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Name origin:

The genus name Hemerocallis "day beauty" comes from the Greek words "hemera" = day, "kallos" = beauty and is related to the short duration of each flower. Each flower blooms only for a day. One mature flower stalk produces dozens of flower buds, therefore this fact is not so serious. An older plant e.g. produces up to 500 flowers. This extends the flowering period up to four weeks. Through a combination of early and late flowering varieties it makes a flowering period of several months possible.

Structure of the Daylily:

 

Daylily breeding :

The first breedings of modern hybrids had begun in the 1930s. The famous German writer and perennial breeder Karl Foerster (born 9 March 27, 1874 in Berlin, November 1970 in Bornim) wrote in 1969: "In the kingdom of Hemerocallis-opened to us a whole new continent of flowers from a variety joy beyond all of our hunches. "

The first varieties of daylilies began in Europe. Mid-1920s the Americans entered and became involved in the breeding and have taken the lead very quickly. The most importand reason was the excellent climatic conditions. In Florida, a newly planted seedling comes from the first year to bloom. In Germany you must wait, usually two or more years until a seedling gets to bloom. Since then the number of varieties over the years has grown more and more:

till 1900 : 4 varieties
till 1910 : 46 varieties
till 1920 : 66 varieties
till 1930 : 128 varieties
till 1940 : 577 varieties
till 1950 : 3.284 varieties
till 1960 : 8.624 varieties
till 1970 : 15.527 varieties
till 1980 : 22.827 varieties
till 1990 : 33.114 varieties

till 2000 :

48.354 varieties

Current count at 28.09.2011 70.067 varieties
(Source: Hemerocallis Europa, current count added)

By now, there are more than 70,000 in the AHS (American Hemerocallis Society) registered and provided with named varieties. The registration of a variety costs about 15.00 €. To search for specific varieties or their properties (e.g., diploid or tetraploid), you can use the database of AHS.

Only the AHS world registers all new selections. Its European counterpart is the Hemerocallis Europe http://www.hemerocallis-europa.eu. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating the Daylily.

Even Germany employs its own group "Hemerocallis" in the Gesellschaft der Staudenfreunde (GdS) with these beautiful plants. There are currently three screening Gardens (Cottbus, Schortens and Weinheim), divided into three climate zones. Here are planted several daylily varieties by the European breeders, which were rated according to a special assessment.