Glory's Garden

All the world's a garden, you know, and we are mere flowers within it. Come, I'll show you!

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An anatomy lesson in Daylilies

Again with the Daylilies? Yes, again. I couldn't help it. The last few Daylilies were just poking out of the spent ones on the hill as if telling me, "Don't ignore me. I'm still here!", so I had to photograph them. Then I thought I would give you a little lesson in daylily anatomy, just to make things interesting.

This was an oddball stuck with all the other common daylilies. Haven't a clue how it got there. For all I know it could be a naturalized hybrid. Never can tell.

So, here's the lesson. Listen up. There will be a test afterward. Okay maybe not, but you should still listen. Never hurts to learn something new, you know. Notice how the flower above has two distinct sets of petals forming triangles?  Three orange with a yellow stripe and three behind the others are slightly slimmer and all yellow. Know why that is? The orange ones are the petals, but the yellow ones are actually sepals. Put them together and the two sets are called tepals, even when they do contrast so radically. Nifty huh? Well, I think so.

It's more noticeable in certain daylilies, but here it's also obvious if you look carefully. The three upper most petals are slightly wider and have a bit of a ruffle to the edge. The sepals are narrow by comparison and lay just behind the others.

With this one you can see the same effect. The bright yellow petals have a contracting maroon splash of color with a prominent center vein or midrib while the sepals are just yellow and smaller.

The center of the Daylily is called a throat, probably because it goes deep...you know, like deep throat. Anyway, the throat is often, though not always, a different color than the rest of the flower. In the pale peach colored flower above, you can see the throat is yellow. From the throat come the stamens, usually six of them and each of them have two pronged anthers. This is where you'll find the pollen.

When the flower is pollinated, it may form seeds. Unlike what I've been saying--I usually call them seed pods-- they are actually called capsules.

 Now if you find a Daylily with more than the usual two sets of three, you have a polymerous Daylily. For practical purposes gardeners just call them double or triple daylilies but they can have more than five times the usual six. Pretty amazing, I'd say.

 Well, I could tell you about the tetraploids, diploids and triploids, but I don't want to overburden you with too much Daylily information. It really is only good to know about that sort of stuff if you plan on hybridizing some Daylilies on your own.

 Hope you liked this little Daylily anatomy lesson. I know I did!

4 comments:

  1. Glory, now if only I could turn some of my orange day lilies into some of those beautiful yellow ones......

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't have a magic potion for that, but I could ship you a few roots this autumn once it is safe for digging up. But you're in Canada. Would I get in trouble shipping vegetation over country boundaries? YIKES!

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