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.


Emily Kennedy said...

Mosquitos are the poison of summer. I really don't think we had them like this in Fresno, and I know we didn't in San Francisco. I detest them, and they appear to love me: a most noxious situation. Post-bite I like tea tree oil or BiteCare by Dolisos for itch relief.

The break is amazing on the middle flower. It's near to learn the term for what my eye likes.

CatsandCatts said...

The California mosquitoes aren't as big, I don't think. I tell my California friends about chiggers & they recoil in horror. I'll try BiteCare. Thanks!

Knowing the lingo helps me appreciate the beauty because I can order things in my mind more readily ("shark-tooth edge" vs "pie-crust edge"). But it's such a modernist orientation (Must. Categorize. Nature.). I think it's like a lot of things, though. When I was dating a former gymnast in the '90s she was able to explain/name what I was watching and it boosted my appreciation considerably when I was able to go beyond "and then she did the twirly thing...".

The Sage Butterfly said...

I don't think I have seen lovelier lillies anywhere...gorgeous!