Substance and Form... | Daylily Blog on the Finer Details

Some days I have a good hair day, and some days not-so-much.  Daylilies have those kind of days, too. 

Here are two daylily traits that make me wrinkle my nose and say "ew."

On the left, this bloom is out of form and has breaks in the color.  Notice the sepal on the right of this picture.  It is separated from the rest of the bloom, showing off its yellow-ness.  It is unlike the other sepals, and therefore is out of form.  It would lose a point or so on the exhibition table for this form. 

FORM is defined as the placement of petals and sepals in relation to each other, the definite shape of the flower as seen from the front (circular, triangular, double, star, informal, etc.) or the side (flaring, flat, recurved, trumpet, etc.). Segments (petals and sepals) may vary in length, width, shape, and number. Segments may be wide, narrow, ruffled, pointed, rounded, tailored, fluted, crimped, curled, spatulate, crispate (pinched, twisted, or quilled), or cascading (narrow curling or cascading). Weather conditions also influence form.  Unfaulted form is worth 10 points (of 100) in a daylily show.

So, if I were seeing this bloom as a judge on an exhibition table, I would take off points for form and a point or two for the breaks in color seen in the eye zone area of the petal on the left side and on the corresponding sepal at the top of the picture. If this bloom were exhibited as is, I would also take off grooming points for the pollen that is all over the bloom. Exhibitors should carefully dust that off with a cosmetics brush or paintbrush. (blowing on it might cause more pollen to fall...) Don't press too hard with that brush, though, you might damage the surface, which will result in more point deductions!With the definition of FORM above, I turn my attention to the bloom on the right.  Ew.  That is one of my least favorite looks for a daylily- what is commonly referred to as "canoeing" or "cupping."  The bloom doesn't look like this in the morning or on cooler, shadier days.  Some judges say this is a substance problem.  Some say its a form problem.  Where ever you decide to take off the points, it is a fault.  Substance and form are judged separately in the show and they are each worth 10 points (of 100.)  If I were judging this exhibit, I would deduct major points for substance.

From Judging Daylilies, substance is the thickness of the tissue structure which determines the holding quality. In judging substance, the firmness as well as evenness of petals and sepals are points to consider. The amount of matter and moisture in the petals keeps them firm and crisp. These characteristics enable the flower to withstand weather conditions, retain form and freshness, and give life to the color.

That is substance and form, as used to evaluate blooms in a daylily show.  Together they make up 20 points of the 100 given for an on-scape registered cultivar.  I think they are also useful terms to understand when evaluating blooms in your own garden or in your seedling field. 

(In case you were wondering, today is a good hair day for me personally.) 



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