Have you heard the ancient adage that says, everything old is new again? This also holds true for daylilies. Originally, the daylilies came with simple, narrow-petaled blooms. Hybridizing of daylilies began on a serious note in the 1940s and since then breeders have spent several decades to make the petals wider to develop full-formed, round blooms. For several years, the narrow-petaled daylilies have become a thing of the past. While several colors, forms, and sizes of daylilies have evolved over the years, the narrow-petaled have once again emerged and today spider daylilies are a rage. However, the newer spider daylilies come with some additional features, which make them very different from the original species. The new spider daylilies have longer petals, which make the blooms look like spiders. There is no doubt that the new spider daylilies are flatter as well as more open compared to the original species. In addition, they do not show even little or no overlapping in the throat area of the flower.
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On the other hand, hybridizers had to commence their work from scratch with a view to produce tetraploid spiders - a fairly newer variety. These hybridized daylilies are among the most keenly preferred daylilies. They are not only expensive, but also difficult to find.
So how do you identify spider daylilies? It is not a difficult task either. If you find daylily flowers whose length is no less than four time their width, you can be sure that they are spider daylilies. These daylilies bloom quite higher than the foliage and generate a motion in your garden.
Often spider daylilies come in the form of diploid daylilies. Compared to tetraploids, diploids (also known as dips) are generally more resilient for growing in gardens in the northern hemisphere. On the other hand, tetraploid daylilies (occasionally referred to as tets) are valued for their large blooms, passionate hues and robust scapes. During the past few years, the spider daylilies have become further interesting, as their petals are now getting narrower and come with newer features like elaborate shark-toothed, gold-braided edges as well as tentacled. In addition, modern day spider daylilies are also more twirling and twisting having intricate edges and eyes.
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Spider daylilies may also come in double as well as polytepal forms. Precisely speaking, all nuances of the present day daylilies are being implemented into the spider daylilies, variants of spider daylilies as well as the unusual form daylilies. As a result, the contemporary spider daylilies hardly have any or no resemblance at all to the original species. On the other hand, the present-day spider daylilies mirror the continuing exploration for further development as well as distinction. However, such greater than before interest in spider daylilies is now also accompanied by scrutiny or analysis. While several daylily blooms have narrow petals, but are these petals sufficiently narrow to be categorized as spider lilies? In fact, flowers whose appearance resembles that of spider daylilies, but their petals are not narrow enough to be actually categorized as spider daylilies are usually referred to as spider variants.
The difference between genuine spider daylilies and spider variants is not difficult to understand. Explaining this difference, the American Hemerocallis Society noted down the definition for both spider daylilies and spider daylily variants. The society concluded that the ratio of the length to width of a genuine spider daylily petal ought to be at least 5:1 or even higher. On the other hand, the petal length to width of a spider variant ought to be anything between 4:1 and 5:1.
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Apart from spider daylilies and spider variants, there is another type of flowers known as unusual form daylilies. Compared to the true spider daylilies and spider variants, the petals of the unusual form daylilies are wider and even their floral segments seem to have steady "movement". Over the years, this type of daylilies has also become quite popular among a section of growers. Considering the new interest of growers and enthusiasts in such unusual form daylilies, the American Hemerocallis Society has also developed a specific definition of this type of daylilies. Precisely speaking, unusual form daylilies are categorized into three groups - cascading, crispate and spatulate.
Among these three categories, the crispate has been further divided into three sub-categories, which include pinching, quilling and twisting. The floral segments of daylily blooms with crispate pinch have sharp creases that give rise to a folded or pinched effect. On the other hand, the floral segments of crispate daylily blooms with twisting give rise to a pinwheel or corkscrew effect. Finally, the floral segments of daylily blooms with quilling curl upon themselves all along their length to give rise to a tubular form.
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When we talk of cascading flowers, we denote that the petals of the bloom are curled. The floral segment of cascading blooms is narrow and they exhibit a prominent curling. The petals of these flowers revolve upon them as in the case of wood shavings. On the other hand, the floral segments of spatulate flowers are noticeably wider toward the end, similar to a kitchen spatula. The flower segments of these daylilies can be categorized as unusual form daylilies provided they do not fulfill the official description of a spider daylily or a variant of spider daylily.
The official description of spider daylilies says that any daylily bloom having long petals as well as sepals. Together these floral structures are commonly together known as tepals. It is important to note that all spider daylily varieties are not actually referred to as "spider". Then again, all varieties of plants carrying the term "spider" with their name are not necessarily spider daylilies.
It is worth mentioning here that spider daylilies are especially known as "spider" owing to their elongated petals that coil (cascade) and twist on a number of long petaled varieties of spider daylilies. As far as the ratio of length of the petals of spider daylilies to their width is concerned, it is really sufficiently long. The length of daylily petals can be identified as well as measured properly using a particular measuring technique. This formula enables you to get the ratio of the length of spider daylily petals to their width. The technique involves measuring the daylily petals' length first and subsequently dividing the length by the petal's width. By this method, you will eventually get the spider daylily flowers' ratio.
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Atypical form daylilies: Some daylilies come in unusual forms. As the name "unusual form daylilies" suggest, instead of the color or the pattern, the form of the flowers is the basis of this type of daylilies. Generally, an unusual form daylily will also come with three sepals or three petals, but they will be accompanied by a number of atypical characteristics, which include crispate, cascade and spatulate.
Crispate: The petals of this type of unusual form daylilies come with petals that are firmly rolled, twisted, pinched or creased.
Cascade: The petals of this unusual form daylily fall and generate an appearance like that of a waterfall. The term cascade is used to denote the curling of the petals.
Spatulate: These daylilies have petals that are wider toward the end and their shape is akin to that of a spatula.
It is worth mentioning here that the unusual form and spider daylilies are considered to be among the most eye-catching as well as unique daylilies. As these daylily varieties have relatively long petals, they can certainly be conspicuous in your garden. The best place to grow spider daylilies is outdoors, in your backyard. You may even opt to grow them with various other plant species with a view to make your garden further attractive.
Growing spider daylilies is quite easy. In order to grow spider daylilies successfully, it is not necessary for you to be an expert gardener. Provided you follow the appropriate growing procedures and techniques, you can certainly be successful in growing your spider daylilies.