Monday, July 7, 2008
I grew up thinking that every family belonged to the American Hemerocrallis Society and firmly insured my place in the nerd section of the elementary school pecking order by assuming that everyone knew that hybridization involved transferring pollen from the stamen to the pistil and this was best done in the early morning before the bees got involved.
In 1968, I was the only one in my elementary school to have a daylilly named for her, Beth Standard.
I learned about genetics by following my grandfather around the flower beds holding his supply of little white tags and gravely giving one to him when he had made his selection so that he could wrap a tag around the flower whose pistil had been pollinated, carefully labeled with the two "parents" identifying numbers. I honestly have memories of doing this before I was old enough to go to school.
A month or so after the pollination, we would once again make our early morning trips around the flower beds but this time I was holding an envelope cut in half. Into the envelope we would carefully pour the seeds from the pod and again label the envelope with the numbers of the flower parents.
My mother was the heir to my grandfather's hybridization talent and she still hybridizes and comes up with beautiful daylilies.
These are from her lovely yard here in Maine. They are just beginning to bloom, so there will be more pictures in the weeks to come--maybe even some of little white tags on spent blooms and seed pods carefully labeled.