Friday, December 29, 2006

Jerry's Whirligig (Deschenes 00)

Jerry's Whirligig (Deschenes 00)30 L 6, Lavender w'Burgundy Eye, Dor Dip Ufo
(seedling * Orchid Corsage)

This is an "Oh, Wow!" UFO. Any connoisseur of unusual forms will immediately be drawn to this plant! Not just for the beauty and clear colors, but for the enormous size. While I've measured it at 6.5 inches as it stands, it's wingspread was 13 inches! Moreover, it's somewhat pod fertile: I know of no other daylily with a 13 inch wingspan that sets seeds. I've podded it two years in a row with little effort, while its much smaller pollen parent, ORCHID CORSAGE, has never podded for me. Imagine converting this enormous diploid to tetraploid....

It is not a true spider but its drooping, curling cascade form is especially elegant and distinctive. It presents a pleasing mixture of purples, lavenders, yellows, green and pink. A chevron eye contrasts well with a yellow green throat and very light lavender pink petals. This might also be the widest petalled cascade in existence, but not at the expense of substance; the flowers hold well all day.

Yet it has still more virtues to list. It blooms late in the season, is decidedly hardy and free blooming. This plant does not need a lot of care to thrive and increases well. It always opens perfectly, has three branches, and 18 buds. There are none of the common faults: the scapes stay erect even under the load of these large flowers, the buds are well staggered so that they don't interfere, and the blooms are held well above the excellent foliage. The closest thing to a fault I find with this plant is that it needs grooming to prevent the old flowers from interfering with opening of new flowers, and this is common in large blooms.

There are very few cascade unusual forms out there, and this is one of the best for breeding, for size, and for outstanding beauty in the garden. Nobody will walk past it without noticing!

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