DAYLILY DEFINE: Oh, my eye! | Daylily Blog on Definitions

<posted April 17, 2014>  This week's haiku highlights the daylily CAJUN LAGNIAPPE, a 2009 introduction from Ken Begnaud of Louisiana.  This photo was taken in his garden during the 2011 National Convention tour!  I especially love the clean-colored base of this flower, and the metallic edge just sets it off perfectly.  I dont grow this one in Illinois, but it is on the wishlist.

Usually when I do a haiku, to select a photo I randomly scroll through my photos and let them speak to me.  But this time I was looking for a specific kind of photo to go along with a topic I wanted to mention.  

During a recent presentation, the speaker described their flower using the term "banded eye."  I was confused.  The definitions as I know them do not allow for such an occurrence.  If I were judging a show and a flower was entered with "banded eye" in its registration data, I wouldn't know what I was looking for...

As a garden judge and as an exhibition judge, its important for me to understand and internalize how the American Hemerocallis Society (the "industry standard" if you will for daylilies) defines characteristics and forms.  The AHS defines markings on daylilies and most of the common vocabulary is seen in the Daylily Dictionary.  In the photo above, note the purple markings around the center of the flower.  By definition, this is a BAND.  Not an eye.  I'm going to bet most of you would call that an eye.  I would have until I studied the distinction between the terms.

If you interchange the terms EYE, BAND, HALO and WATERMARK - don't.  They are not interchangeable and do not indicate the same traits.   I have learned to remember them in the order of how much color is exhibited on the flower.  An eye is the "most color", followed by Band with less color, then halo with even less color, and finally watermark.

An eye is a DARKER colored zone on the petals AND sepals of the flower just above the throat. 

HATS OFF TO SUE (Herrington, T. 2008) exhibited by Claude Carpenter at a 2013 Atlanta-area accredited daylily show.  
This flower shows an eye.  Note the darker color appears on the petals and sepals.

Eye and band are related terms, but with a distinct difference.

If the DARK color ONLY appears on the petals, it is called a band.

OKLAHOMA SAND BURR (Holley-S., 2009) shows a band at the same Atlanta-area show.
Note the darker color does not show on the sepals.

Even less so, a halo is an eye that is relatively narrow or indistinct.  You can see in the below picture that your eye registers an area of color above the throat, but it is not distinct.  It is faint, but it is there.

EDGED IN INK at a show in Michigan.

Finally, a watermark is the zone above the flower's throat which is LIGHTER in color than the petal color.

Bill Waldrop's winning seedling entry at the Atlanta-area show.  Note the lighter color that appears between the glowing yellow throat and the petal edges.  
This area is a watermark by definition.

These are just some examples, and obviously with almost 80,000 registered daylilies and millions of seedlings under evaluation each year, interpretations of these definitions are being challenged and further studied.  I enjoy knowing the differences based on established vocabulary.  The daylily community, most effectively, hybridizers of daylilies have been inventing words for decades to describe what they see in their seedling fields.  Dan Hansen of Ladybug Daylilies reinforced that fact during a recent presentation in Nashville.

If you are passionate about the daylily like I am, it is important to start from a base set of vocabulary.  This I know: the words we use to describe what we see in daylilies today will evolve over time, as we do.  I enjoy knowing as much about the intricacies as I can.  The depth is fun.

What do you think?  Do you accept established term definition, or do you prefer to verbally define as your heart/eye sees it?

SPECIAL NOTE:  I am presenting a special video-enhanced program in the "Monday Night Lights" Daylily Facebook group THIS MONDAY at 730/630C. Come join the group and enjoy the weekly presentations given by daylily people of all interests.  Click here to join! 



John Everitt said...

I trust your descriptions, Nikki, and would like to make the follow observation. "Eye," "band", and "eye" are all differentiated by the distance out from the eye.
"Halo," on the other hand, is distinguished by its lighter color on a darker background, regardless of how far out it extends from the eye.

John said...

Oops! I meant the "eye," "band, and "halo" extend from the eye at different distances. It's the "watermark" that is differentiated by its color rather than the distance out from the eye. Sorry.

Unknown said...

Nikki, thanks for posting these definitions."Eye" and "band," although not currently included in the GJ1 curriculum, are terms I always include in the instruction, as there is so much confusion. We have also recently experienced some confusion with the term "Self," believe it or not! Enjoyed it. Thanks, Julie

The Daylily Addict said...

Thanks for this posting. When I was new to daylilies I read these definitions and could not figure out why experienced daylily people called almost everything an eye when it was clearly a band, halo, or even a watermark.

Nikki Schmith said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Good to hear from you John, Julie and Charles! These are still sometimes the most confusing terms when used in conversation and I have to stop and think about which one is correct. LOL!


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