technology aspect of the database as it relates to registration and during this process, it is getting frustrating for users. I liked one of Salters new intros and wanted to see if it had been registered, but the database has not up uploaded since October 2016 and its VERY slow in uploading. It will, no doubt, be done.....but when?


LOL thanks! I was re-reading the post today and hoping it did not come across as overtly pretentious. I was trying to give some reasoning for my opinion on the subject.

There are many challenges in this field, particularly in regards to registration simply for the varying climates where daylilies are hybridized and grown. That thing many of us love about them is coming back to bite us!

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