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What is a Tetraploid Daylily?

May 15, 2013
As is the case for most things in life there is always an exception to the rule. One such rule that you may or may not be aware of is that there are two sets (a double set) of chromosomes that make up the nucleus of living cells. Now the number of sets depends upon the creature. But the material point is that each set is made up of 2 equal pairs. But not always.

Diploid daylilies have the usual number of chromosomes (the double set) that make up the nucleus. These are the more traditional daylilies that go back to the very beginning of the horticultural world. In most established gardens these are the type of daylilies seen. Also, these are typically the ones you see in chain stores today.

But there is another possibility. They are called tetraploid day lilies. Tetraploid daylilies have 4 equal pairs, hence double the usual number of chromosomes in each cell nucleus. So what does this mean? Is there an advantage to having twice the amount? The answer is a definite, yes.

Tetraploid daylilies are usually larger flowers, sometimes much larger than their diploid relatives. Tetraploid daylilies have thicker petals, more buds, and stronger stems. They have deeper more intense colors than diploids. Tetraploids tend to be more evergreen and stronger in overall growth. And tetraploids tend to re-bloom.

The hybridizing work that is going on in tetraploids has produced remarkable colors and overall performers in recent years. It just keeps getting better and better. But this work is slow and expensive. It will be many years before numbers can be built up to mass produce the newer ones.

We at Missio Terra are doing our best to introduce the very best and most recent tetraploid hybrids. We realize that they are expensive, but we are confident you will be greatly pleased with their performance in your garden. As well, we have new colors under production that we will introduce as soon as we have sufficient numbers.

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