Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cosmic Sensation

It's daylily time! I know it's that time of year because I have a slew of mosquito bites. Do you remember the scene in "The Right Stuff" (1983) where the astronauts undergo a battery of tests? And do you remember how one of the tests entailed Sam Shepard being stabbed in the flesh between his thumb and forefinger to test his pain tolerance? Mosquitoes bites on the hands are not on the list of world problems, but maybe they should be. 

Enough mosquito talk... Some of the new cultivars I purchased are starting to show their stuff. So far, 'Cosmic Sensation' (Salter 2002) is my favorite. The white shark-toothed edge jumps off of the lush purple background. It's been a generous bloomer and the flowers are perfectly spaced on the top of the scape. 

'Pat Garrity' (Stamile 2002) is another standout. The gold is bright and clear, but the strengths of this flower are its flatness and huge red eye. "Flat" is a relative concept when it comes to daylilies and -- compared to hybridizing programs for many orchids -- it's not coveted as an important breeding goal. The red eye is impressive because, despite the size of the eye zone, the break between the gold and the red is clean and unmuddied.

Finally, here's a cultivar I bought at the Topeka Daylily Club annual sale ('Oklahoma Kicking Bird' by Marley, 1987). The bloom is gigantic! I'm not immediately drawn to spider-form and unusual-form daylilies, but this one might win me over.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Two for One

I've been working way too hard for June, so I'm behind on everything. I expect to emerge from the work tunnel sometime soon. Until then, here's a photo I've wanted to post for a few weeks. 

This is a Brachypetalum hybrid from Orchid Inn. It's Paph. Sabatino x Paph. S. Gratrix. More specifically, it's Paph. (Muriel Constance x Greyi) var. album x S. Gratrix var. album 'Albino Beauty.' Obviously, the albino thing didn't work out with this cross, but I still find it pretty. The dots on the bottom half of the petals are more faded and maybe that's the album trying to assert itself.

What do you think about the fold at the tops of the dorsal sepals? From the point of view of the flower, the hooded dorsal protects the pouch from unnecessary rain that could ruin the flower or drown a potential pollinator. From the point of view of section 7.1.7 of the AOS Judging Manual, "The dorsal sepal should be large, rounded, slightly concave and not reflexed." It definitely fails in the "rounded" department, but does the dorsal hoodie count as "slightly concave?" From Lan Lan's point of view the flower is super cute, and I tend to agree.