Daylilies forum: Are there any clear oranges out there?

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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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Mar 23, 2018 5:14 AM CST
Ooooh! I love the color of Burning Inheritance. Looks like it has a sturdy scape and decent branching too Thumbs up
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Name: Ginny G
Central Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Mar 23, 2018 6:09 AM CST
I agree I agree beautiful
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Name: Nikki
Yorkshire, UK (Zone 8a)
LA name-Maelstrom
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Mar 23, 2018 4:14 PM CST
I like this one, more of a soft orange. Small flowered diploid.

Apricot Angel

Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Mar 23, 2018 6:55 PM CST
I don't know how it is in the daylily world, but as a quilter, this is how I look at "color".

Looking at the color orange on the color wheel, I believe it is called the "pure color" or "primary color"..
Add white to pure orange and it becomes a "tint" of orange.
Add black to pure orange and it becomes a "shade" of orange.
Add gray to pure orange and it becomes a "tone" of orange.

Thumb of 2018-03-24/petruske/4340c6

A couple years ago I took a class in color theory. It takes a good eye (or perhaps better stated as an educated eye), which I admit I still don't have even after the class, to recognize every tint, shade, or tone from the pure color.

Looking back at this color wheel, I think the DL I showed (Blazing Lamp Sticks) is actually more of a red-orange than a pure orange.

[Last edited by petruske - Mar 23, 2018 6:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Mar 31, 2018 3:50 PM CST
To answer my own question. In theory, at least, a clear orange should be feasible in daylilies.

After @Maryl gave in the info about orange being a combo of yellow/red (and I was reminded), I did some research on plant pigments. Orange is one of the carotenoid pigments and is found in daylilies (not all color pigments are found in blooms of plants). Since most of the carotenoid pigments run the range of yellow to red, I doubt that any combo of carotenoid pigments in those colors would produce a muddy bloom. The effect would more likely be from pale to intense saturation. Throw in some some of the anthocyanin pigments, which have a different molecular composition and muddy, or cloudy, or shades and patterns would probably start appearing. Here is a rather technical scientific study done on H. fulva http://hortsci.ashspublication... which addresses the orange pigment.

After reading around in different articles, my guess would be that 'Heavenly Jet Fire', which I grow, gets it's color from caretenoid pigments and therefore is probably, technically, a clear orange.
Thumb of 2018-03-31/needrain/143b83

In another case, this seedling from 'Wild Horses' is more of a burnt orange, so all the burnt effect is from mud, if you will. I like it, but I suspect it's derived from anthocyanin pigments involved with the carotenoid pigment and thus is not a clear orange.
Thumb of 2018-03-31/needrain/0e0551

Anthocyanin pigments are quite often the blue/lavender colors and when those get involved with carotenoid pigments you end up with interesting, but not always appealing to everyone, effects on the colors our eyes see. Remove other pigments and just leave the orange carotenoid and you should have clear orange. Since that pigment is present in daylilies, I can't see any scientific reason why there wouldn't be clear orange daylilies. @admmad Maurice, do you know of any studies that would be useful here?

Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Apr 3, 2018 7:30 PM CST
I don't know of any studies that would help determine which daylilies might be clear "orange".
Daylily flowers can have carotenoid pigments, anthocyanin pigments or both.
For a daylily flower to have carotenoid pigments but none of the strongly coloured anthocyanin pigments (cyanidin or delphinidin - which are best described as reddish purple and bluish purple) it needs to be a self (no eye). Having both carotenoid and anthocyanin pigments in the same flower has in the past been described as producing muddy colours and was usually considered as a fault (nowadays it seems that many characteristics that were considered faults in the past are actively desired).

Some of the carotenoid pigments can be orange but I have been told that whether they are yellow or orange depends on the concentration of the pigment (possibly as much or more than the specific pigment).

Some daylily flowers may be orange in colour because they have both carotenoid and anthocyanin pigments. That seems to be how 'Mauna Loa' produces its orange colour - by having reddish pigments in the surface (epidermal) layer of the flower and yellowish carotenoid pigments in the underlying (mesophyll) layer of the flower. That is one of the conditions that @Polymerous specifically considers produces "muddy" orange.

To produce daylilies with orange flowers from only carotenoid pigments a hybridizer would need to select for high concentrations of the appropriate pigments, not cross with any daylily with anthocyanin pigments and probably keep the orange selection line closed to daylilies from all other hybridizers. I would be surprised if anyone was following that course. The selection line might have to start with deep gold flowers and attempt to make them deeper to try to get to orange. I am not sure that it is easily possible in daylilies.

It might be possible to look for information on the pigments present in the orange flowers of other species that are considered to be clear orange to determine whether daylilies are known to have those pigments in their flowers.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Apr 3, 2018 8:15 PM CST
Beta-carotene - the main colour of carrots is shown in I assume various concentrations at this website

As far as I know, daylilies do not have beta-carotene in their flowers.
[Last edited by admmad - Apr 3, 2018 8:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Apr 3, 2018 9:46 PM CST
admmad said:Beta-carotene - the main colour of carrots is shown in I assume various concentrations at this website

As far as I know, daylilies do not have beta-carotene in their flowers.

Thanks Maurice,

There is a lot of scientific info on flower pigments and plant pigments in general. It gets complicated and after reading some it gets jumbled. They seem to be in steps. The layering effect of two different pigments, the molecules and the size of the molecules and the way they aggregate in a bloom make it very complicated after you've read few. And there is always the reliability of the source material to question. Here is one specific to daylily blooms that says all-trans-beta-carotene and their cis isonomers are present, but I'm not sure all-trans-beta-carotene is the same as beta-carotene found in carrots.

Another question would be why having an eye would preclude it being a clear orange? Since there multiple carotene pigments, why couldn't both the ground color and eye both consist of carotene pigments? Would necessarily be the result of anthocyanin pigments? If so, why is that? That's sort of another things that makes it hard to decipher how pigments work. The throat color transitioning to an eye pattern turning into a face pattern that is quite variable. Are the patterns determined by molecular structure?

Mercy!! I don't see why scientists don't have 24 hour headaches Big Grin .
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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Apr 11, 2018 6:52 AM CST
I am not a big orange fan, but I did add Cluster Muster and Pumpkin Park last year. I guess I associate the ditch lilies to orange. I am watching this thread to get some recommendations.

Which is the best Halloween daylily? Love the dark eye combinations. Hurray!
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Apr 14, 2018 10:13 PM CST
@needrain Unfortunately there is a catch in the research that found a number of different carotenoid pigments in daylily flowers. The catch is that when we think of daylily flowers we think of petals and sepals. In the research paper entire flowers were picked in very large quantities and petals and sepals were not separated from pistils, stamens, pollen, green parts of the ovary or stems. Carotenoids unfortunately are also present in green plant tissues and in pollen, etc. The carotenoids present in one location are not necessarily present in a different location. The research that did not find beta carotenes in the flowers used only petals and sepals.

The eye pigments in daylilies are, as far as has been determined, either flavonoids of the less colourful sort (when there is no eye visible to us) or anthocyanins (when the eye is visible to us). The eye pattern is a very old pattern in terms of evolution and present in many species. It is thought to be related to insect vision and pollination.

One probably should never assume that anything is impossible for living organisms. However, it would probably require mutations in many different genes affecting many different parts of the flower development process to produce eyes composed only of carotenoid pigments in daylilies.

The patterns would be determined by where and when or if, and for how long the genes that make the pigments are switched on and switched off.
[Last edited by admmad - Apr 17, 2018 9:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
Jun 20, 2018 10:16 PM CST

This seedling's maiden bloom opened today—it's the 'orangey-est' thing I've ever grown.

Thumb of 2018-06-21/CaliFlowers/f63efa

Pod parent was one of my best 'landscapers'—a large tropical pink from Frank Gladney x Serena Sunburst. Pollen parent was Primal Scream.
[Last edited by CaliFlowers - Jun 21, 2018 7:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Jun 21, 2018 12:33 AM CST
Sorry that I have been away from this thread for quite a while.

Some of the daylily pix posted on this thread look orange (though it is hard to tell how clear of an orange), some look like "gold" to me. (Ken, nice color on your seedling. Curiously enough, iirc 'Pink Fanfare' was said to have some orange in the background, so I have to wonder if pink+orange gives good things in the seedlings, although maybe not predictably which color will predominate).

Thanks for the color chart, Sue. Thumbs up

Of the daylilies I have observed this season, I'd say all of these are orange to some degree (maybe orange mixed with yellow or gold), but the clarity is variable, and none of them have the clarity of, say, the diploid 'Let Me Be Clear'. For orange color, I'd say that I favor 'Buddy's Betsy' and 'Diana's Peaches and Cream' over the others. (While not at all strongly orange, 'Loma Prieta' will stay a while... it seems like it may have some degree of rust resistance, and the blooms open well. Color isn't everything!)

Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom

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