AHS Region 2/Great Lakes Newsletter
Down our Region Two Memory Lane:
AMERICAN HEMEROCALLIS SOCIETY
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin
R , ,11
FIFTY YEARS OF DAYLILY HYBRIDIZING:
AN INTERVIEW WITH WALTER JABLONSKI
by Philipp Brockington
Walter Jablonski has been working with daylilies for
tion of chemicals, Walter claims to have 99 percent
fifty years. An hour's conversation with him brought
me a wealth of information and opinion on every
Walter believes, first, that the plant should be cut at the
hemerocallis subject from tetraploid conversion to
crown, leaving a little less than half of the leaves on
wintering evergreens in the North.
one side. I think the plant should have something to
I drove to Merrillville, Indiana, on a sunny spring
live on. If you cut all the leaves, the plant has no
afternoon May 18, 1982 to talk about daylilies with
chance for life.
Walter. His home, Breezy Hill Gardens, is not easy to
The chemical process was given to Walter by Dr.
find. One turns off U.S. 30 west of Merrillville on Burr
Darrel A. Apps of Pennsylvania. It combines kinetin
Street. After travelling north for several hundred yards,
and DMSO the chemicals of tissue culture with
there is a lane marked with fading house numbers
colchicine, the chemical which induces conversion.
which leads to his house.
Although Walter claims to be no chemist, he appeared
The lilacs were at their height. Of course, daylily
to have mastered the process. DMSO opens up the
blooms were several months in the future. Walter lives
pores, and the kinetin stimulates the plant. The plants
in a house which he built himself, using a lot of glass
I saw had been treated six days earlier, and they
and field stone. It is part of a 200 acre farm where he
showed signs of growth. Walter claimed they would
has lived since 1932. It is on a hill with attractive
landscaping all around.
It took some time to locate Walter, but I found him in a
shed packing plants for shipment. I noticed a box going
to Van Sellers, and Walter was pleased to have shipped
three hundred divisions of his STELLA DE ORO to
Gilbert H. Wild and Son.
Walter is a delightful person to interview. Neither a
camera nor tape recorder inhibits his flow of conversa
tion. The shed where we met leads into a greenhouse
where Walter was anxious to show me some daylilies in
the process of conversion as well as some chickens he
The conversion process was worth seeing since he was
using a new method. According to Walter, Anybody
I was milking 87 head of cattle, we farmed around six or
now can do it with this method. With a new combina
seven hundred acres, and I was still monkeying with daylilies.
Spring/Summer 2003 Page
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