Sunday, January 3, 2016

About Me

Hi, and welcome to my daylily hybridizing blog. My name is Andrew Reilly, currently living in zone 6b, Boston, Massachusetts. I joined the American Hemerocallis Society in the Winter of 2008 at just 9 years old after discovering daylilies the previous summer. I began hybridizing in the Summer of 2009 and I've been locked in ever since! My first year yielded little success, but my lack of a seed crop was supplemented by extra seeds from Mike Huben, a hybridizer well known for his hardy, northern-reblooming diploids. In the Summer of 2010, I got my first successful crop of seeds and have been pursuing my own lines with these seedlings and various registered cultivars that I own. I mainly do diploids, but I'm pursuing teeth and dark reds with tetraploids. I scoff at those who claim that their breeding programs are small as they "plant only a few thousand seedlings a year." I'm lucky if I plant 100 seedlings. Because of the lack of land available to be (aka, not claimed by my parents for garden space), my program has moved slowly. Nevertheless, my collection of cultivars is growing, and I'm excited for the directions that it will take me in the future. If you have an questions or comments, please feel free to email me at I hope all of you have an excellent growing season in 2016.

Peach Skin (Reilly-A., 2016)

36", EMRe, 3.5", Melon with Variable Red Stippling and Streaking, Dormant, Diploid, Fragrant, 4 Branches, 18 Buds
(Sugar Candy x Helicopter)
Well I've gone and done it: my first registration! I felt kind of guilty for registering it at first, considering there are those who have been breeding far longer than I and have not registered anything, as well as the fact that I ended up with this seedling by mistake! There probably won't be another registration from me for a while, unless I get another surprise like 'Peach Skin.'
I can certainly say that I never expected to get such coloring when I crossed a pink with a melon.The naming of 'Peach Skin' comes from the unique broken pattern that has become a bit of a fad of late. Peaches often have a variable skin, ranging from light yellow to a darker red. The melon and salmon red of 'Peach Skin' reminded me of this, hence the name. Here are a few photos that demonstrate this (pardon the low quality):

What a chameleon this flower is! It ranges from an almost solid, to streaked, to faintly stippled. It's always a treat to see what face it has on each day.
'Peach Skin' typically has 1 or 2 lateral branches with a terminal Y and 16-20 buds. Standing 3 feet tall, it has a light, graceful air about it, reminiscent of the Huben lines from which it stems. From 'Helicopter,' 'Peach Skin' inherited rebloom. Peach Skin's instant rebloom scapes, beginning to rise from the bottom of the plant a day or two before the initial scapes begin to flower, are about a foot shorter than the original scapes and only have 8-9 buds, but it prolongs the plant's flowering by about a week (blooming June 26- July 25 in 2015). I don't want to bill Peach Skin as a Northern rebloomer because I have only seen it rebloom 2 of the 3 years that it has bloomed for me. I expect it will rebloom more profusely further south.
Speaking of rebloom, I crossed Peach Skin with Dappled Dynamo (Derrow, 2013) this summer. Both rebloom and both are stippled; the seedlings should be interesting to say the least! Peach Skin is ridiculously pod fertile and sets a bee pod on nearly every blossom if you don't deadhead. Pollen is just as fertile.
Above, you can see how the top petal has a straight line splitting the petal into two zones: stippled and  streaked. Interesting! The three photos below (along with the photo at the top of this blog post) are images of different blossoms open on the same day. Truly variable:

I find fault in the foliage, as it takes after Sugar Candy in that it is very broad and a medium shade of green. Certainly not ugly, but something that could be improved upon.
As for availability, I lined out a handful of Peach Skin in the fall, figuring that there wouldn't be all that much demand for it considering my relative obscureness. I'm not going to put a price on it yet, but will in the Spring when I see how much I actually lined out. If I recall correctly, most are single fans or a double fan consisting of a larger and a smaller one. Email me if you have any questions at


4.5", EM, 27", MuddyWine Bitone w/ DarkerBand and YellowThroat, Dormant, Diploid, 3 branches, 17 buds
(Sugar Candy * Huben Seedling)
Wow! Look at this horribly muddy color! I'm not sure what else I could have expected from a cross between a pink and a rust-colored daylily, but that would be the inexperience talking. I crossed nearly everything with Sugar Candy because it was the daylily with the prettiest color in my garden at the time, but crossing it with everything Huben was a smart idea in retrospect because the offspring could have some nice color with great plant habit! Well, looks like the color got left out with this seedling. I was ready to toss it in July after it stopped blooming, but then I noticed something strange happening: small buds were forming out of the now fruitless scape! Yes, it is a bud-builder. This was very exciting for me because I had never actually seen bud-building in my own garden, and that's just as great as rebloom! Because of the bud-building, this seedling bloomed from June 29 to September 12th! However, there was about a three week gap between flowerings, which is not ideal. Nonetheless, it added (muddy and disgusting) color to the late garden. Breeding is all about correcting flaws, so now I just need to find a clear-colored bud-builder to cross it with. I'm up for the challenge.
I wish I could link you to Mike's page to read about the pollen parent, but the seedling was not selected. If you click here, you can see a sibling. Looks like it came out of dark scape breeding. I do have one photo of it though, just no information regarding the bloom season, height, etc. Looks like AR11AR.73 took its color after its pollen parent: