July 27, 2009

Mugshots: 4 Pink Daylilies, Part I

The post for all 8 pink daylilies was getting too long, so I’m splitting it into two. The photo above is of New Testament.
First we need to clarify what ‘pink’ means when applied to daylilies. The eight pink daylilies in my yard range from peachy-pink to coral to dusky rose to cranberry. Color in daylilies varies depending on temperature, soil, etc. I think mine tend to have deeper colors thanks to the cooler temperatures here in Spokane – especially at night, when temps usually drop into the 50’s. Below is a picture of the deeply-colored Hush Little Baby.

Second, here’s some daylily background: flower stalks are called scapes. Some daylilies are fragrant – all of the ones in this post have a soft fragrance that reminds me of lilacs, but you have to get close to notice. Daylilies labeled dormant die back to the ground in winter no matter what climate they’re in. Evergreen types will keep their green leaves all winter in mild climates, although they go dormant here in zone 5. I’ve noticed that none of my daylilies appreciate getting wet – by sprinklers or rain. Morning water on the blooms causes the edges to shrivel a bit by afternoon, and the sprinklers are more likely to hit the short daylilies. The blooms hold up much better on dry days. Below is a picture of Jolyene Nichole (I originally wrote that it was a pale version Hush Little Baby, but that was a mistake, sorry).

Third, here are my biases: I prefer shorter varieties that hold their flowers closer to the foliage, as the tall ones often look awkward. I favor flowers that appear to be just one color from afar – I think flowers with sharply contrasting parts look chaotic in the garden, though they can be very nice in a vase. I love ruffles and rounded flowers – so no spider forms here (sorry Dee, Carol, and the rest of the spider fan club!).
But enough preface, here they are:

1. New Testament – 18 in tall scapes, 6 in flowers, early, evergreen, from Oakes Daylilies

The color of these flowers is the closest to true pink among my daylilies: dusky mid-rose-pink, with a hint of peach in the sun. There is a distinct white line running down each of the petals, nice ruffles around the edges and sturdy substance throughout. Sometimes the blooms have a hard time opening all the way, but the great color makes up for it. This daylily began blooming at the beginning of July. Here's another shot of the flower:

2. Jolyene Nichole – 18 in tall scapes, 6 in flowers, midseason, evergreen, from Oakes

The first bloom on this daylily appeared in mid-July. Its color is a bit less saturated than New Testament, and it has a bit more peach mixed in. As you can see, the blooms are ruffled and rounded and very lovely. Below is another picture of this flower.

3. Sue Rothbauer – 20 in tall scapes, 6.5 in flowers, early-midseason, semi-evergreen, from Great Garden Plants

The catalog promised vigorous growth, heavy bloom and plenty of rebloom for this daylily. I’ll have to report on that in a few years, since my plants are just a year old and still getting established. For now I can say that the flowers are a vivid shade of dusky rose-pink with a white line running down the petals. This is the first bloom for this daylily. Actually, it would have bloomed last week (mid-July), but I knocked the bud off while watering (grrrr).

4. Hush Little Baby - 22 in tall scapes, 5 in flowers, late, dormant, from Bloomin Designs

Several catalogs offer this daylily as their best, unfading pink. In hotter climates, it’s probably lighter but still not too pale. In my cooler climate, the blooms are often more of a rich cranberry color, and they certainly are delicious! These flowers are beautiful all day despite their position on the hot west side of my home; the petals are like thick satin with plenty of gathers and refined ruffles. Though it wasn’t the pure pink color I expected, I think this one might be my favorite. It's labelled as late flowering, but it began blooming in mid-July with many of my other daylilies.

I’ll stop here for today. My next mugshots post will include the four peachy-pink and coral-pink daylilies in my yard: Barbara Mitchell, Millie Schlumpf, Dubline Elaine and Seminole Wind.


  1. VW~~ My plant lust is no longer in remission! Thank you for the detailed information--where you purchased the plants and how tall, etc. You make a great point about the two-colored blossoms looking chaotic from afar. I've noticed too that on some varieties the outer petals in the bud stage can tend toward yellow, not one of my favorite colors. All the more reason for the shorter varieties. I think, from the mugshots, that 'Hush Little Baby' is my favorite too but they're all fabulous. I'm taking notes and I'll be on the lookout for Part 2. Love your blog, VW! Stay cool.

  2. Oh my -- how to decide?? As I read about each, I liked it, then fickle plant person that I am, fell in love with the next one you shared. If I HAD to choose...maybe #3 Sue Rothbauer I think is my favorite...for now. ;-)

  3. I love pink in the garden and especially love all the shades of pink that exists in nature....36 of them, I think! You have some very lovely pinks. I am not crazy about daylilies with strong eye colors that contrast with the petals, either! I hadn't thought about them looking chaotic from a distance, but that may be the perfect description. gail

  4. Those are just so pretty! I love Hush little baby, and I like that the flowers are closer to the foliage. I'm glad to see what you have to say about them because I think next year I'm going to try some.

  5. Fabulous, and I really like all the extra information you have included.

  6. VW ... I told myself I would not be getting more day lilies for a long time (I had lily overload)
    Now you have tempted me .. shame on you girl ! LOL
    I love the rain drop pictures of the lilies : )

  7. Hi VW

    I don't have a particular favourite, they're all nice.

    Do you think they would combine with grasses?

  8. I love all the detail in your posts. I am a fan of daylilies, although some designers consider them too ordinary - who cares if they look good and perform well? Plus, my plant broker tells me there are over 500 cultivars at this point, many far from ordinary. I'd be interested in a follow up post as to how well these bloom and if they are good repeat bloomers. I've noticed some of the newer cultivars tend to be a little spindly and only have one season of bloom, vs. some of the older varieties that can go on and off all summer.

    I agree with you on the height of the scapes - I think they look a little anorexic if the stems are too long.

    Rob, my thoughts on combining with grasses - since they both have a sword shaped leaf, I would go for a grass with a finer, narrower leaf like a pennisetum (vs. a sturdier panicum),maybe even a red leafed cultivar for maximum contrast. Add in something shorter with a contrasting leaf texture, like a Rozanne Geranium and you've got a long blooming, low water, high contrast group.

  9. Rob, like Susan I was thinking about how similar the leaves are on grasses and daylilies. Pennisetum has a similar low fountain form as daylilies, though the leaves are narrower. Perhaps a more upright grass would also combine well with a daylily form and a different leaf shape.
    I planted two Rozanne geraniums this year and I really like them so far. Neils in Denmark says that Jolly Bee is more vigorous than Rozanne and can be divided faster. But I haven't seen any Jolly Bees around to try. I'm also interested in trying Brookside, an improved form of Johnson's Blue geranium. It sounds like that one blooms in heavy flushes, instead of having a sprinkling of blooms all season like Rozanne.

  10. How stunning and how interesting that the color is different according to the temps. My daughter Semi has Joylene and she is much lighter in our heat. All of yours are just too much and your shots of them exquisite. Loving Hush Little Baby too. I am not a spider fan either, although they are growing on me and I actually bought one, the first this year.

  11. Love 'New Testament' and 'Hush Little Baby' -- those rose pinks are a real pull for me. Thanks for widening my Hemerocallishorizons.

  12. You need to try Persian Market from Oakes Daylilies - big beautiful true pink blooms - and lots of them!!


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