"Daylilies are a popular garden perennial from Canada to Florida, Australia and Pakistan to Europe. Daylily enthusiasts have been creating new hybrids since the late 19th century. Their popularity in the U.S. accelerated in the mid-twentieth century as thousands of home gardeners realized that they could pursue a rewarding hobby by hybridizing these flowers."
Michael Bouman is a hobbyist hybridizer working through the Green Center to develop distinctive, garden-worthy advances in the daylily. Our Midwestern climate provides punishing extremes of heat stress and of alternate periods of freezing and thawing in the winter. Michael is breeding for outstanding plant vitality, beautiful foliage from March through October, and flowers with a combination of form, color, and pattern that make a person pause and take notice. To help visitors appreciate the wide range of "the best," he maintains a display garden in front of the Green Center. He makes hybrid crosses during June and July, harvests the seeds in August, and plants about 1,500 seeds in beds behind the Green Center in April. To make room for those seeds, Michael discards an equal number of three-year-old plants in late Autumn, saving only the best fifty or so for further evaluation.
* Our daylily gardens are open to public and located at 8025 Blackberry Avenue in University City. (Daylilies are in bloom during the months of June and July.)
Photo Credits: Left and Right: Michael Bouman; Center: Phoebe Casey