Winning Daylilies

By month end the American Hemerocallis Society Board of Directors will be announcing the latest medal winners for 2012. There are several different awards given out to the best daylilies however the highest award given each year is the Stout Silver Medal.

Daylily 'Mynelle's Starfish' / Sensible Gardening and Living
Daylily ‘Mynelle’s Starfish’ / Sensible Gardening and Living

The silver medal award is given in memory of Dr. Arlow Stout, a great plantsman who is considered to be the father of modern daylily breeding in America. For a daylily to receive this award it must have received the Award of Merit not less than two years previously.The first daylily presented with this award was the cultivar  ‘Hesperus’ in 1950. Every year one cultivar is chosen as a representative of the most significant advances in daylily breeding.

It is very interesting to observe photos of the Stout Silver Medal winners over the years to get a sense of how much daylilies have changed over the past sixty odd years, thanks to the great efforts of daylily hybridizers.

Hybridizers all over  the US and Canada work diligently to provide us gardeners with hardier, beautiful daylily cultivars that are easy to grow, disease and pest resistant, all around great performing perennials. Many of the new varieities still come from the southern regions, however more and more northern hybridizers are producing wonderful daylilies that are cold hardy.  And the 2012 winner is….. coming soon!