Monday, July 13, 2015

Fab Four Favorite Reds

When I began hybridizing in 1986, I had no goals nor any idea where I was going. More importantly, I had no idea what I was doing. I worked with both diploids and tetraploids of all colors. I eventually settled toward tetraploids mostly in the yellow range. I followed this for several years with my program almost entirely to the yellow range. When we moved to our current location in 1993, I was able to erect a greenhouse to further my hybridizing program. I was still into yellows, Bob Carr's H. 'Wonder of it All' was my all time favorite. I remember one year I had 165 pods set on several pots of WOIA. How ridiculous was that?

I have acquired several reds over the last few years, and the following are four of my favorites, in no particular order. Of course, these are in addition to my new reds. Please remember, I probably select these four because I have used them extensively in my hybridizing. 

H. 'Camelot Red' (Salter 2011) In the fall of 2009, Jeff and Elizabeth Salter stopped overnight for a visit and brought a seedling they just called "Red" and "guested" it with me. In the spring of 2010, this seedling bloomed and just blew me away and changed my whole hybridizing program. This red was eventually named H. 'Camelot Red' and this is where it all began. Now my hybridizing program is almost entirely to the red side with a few purples thrown in for a little variety.
H. 'Camelot Red' 
(Salter 2010) Picture courtesy Jeff Salter

'H 'Home of the Free' (Grace 2012). I saw this as a seedling in the garden of Bill Waldrop and was completely taken. I called Larry to see if I could purchase a piece and since it was under seedling number, he would not sell it top me but would "guest" me a fan. I believe this was in 2010, I think a couple years before it was registered and introduced. This is a very saturated clear red with a gold edge and heavy, heavy substance. Used extensively in my hybridizing program.
H. 'Home of the Free'
(Grace 2012)

H. 'Barbara Mandrell' (Kirchhoff 2009). How could you mention reds without including this outstanding red from David. It has outstanding color, the form is exquisite and the color is well saturated. The watermark and green throat really finish off the flower. David kindly gave me a couple fans and in return, he has some of my red seedlings. Have used it extensively in my hybridizing program.
H. 'Barbara Mandrell' 
(Kirchhoff 2009)

H. 'Doug's Caress' (Holley-S 2009) This is another cultivar that I came by accidentally. I had placed an order with Gold Coast Daylilies and was sent DC as a bonus. I don't even remember which plants I ordered, nor do I still have them, but I do remember DC and still have it. A beautifully round and full flower with plenty of substance and saturated color. This is accentuated by a large watermark and a brilliant green throat.
H. 'Doug's Caress' 
(Holley-S 2009)

I know there are other good reds out there: Bill Waldrop's H. 'Blazing Canons' (2012) with one of the parents being H. 'Home of the Free' above.  Larry Grace's H. 'The Ultimate Sacrifice' (2013), both of the above have great color and form. Then there are Ted Petit's H. 'Velvet Throne' (2009) and H. 'Scarlet Angel' (2010), both having that saturated dark velvet red color.

 Life is very, very good.



  1. Have you used WOIA in your reds? Thank you for sharing these fab 4!

  2. John,

    I have not tried WOIA with reds. I don't even have it anymore.