Sunday, November 12, 2017

Name a daylily...

Primulina 'Loki' grown by Paul Susi

If I ask causal gardeners to give me a name of a daylily, they likely will say:  “Stella de Oro”.  They won’t know that the genus is called Hemerocallis, but somehow, they’ve heard of ‘Stella de Oro’.

How did this happen?

Relentless promotion by somebody.

The breakthrough in daylilies was new hybrids that flowered more than a “day”.  This was followed by flooding the market with plants, so the story perpetuates itself. 

What would it take to make the answer: ‘Loki’, for the question:  “What Asian Violet are you familiar with?”

It’s been 42 years since the hybridizer, Walter Jablonski, released ‘Stella de Oro’.  When will everybody know ‘Loki’ as the breakthrough that started Asian Violets as a common houseplant?

Can or will this happen?  Of course, it can.  There has been enough practical testing of Primulina ‘Loki’ to prove that it is a durable houseplant with interesting variegated foliage.  It is attractive with or without blue flowers.  Peter Shalit, the hybridizer, released it as a good plant.  I believe that it is the best one to lead.

Will it?  Today, there is virtually no commercial supply.  Today, there are few commercial growers who know about this plant.  Only dedicated hobbyists have Primulina or could name a few varieties.

‘Stella de Oro’ perpetuated its popularity because it was a breakthrough---a continuously flowering hybrid.  It sells because it’s advertised as the best.  Growers produce it because it sells.

The Asian Violet, ‘Loki’, could change the future.  Like an African Violet, but better.

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