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AHS Region 2/Great Lakes Newsletter
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r   (continued from page 44)
(Edited by Frances Gatlin with James R.Brennan) printed
Although this is a bit of a simplification, early bloom can
some of his comments updating what is known about
be considered a fairly dominant trait.
daylily flower pigments.
Most of my crosses are now between my seedlings al 
Gus has hybridized for about 20 years but only expanded
though I still use a few new cultivars if they have a trait I
his seedling bed and seriously studied the genetics of
need. One of the problems with using the early blooming
daylilies after he and his wife built their present house
species is that I have a problem with poor bud count and
about 13 years ago.
weak scapes. I outcross my seedlings to a few new culti 
vars with high bud count every year to try to correct this.
Here is what he says about his breeding program:
Of course, this takes away from the earliness of bloom so I
I guess I have about half an acre of daylily seedlings. In
have to cross those seedling back to my earlier blooming
the past I used to discard most of them as soon as I had
seedlings.
recorded the flower color, unless I thought I needed to
I also can't resist keeping flowers that are just peculiar.
check what would be produced in the next generation.
For example, I have a near white spider seedling that is
Several years ago I noticed that I was producing a fair
about eight inches in diameter on scapes that are about a
number of seedlings, which
foot tall. I don't know if this
bloomed very early, out of
sort of plant should be
my work crossing the species
 For decades, most hybridizers in the
encouraged. I have a large
to modern daylilies. Al 
North discarded seedlings that bloom outside their
number of seedlings with
though I am keeping a couple
peak bloom period. They do not bloom for shows
speckled and dotted flowers.
of lines going for other
and do not win awards. The genes for early bloom
Personally, I don't think they
reasons, I plant about 3,000
were discarded as hybridizers developed the
are attractive but they are
seeds for early bloom every
modern flower with bloom in late July. My
interesting.
spring. I plant directly in the
records of when cultivars start blooming show
ground since this is the least
that 85 to 90% of all modern cultivars start to
My program for breeding a
amount of work and I am not
bloom within a two week period in southwest
daylily with variegated
in a hurry. I have no worry
Michigan. My seedling peak bloom is now a
foliage that stays variegated is
that someone else will beat
month before that. 
getting nowhere. Variegated
foliage reverts to all green at
me in a race to use the newest
Gus Guzinski
about the same rate as I can
plants. Most of my breeding
get an increase in the number
is with diploids because there
of fans. I have not found a seedling in which this is a stable
are so many more diploids that bloom extra early than
trait. Actually, WELCOME TO XENON often throws
there are tetraploids. I have found fewer than a dozen
striped leaves, although I did not register it as having
tetraploids that bloom EE in my climate. It is also much
variegated foliage.
faster to breed for a specific characteristic, like early
bloom, with diploids because they have only one half as
Gus has been active in AHS for quite a few years. He has
many genes.
served on the 
Registration Committee
 and the 
Scientific
Studies Committee
, he has been an organizer and presenter
Early bloom in daylilies is not a difficult trait to fix. The
for the science forum at national conventions, and a couple
difficult part is regaining the color and form of modern
of his articles have been published in 
The Daylily Journal
.
daylilies with early bloom. For decades, most hybridizers
These have been semi technical, or popularized science, in
in the North discarded seedlings that bloom outside their
nature. His favorite is the one that describes a garden as a
peak bloom period. They do not bloom for shows and do
balanced ecosystem with the gardener as part of the
not win awards. The genes for early bloom were discarded
environment. Much of this information has only been read
as hybridizers developed the modern flower with bloom in
by those in the Species/Science Robin.
late July. My records of when cultivars start blooming
show that 85 to 90% of all modern cultivars start to bloom
Gus served as Region 2 newsletter editor for 4 years, he
within a two week period in southwest Michigan. My
served on several regional committees, he was a speaker
seedling peak bloom is now a month before that. It was
during the first four Region 2 Midwinter Symposia, and he
necessary for me to work with species daylilies and
has been the main speaker at a Region 8 meeting and the
antique cultivars to bring the genes for early bloom into
Mid Winter Symposium in Chattanooga. Several years
my hybridizing program. It took fewer generations than I
ago, Gus started the Kalamazoo Area Daylily Society and
expected to get fairly good flowers with early bloom.
has served as its president for those years.  
w
 Spring/Summer 2003  Page
4
449
9
49
9
49

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