Naming and introduction of Lilium Enchantment

Jane McGary
Sat, 24 Jan 2004 10:32:34 PST
Jim McKenney asked,Evidently lily breeding at the Oregon Bulb Farms 
extended back to the early
>'30's and was well on its way during the war years. So although I have yet
>to track down a date for the "birth" of Lilium Enchantment, and 1938 does
>seem a bit of a stretch, it's not out of the question.
>Has anyone out there seen the actual birth certificate?

Edward McRae, long associated with Oregon Bulb Farms as a grower and 
hybridizer, writes in "Lilies: A Guide for Growers and Collectors" (p. 211) 
that the Mid-Century Hybrids, including 'Enchantment', was a group 
"produced during the 1930s and early 1940s at Oregon Bulb Farms. ... An 
enormous number of crosses was made and huge quantities of seedlings 
raised. It is unfortunate that no accurate records survive from that 
period, and we can only guess at what crosses were made." (Eddie is 
Calvinistically severe about hybridizers who don't keep good records.)

So it seems that no, there is no birth certificate.

I well remember 'Enchantment' growing in large clumps in Fairbanks, Alaska, 
where winter temperatures descend to minus 60 degrees F (minus 51 C) almost 
every year. Its color is lovely in the mild sun of the far north, right 
next to the deep purple-blues of the giant hybrid delphiniums that also 
thrive in this climatically difficult but largely predator- and 
disease-free environment.

An aside: Jim was surprised that Ken Hixson didn't know Hemerocallis fulva. 
Ken lives in the same area I do, and it occurs to me that we rarely see 
this plant in flower, although the fragrant yellow Hemerocallis 
lilioasphodelus (is that a wrong name now?) does well. I have read that 
many daylilies fail to flower in areas with cool summers, especially cool 
nights. They are not the basic garden plants here in northwestern North 
America that they are in the Midwest and East; however, we are well endowed 
(or infested, depending on your opinion) with their usual companions, 
hostas and tall bearded irises (where gardeners can constantly divide, 
spray, slug-bait, and keep all other vegetation at arm's length from the 
latter, which seem to me as fussy as hybrid tea roses).

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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