34 EE 4.5, Red Blend, Dor Dip
Ruffled Ivory * lilioasphodelus
What's that red Amaryllis doing in the daylily bed? In mid-June? Begin With A Bang is the first good red in my garden, and begins the growing season with some of the earliest dormant foliage to emerge. Beautiful gray-green bullets of foliage that scoff at late spring frosts. The foliage is erect, disease resistant, and stays beautiful until autumn frost.
I've always wanted to introduce this one, but it increased very slowly in my garden. When I finally put some into a good location in the Harmon garden, it increased very nicely.
Begin With A Bang has got some terrific qualities: it's a true EE, beginning a week before Stella De Oro. Its size and color are much better than any other red at its season. Don't you hate those brick colored reds? Begin With A Bang is a light red over a very pale yellow base. Both parents contributed to the color clarity. Where did the red come from? Well, Ruffled Ivory has a faint red overlay that I didn't notice until this kid alerted me. It's diamond dusted, sunfast and has a yellow-green throat. It always opens well in cool. weather, and looks great in a clump. 12 buds per scape, yet it blooms well into midseason.
If you'd like to breed for modern-looking EE reds, this is where I'd begin. I attribute many of the good qualities to its species parent, H. lilioasphodelus. The earliness, great foliage, good opening, and frost hardiness. Or if you're one of us who can't wait to get those first daylilies of the season, this one is for you.