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.