Sunday, June 10, 2012

Simply Superlative

"Superlative" daylily is aptly named. 
Hybridized by Gates in 1975, it's been a show stopper ever since. 

Superlative received the "Award of Merit".  Presented by the American Hemerocallis Society, to signify that a daylily cultivar is not only distinctive and beautiful, but has also proved good performance over a wide geographic area.  It is made each year to only ten daylily cultivars.  The Cultivar must have received the AHS Honorable Mention Award no less than three years previously.  Pretty well deserved!

Superlative is a six inch bloom of deep true red velvet with a gold eye zone.  The gold eyezone will often extend into the midribs.  24 to 34 inch scapes over medium green leaves.  Both the blooms and the scapes are very substantial.  The petals and sepals are somewhat ruffled and it's somewhat fragrant.  It's an early bloomer and continues to re bloom over a long period.  Because it has a high bud count, it produces a big show during bloom time.  Unless it's really a dark day, it always opens fully. 

It's considered semi-evergreen and is a Tetraploid.  It's very hardy here in Zone 5 and clump size increases easily.  I've divided, given to friends and planted starts in several places.
Does it have a negative?  The only one I'm aware of is, like most red daylilies, the hot sun can make the velvet a slick sheen (below left).  If you're picking, it best to do it early in the morning on hot sunny days.  It is seldom bothered by insects.  If there is a hard rain, it may water spot. It suffers less damage from wind than most large daylilies.

It looks good both as a specimen plant and in a mass grouping.  It will highlight gold and white daylilies as-well-as annuals and perennials of those colors.  I bought my Superlative from Oakes Daylilies in 2006 for $10.00.  Considering the number of plants I've divided out of it, it's been a cheap buy. 

As you may realize, it's one of the flowers that calls for it's picture to be taken all bloom season.  The flower on the lace cloth was picked this afternoon after being beat up by gusty winds and high temperatures.  Flowers do not need water to survive being picked.  Since they only last a day, placing anywhere will work.  Do remember to throw them out at nightfall or they will wilt and stain.

This plant is available from many retailers.  Prices vary - as does clump(s) size.  All-in-all it's what I call "Superlative"!

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