Daylilies or Hemerocallis, are one of the most popular perennial plants in North America. Some 60,000 hybrids are now registered with the American Hemerocallis Society, testament to their incredible popularity. It is likely that daylilies can be purchased at nearly any garden center or greenhouse dealing in perennials. Unfortunately, many of the varieties commonly available are generally not the superior hybrids of the past few years. Some of these commonly grown varieties are surely worth growing, but lack much of the show power, refinement and size of today's hybrids.
Most of the modern day hybrids were derived from a small group of species plants originating in East Asia. The species are generally yellow, gold, or dusty orange/red and have only a weak resemblance to the multi-generational hybrids of today. Originally the thousands of new cultivars registered each year, were hybridized in Florida or other southern tier states. This caused much confusion for gardeners in the north, since many of these 'southern beauties were not hardy in our climate. Today there are many northern hybridizers creating beautiful hardy daylies for northern gardens. A daylily society and its member gardeners can be of great assistance for information concerning hardiness of cultivars!
Daylilies that were registered nearly one hundred years ago may still be found growing in gardens today, evidence of their durability. Arlo Stout an early hybridizer and daylily enthusiast is generally accepted as the father of the daylily hybridizing scene. He did many studies on daylilies and is responsible for much of the foundation information upon which modern day hybridizing and growing is based. Hybridizers after Stout have constantly built, refined and added to this pool of knowledge.
The BAD BUDS are the northernmost chapter in American Daylily Society's Region 2 along with Michigan. Some members have had many years of experience growing daylilies
The following list of hybridizers are the collective result of talking with members, growers, hybridizers, reading reports and articles. Not all cultivars produced by a particular hybridizer may be winter hardy and and even the hardiest cultivar may be lost during extreme conditions or success will vary due to micro-climates.
To our knowledge, recent hybridizers that have been consistently producing solid northern hardy plants are: Melanie Mason (North Country Daylilies, NY), Phil & Luella Korth (Pinewood Gardens, WI), Nate Bremer (Solaris Farms, WI), Jim & Sharon Prochaska (Fox Woods Gardens, WI), Mandy McMahon (Silver Creek Dayliles, MI), Karol Emmerich (Springwood Gardens, MN), Curt Hanson (Crintonic Gardens, OH), Robert Ellison (Ellison Daylilies, IL), Jamie Gossard (Heavenly Gardens, OH), Vic Santa Lucia & Van Sellers (Iron Gate Gardens, NC), Judy Davisson (NC) and Roy Klehm (Song Sparrow Nursery, WI). The prospective buyer should always confirm the hardiness of the cultivar with the hybridizer or grower. Many hybridizers located further south often produce hardy cultivars, but care and research should observed before purchasing plants from these areas.
A recent trend among daylily enthusiasts is to learn how to hybridize daylilies and to dabble with a small hybridizing program. "Little" equipment and space is needed to enjoy hybridizing a few daylilies of your own. For further information on hybridizing and growing daylily seedlings please visit...The Six Step Beginner's Approach to Hybridizing (Part of Bill Jarvis' excellent daylily website).
The American Hemerocallis Society is the governing organization for daylilies and is responsible for many activities, record keeping, and programs. The AHS has an excellent website with a great deal of information dealing with just about anything to do with daylilies. Among the many pages found on this site are a daylily dictionary, frequently asked questions page, awards page, daylily sources listing, display garden listing, daylily cultivar search, and organization information.