Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Classic Caper is a lily that looks nothing like capers

Species name: Hemerocallis sp. (Hemerocallis 'Classic Caper')

Common name: daylily

Location: Ontario

This cultivar of daylily was first registered in 1982, and is the first example of something called an "eye" or an "eyespot". The maroon colouring in this daylily cultivar is only on the petals, and only on the upper surface. It doesn't extend down to where the petals join (the neck or the throat), so it makes the flower appear as if it has an eye in the middle. Eyes in daylilies at one time were thought to be very difficult to achieve, but now they're becoming more and more common in modern cultivars. Perhaps all we as humans needed to do was find a cultivar that expressed the gene (or gene mutation), and the rest comes easily after that. Or perhaps it was just bad luck historically that led to fewer cultivars with eyes. As an aside, I have no idea how this cultivar got its name since the flowers of the caper plant are not anything remotely like these flowers (not in colour, pattern of colour or shape), and the fruit are picked green and pickled; the only thing I can figure is that it's named after the Latin grammarian Flavius Caper.

For a more in-depth blog post about daylilies, please click HERE.