Daylilies- Why do some varieties look so different than others?
The answer to this question is that it is due to the different genetics of each variety.
Plants all have a basic complement of chromosomes. Most plants are diploid. They have two identical sets of chromosomes in each cell.
Polyploids are plants with more than two sets of chromosomes. Triploids have three sets of chromosomes, tetraploids have four sets of chromosomes, et cetera. A tetraploid is only one of a whole series of polyploids.
Tetraploid daylilies are heralded by some growers as having a number of advantages over diploids. In the tetraploid:
- Flowers tend to be larger.
- Colors of the flower tend to be more intense.
- Scapes tend to be sturdier and stronger.
- Substance of both flower and foliage tend to be heavier.
- Vegetative vigor in leaf, stem, and flower tend to be greater.
Diploid daylilies continue to charm growers with their exquisite flower form, grace, and color.
- Breeding possibilities tend to be greater because of an increased number of chromosomes
- Good pink daylilies are still more prevalent in the diploid ranks.
- Spider and double daylilies are still more prevalent in the diploid ranks.
- Diploid daylilies are easier to cross than tetraploids.
- Many diploid daylilies have been converted to tetraploids, thus advancing the tetraploid lines.
There are more diploids than tetraploids.
Plant breeders have been able to double the number of chromosomes in daylilies creating a tetraploid versus the standard diploid plant. This increase in chromosomes often leads to a plant with increased substance.
Tetraploid daylilies tend to have stronger flower scapes that are more vigorous with larger flowers and a more intense color. The leaves of the plants are typically larger and thicker. We will be carrying many daylilies this year, however, due to limited quantities, some varieties are not available throughout the entire season. Check out our Perennial- Sun List' (page 16) to see which varieties we will carry this season. *Whether to use a diploid or tetraploid variety will depend on your landscape needs. Diploids tend to be more graceful in form with more numerous, smaller flowers.
Interested in reading more, go to: Growing Daylilies by the U of MN Extension.(http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG1106.html)