Useful information

Daylily classification

Today daylilies have entered a new stage of their development. To date, more than 70 thousand varieties have been registered, and more and more new ones appear every year. New bizarre shapes, new types of coloring, new fantasy patterns on the petals, as if created by the brush of a talented artist. No other culture has such a variety of shapes, colors and sizes of a flower, the height of a bush. How to understand all this diversity in order to make the right choice? The official classification of daylilies will help us with this.

The American Hemerocallis Society (AHS), formed in 1946, is the world's official variety registrar. This Society has developed a classification of the daylily, which reflects all its capabilities as an ornamental garden plant.

Genetic ploidy

This characteristic tells us about the number of chromosomes in the daylily. In diploids (DIP) there are 22 of them, in tetraploids (TET) - 44. At first, all daylilies were diploids, but in the middle of the last century, a way was found to convert diploid daylilies into tetraploid ones. Parts of the daylily were treated with colchicine, which blocks cell division (isolated from the autumn colchicum - Colchicum autumnale L.) and as a result of this conversion, daylilies with 44 chromosomes (tetraploids) were obtained. The first tetraploids were obtained in the early 1950s. It was then that a breakthrough occurred in the selection of daylilies. Due to the increase in the number of chromosomes, endless possibilities for breeding new varieties have opened up.

Daylily hybrid Rose F. Kennedy

If a diploid variety is fraught with great potential for breeding work, then it is transferred to the tetraploid version. Daylily conversion is a complex and time-consuming process, and therefore very expensive. The tetraploid version of the same cultivar will cost significantly more than the diploid version. Also, the high price for tetraploid versions is often due to increased demand among hybridizers who actively use this variety in their breeding work. For example, in 2014, the TET version of Rose F. Kennedy (Dorakian / Stamile) cost $ 2,500, while the DIP version of the same variety cost only $ 50. The Tetraploid Time Stopper (Gossard / Stamile) costs $ 300, and the diploid costs $ 65.

Sometimes nurseries sell both versions (TET and DIP) of the same variety. Most likely, you will not notice any special external differences between different versions of the same variety. Therefore, there is no point in overpaying.

Now let's see what is the fundamental difference between tetraploids and diploids.

The flowers of TET are much larger. They are more intensely colored. The texture of the petals is denser. The plants themselves are more powerful. Peduncles are stronger and do not fall under the weight of flowers, which is important for huge spiders. However, DIPs also have a number of advantages. They have more refined flower shapes, and they tie seeds much easier.

In fact, it is not so important for a daylily lover to know which daylily, DIP or TET, is growing in his garden. However, this is very important information for those who want to try themselves as a hybridizer. Only varieties with the same set of chromosomes (the same ploidy) can be crossed with each other, i.e. TET pollinate only TET and DIP only DIP. Now, knowing all these subtleties, you can easily make the right choice.

Vegetation types

There are three main types of daylily vegetation:

  • sleeping (Dormant) - in the fall of such daylilies, the leaves wither and die off. In winter, the plant sleeps until spring. In the spring, when the temperature rises, the daylily begins to grow.
  • evergreen - in warm regions remain green throughout the year. In a cold winter, the tops of the leaves freeze. During the thaw period, they wake up and can begin to grow. In the absence of snow, subsequent frosts can destroy the awakened buds. But not everything is so scary. Usually, in the spring, new replacing buds wake up on the root collar, and the daylily grows successfully and even blooms. True, there are also unpleasant situations when the root collar completely decays. Fortunately, this rarely happens.
  • semi-evergreen (Semievergreen) - daylilies of this group occupy an intermediate position. They adapt well to the climate.In cold climates for the winter, the foliage dies off partially, the tips of the leaves remain, growth does not slow down completely. In warm climates, these daylilies will behave like evergreens.

To obtain a more complete picture of the behavior of daylilies in a particular climate, American scientists have identified three more intermediate types that are not included in the official classification:

  • sound sleepers (Hard Dormant) - lose their foliage very early, after the first frost. They sleep soundly in winter. They start growing very late. Such varieties definitely need a dormant period. Otherwise, they will not be able to prepare for the flowering season - they weaken and stop blooming.
  • semi-dormant - fall asleep very late at the beginning of winter, after a long period of cold weather. They sleep in winter. In the spring, their foliage begins to grow very early.
  • soft evergreen or soft evergreen (Soft Evergreens) -v in our climate, the leaves freeze completely below the soil level. All growth buds freeze. New replacement kidneys do not wake up. The daylily dies.

It is sometimes difficult for a novice florist to understand all these subtleties. In addition, the type of vegetation is not a reliable indicator of the frost resistance of the daylily. In this situation, it is better to rely on the experience of domestic collectors, who adapt new varieties of daylilies in their gardens and will always give truthful information about how a particular variety winters in the Moscow region.

Flowering time, remnant

  • EE - very early (early June)
  • E - early (mid June)
  • ЕМ - mid-early (late June - mid-July)
  • M - medium (mid-July - early August - peak flowering)
  • ML - medium late (mid-August)
  • L - late (end of August)
  • VL - very late, which bloom in mid-September. In the conditions of the Moscow region, with the onset of an early cold autumn, these varieties do not have time to bloom.
Instant re-bloom

Almost all modern tetraploids are remontant. This means that the hybrid is genetically predisposed to re-flowering under favorable conditions. This is one of the important characteristics of the variety. After main flowering and a short dormant period (usually 2-3 weeks) the daylily throws out a flower arrow again. However, re-flowering in the Moscow region can only be counted on under the condition of early spring, hot summer and very warm autumn. Re-flowering is also influenced by factors such as the planting site (sun, shade), soil nutrition, rainfall, amount of sunlight, seed setting, etc. There are very few varieties that consistently give re-flowering in the Moscow region. However, there are varieties with such characteristics as Instant rebloom. This means that new peduncles grow back immediately, following the first, nonstop... Sometimes 2-3 peduncles grow from one fan. Such varieties are likely to have time to give a second bloom in the Moscow region. The photo shows an example of instant re-blooming.

Flowering type

As you know, the daylily flower lives only one day, but the opening of the flower can occur at different times of the day. Therefore, three types of flowering have been identified:

  • diurnal flowering type (Diurnal) - the flower opens in the morning and withers by the evening of the same day.
  • night flowering type (Nocturnal) - the flower opens in the afternoon or evening, stays open all night, and withers the next morning or afternoon.
  • long-flowering (Extendedflowering)- extended flowering type, when the flower remains open for at least 16 hours, regardless of the time of day. At the same time, such flowers can open both by day and by night. Today there are few such varieties. Breeders are working in this direction, working mainly with varieties of the nocturnal type of opening. They try to ensure that the flower stays open the next day.

Daylily breeders use the term Early Morning Opener (EMO).This is a very valuable quality of the variety. Such varieties, even with strongly corrugated petals, open well after cool nights. Do not confuse Nocturnal night lilies with EMO varieties. Nightly varieties open the night before and open all night.


Many flowers have an inherent fragrance. And here the daylilies did not let us down. The flowers of some of them are odorless. Many have a slight odor. But there are those who are able to fill the garden with an enchanting aroma.

All varieties of daylilies are subdivided into:

  • fragrant
  • very fragrant (Very Fragrant)
  • odorless.

Flower size

Daylily cultivars have a wide range of flower sizes. Three groups are distinguished:

  • miniature - flower diameter less than 3 inches in diameter (up to 7.5 cm). The height of the peduncles can be different - low, medium or high. The Donn Fischer Memorial Award (DFM) is awarded annually.
  • small-flowered (Small) - flower diameter from 3 inches to 4.5 inches (7.5 to 11.5 cm). The height of the peduncles can also be different. Annie T. Giles Award (ATG) is presented annually.
  • large-flowered (Large) - flower diameter from 4.5 inches (from 11.5 cm).
  • Another group of daylilies has been allocated for judging at AHS shows Extra Large - for varieties registered with a flower size of 7 inches or more (from 17.8 cm), but which are not registered in the spiders and UFo categories. Since 2005, the Extra Large Diameter Award (ELDA) has been awarded in this category.

Peduncle height, peduncle branching

Florists love daylilies not only for their unpretentiousness. Another indisputable plus when using daylilies in garden design is the different height of the peduncles. Here you can find real dwarfs for rockeries or alpine slides, as well as majestic giants for the background of a flower garden. Daylilies are divided into four groups according to the height of the peduncles:

Daylily hybrid Show Me Dwarf - height only 25 cm
  • dwarfs - peduncle height up to 12 inches (30 cm)
  • undersized (Low) - peduncle height 12 to 24 inches (30-60 cm)
  • medium-sized (Medium) - peduncle height 24 to 36 inches (60-90 cm)
  • tall (Tall) - peduncle height from 36 inches (90 cm) and above.
Bobby Baxter and his Reaching New Heights strain

There are currently just over 40 registered varieties with a height of 68 inches (173 cm). Among them there are varieties with a height of over 74 inches (188 cm). Such varieties of daylilies look great in solitary plantings on the lawn.

The ratio of the height of the peduncle to the size of the flower can be very different. On a low peduncle there can be large flowers, and on a high one - small ones.

When registering varieties of daylilies, the branching of peduncles must be indicated - the number of lateral branches, each of which contains a group of buds. Also at the top of the peduncle there can be a branching in the form of the Latin letter V. The higher the branching of the peduncles, the better.

On well-branched peduncles, several flowers can open at the same time, and they will not interfere with each other. In such daylilies, the total number of buds on one peduncle can reach 30-50, so the flowering will be abundant and long. For example, the variety Heavenly Angel Ice (Gossard, 2004) has 5-positional branching of peduncles and up to 30 buds each. By the way, in 2013 this variety received the highest award in the "world of daylilies" - the Stout Silver Medal.

 Daylily hybrid Heavenly Angel Ice

Flower color

All sorts of shades and color combinations make the daylily very attractive for our climate, where bright colors are so lacking. To date, there are no daylilies only of pure white and pure blue colors, although American breeders are quite successfully moving in this direction. Almost white varieties become whiter every year, and there are already plenty of varieties with blue and blue eyes. They are especially pronounced in cool and cloudy weather.

The main colors of daylilies:

  • yellow (Yellow) - all shades from pale lemon, through bright yellow and gold to orange.
  • Red(Red) - various shades of scarlet, carmine, tomato red, maroon, wine red and black and red.
  • pink (Pink) - from pale pink through deep pink to rose red.
  • purple(Purple) - from pale lavender and lilac to dark grape or purple.
  • melon or creamy pink (MelonorCream-Pinkdotfrom) - from pale cream shades to dark melon. Brown, apricot, and peach are considered variations of pink plus yellow. White daylilies can be yellow, pink, lavender or melon.

The daylily flower in its color can be:

  • monochromatic / plain (Self) - the petals and sepals are of the same color, but the stamens and throat may be of a different color.
  • multicolor / polychrome (Polychrome) - a mixture of three or more colors, for example, yellow, melon, pink and lavender, without a clear rim above the throat. The stamens and throat may be of a different color.
  • bicolor (Bicolor) - inner and outer petals of different colors (dark top, light bottom). And Reverse Bicolor.
  • two-ton (Bitone) - outer and inner petals of different shades of the same base color (top - darker shade, bottom - lighter). And Reverse Bitone.

The petals of many modern hybrids shine and sparkle in the sun. This effect is called "sputtering". Distinguish diamond dusting,gold dusting (Gold Dusting), and silver dusting (Silver Dusting).

Flower shape

In terms of the variety of flower forms, the daylily is unlikely to be found equal among other ornamental crops in our climatic zone. According to the structure of the flower of daylilies for registration and exhibitions, the following groups are officially distinguished: simple (Single), double (DOUBLE), arachnids (SPIDER), unusual shapes (UFo), polymers (POLYMEROUS) and multiforms (MULTIFORM).

1 group - Simple single flower (Single).

It has three petals, three sepals, six stamens and one pistil. In recent years, due to the abnormally hot weather, some daylilies produce small number of flowers with more petals than usual. But this is just a manifestation of the multi-petal tendency of typical daylilies.

Daylily hybrid Spacecoast Lunatic Fringe - simple flower

The shape of a simple flower can be:

  • round (Circular). When looking at a flower from the front, it appears round. The segments are short, wide, and usually overlap, giving the appearance of a circle.
  • flat (flat). Seen in profile, the flowers appear completely flat, like a saucer, except for the concave throat.
  • informal. The flower segments are irregular in shape. The arrangement of the segments may be irregular, the segments are widely spaced or loosely hanging.
  • Recurved. The flower segments are directed forward, and the tips are curved back or tucked in.
  • star / star (Star). The flower segments are long and straight. There is a distance between the segments and the shape of the flower is like a star.
  • triangular The flower segments form a triangle. The petals are directed forward, the tips of the sepals are bent back. The inner segments of the flower form a triangle.
  • tubular / rupernaya / lily (Trumpet). When viewed in profile, the shape of the flower resembles that of a tubular lily. The segments rise upward from the throat with a slight bend.

Group 2 - Double flower.

Daylily hybrid My Friend Wayne - double flower

Terry - a significant increase in the number of petals in a flower. Most often this occurs due to the degeneration of the stamens into petals.

There are two types of terry:

  • Peony Type Double - when the stamens are reborn into additional petals (petaloids).
  • flowervflower (Hose-in-hose double). Usually a daylily flower has two levels of petals. This type of doubleness suggests that the flower has more than two levels of petals.

Terry varieties include miniature, small-flowered and large-flowered varieties.

When registered, the hybridizer indicates the percentage of terry. If the variety is registered as 80% double, it means that 8 out of 10 flowers will be double. However, in our climate, for some varieties, the declared percentage of terry can vary significantly. This is influenced by cool weather, the age of the bush and other factors. This group is awarded the Ida Munson Award (IM) annually.

Group 3 Unusual Form - UFO).

This group includes daylilies with an unusual and exotic flower shape. For attribution to this class, it is enough to have three petals of an unusual shape. The Lambert / Webster Award (LWA) is awarded annually. When registering varieties of an unusual shape, the type of flower must be indicated. According to the shape of the petals and sepals, three types of flowers are distinguished:

1 type - Crispate (frizzy, curly, frizzy, crispy) - a fairly large group in terms of assortment. It is subdivided into three subtypes (when registering a variety, the subtype is not always indicated):

  • pinched crispate - pinched / squeezed / pinched. The petals are pinched at the tips. Variety: Coit Tower (P. Stamile - G. Pierce, 2010)
Daylily hybrid Coit Tower (UFo pinched crispate)Daylily hybrid Apache Beacon (UFo twisted crispate)
  • twisted crispate - twisted... ALL petals are twisted along the length like a spiral, corkscrew, skewer. The largest subgroup. Apache Beacon cultivar (N. Roberts, 2005)
  • quilled crispate - tubular / rolled. As a rule, the outer petals are rolled up along their entire length into a tube. A rather rare form. Dooty Owl cultivar (Roberts, 2006)
Daylily hybrid Dooty Owl (UFo quilled crispate)Daylily hybrid Purple Tarantula (UFo cascade)

Type 2 - Cascade(cascading, twisted) - narrow cascading-falling petals have a pronounced twist, reminiscent of wood shavings. Most varieties of this group are characterized by large, and sometimes just giant flowers, tall peduncles and bright tropical coloration. Variety: Purple Tarantula (Gossard, 2011)

Type 3 - Spatulate(spatula / spatula / spatular) - narrow inner petals widen significantly at the ends. The tip of the petals is wide and rounded, resembling a scapula. This group is not numerous. Variety: Ruby Spider (Stamile, 1991).

Daylily hybrid Ruby Spider (UFo spatulate)Daylily hybrid Heavenly Curls (UFo Crispate-Cascade-Spatulate)

Quite often there are varieties of daylilies in which various combinations of the shape of petals and sepals are combined - UFo Crispate-Cascade-Spatulate. Heavenly Curls cultivar (Gossard, 2000)

4 group - Spider (Spider).

Daylily hybrid Velvet Ribbons - spider
Daylily hybrid Zastrugi - polymer

This group of daylilies includes varieties with narrow, long petals that do not overlap each other when leaving the neck. The ratio of the length of the petal to its width should be between 4: 1 and higher. Until 2003, there was a division into Spider Variant with the ratio of the length of the petal to its width from 4: 1 to 4.99: 1 and actually spiders with a ratio of 5: 1 and higher. They are called the "classic spider". At present, all narrow-lobed cultivars with a petal length to width ratio of 4: 1 and more constitute a single Spider group. For measurement, choose the longest of the blossoming petals and straighten it in length and width. The narrower the petal width, the higher the spider is quoted. The Harris Olson Spider Award (HOSA) is awarded annually.

Quite often, the name of varieties contains the word spider, but this does not mean that this variety belongs to the spider group. For example, the popular Ruby Spider belongs to the UFo group.

5 group - Polymers / Polymers (Polymerous)

Multi-petal varieties (not to be confused with terry). In 1995, when AHS was introduced into the classification of this group, it was called "polytepals". Then this term was recognized botanically incorrect, and in 2008 this group of daylilies became known as Polymerous.

A typical daylily flower has three sepals, three petals, six stamens, and one pistil with three chambers. A polymer such as 4x4 will have 4 sepals, 4 petals, 8 stamens, and 1 pistil with four chambers.

It is believed that if a variety exhibits these characteristics in at least 50% of flowering, then such a daylily is a true polymer. When registering polymers, the hybridizer indicates the percentage of polylobe. It can change depending on climatic conditions.

The difference between polymers and terry varieties:

  • in polymers, additional petals and additional sepals are evenly distributed in the corresponding layer. In double varieties, additional petals are formed due to the degeneration of the stamens, or additional petals are located between the normal petals.
  • polymers always have additional stamens, and their number corresponds to the total number of petals and sepals. In addition, the number of chambers in the pistil increases proportionally.

The polypetal gene is extremely dominant.

6 group - Multiforms (MultiForm).

Daylily hybrid Fluttering Beauty - multiform

Undoubtedly, this group is the most exotic and exclusive. More recently, classifiers have had to add a new group for varieties that do not fit into any of the previous groups, since they combine the characteristics of two or more common groups at once. For example:

  • terry spiders,
  • terry unusual shape (UFo),
  • polymer spider,
  • polymer UFo,
  • UFo or spiders, both terry and polymers.

At exhibitions, judging for this group is not carried out.

The group is small. Over the past 15 years, a total of 87 varieties of Terry Unusual Forms (UFo) and 5 Terry Spiders have been registered. Another 100% Terry Spider, Ashee Dashee, was registered by Diana Taylor in 2006 as a terry variety.

Jan Joiner pioneered this path.Crossing her seedlings, in 1999 she registers Fluttering Beauty, which is both 98% terry and UFo Crispate. Until now, this variety is the # 1 parent for terry UFo production.

When registering multiforms, the hybridizer indicates the percentage of terry and multi-petals.

In the photo of the James Gossard variety of the last years of introduction:

Daylily hybrid Dr DoomDaylily hybrid Powerpuff Girls
  • Dr doom (2013) terry spider UFo cascade
  • PowerpuffGirls (2013) terry UFo cascade
  • DrOctopus (2014) - Terry Spider UFo cascade
Daylily hybrid Dr. Octopus

I hope that now it will be easier for you to navigate in such a diverse world of daylilies.

Photo by the author, G. Knyazeva, from the sites of hybridizers.