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The Daylily

The Daylily
A Guide for Gardeners 
by Ken Druse John P. Peat and Ted L. Petit 
Timber Press, 2004

A native of the Orient, the daylily is one of the most versatile and beautiful of the perennial flowers, thriving in a wide range of climates from the south of Florida to near the Arctic Circle in North America. Adapting well to diverse situations, it is the perfect companion plant for many gardens and easily hybridized by the creative gardener.

Because it is so easy to grow and wonderful to behold, the daylily is enormously popular. Each year, over a thousand new daylily cultivars are being listed with the American Hemerocallis Society, whose checklist now numbers over 50,000. Understanding the differences in the various cultivars and chooseing which ones to grow is the purpose of this compendious guidebook.

Opening with a history of the species and its hybridization, the book covers garden design, pests and diseases, cultivation, and the exhibition of daylilies in shows with chapters by contributing authors who are experts in these areas. Directories of America's award-winning American daylilies are included along with reports on daylilies in Australia, Canada and Europe. 

Daylilies societies, events and sources are listed in the back of the book along with a bibliography.

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Hybridizing Dayliles

Many people ask, "Why should I start hybridizing at this stage in the evolution of the daylily? What is left to do?" Quite simply, the possibilities are endless...

To begin, ask yourself what type of daylily you find most beautiful. This is not a difficult question; simply look at the daylilies you already have in your garden. You chose them because they have something that appeals to you, be it their color, size, form, and so on. Begin your hybridizing efforts by crossing them, and move further in that direction. Every generation will give you new ideas, as new daylily faces emerge from your 'painting with pollen.' If you want to make your seedlings look more modern, considering purchasing just one cutting-edge daylily to add to your gene pool. You will probably be astonished at the flowers you create. 


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