A Hemerocallis by any other name

About 10 years ago, I started noticing beautiful daylilies around the neighborhood.  Seemed as though every yard that was adorned with flowers had at least one specimen.  The one I noticed first was the stella d’oro.  In fact, I believe my first daylily was a stella d’oro Alice divided and shared.

stella d'oro
stella d’oro

A few years later, she gave me a pink one and a taller maroon one.

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I don’t know the official names of all of my daylilies.  I ordered some through mail order nurseries, and have misplaced the identifiers.

So on my first trip to the Phipps Conservatory Mothers Day flower sale, I searched out the daylily table, thinking these experts will surely be able to help me identify my daylilies.  I thought I could simply show them my pictures and they would recognize them immediately.

OMG – was I in for a surprise.

This table, belonging to the Pittsburgh Iris and Daylily Society, sported binders upon binders of pictures – hundreds of pictures – of possible varieties.  I never realized how many there are.

I’m a fan of daylilies and have visited many websites that feature them.  With the vast amount of hybridizing, there are literally thousands of varieties, each with its own lineage, each with its own interesting name.  And I discovered you can register your own varieties and give them proper registered names.  The American Hemerocallis Society offers a registration service, where for a small fee, you can register your own cultivars.  There are many rules and many features of the flowers that must be documented in order to complete the registration.

I will do my best to identify the daylilies in my collection, but I doubt I will ever be sure.  For now, I will be making up names for them, until the “official” names are discovered.

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