Hemerocallis ‘Reaching New Heights’ (Baxter, 2011)
Hemerocallis ‘Reaching New Heights’ is a tetraploid 2012 introduction.
H. 'Reaching New Heights'... (Baxter, 2011), Sdlg. #2tall, Tetraploid, 7 ½" bloom, 68" tall, dormant. Here we have a true giant in the daylily world. A flower that begs you to stand next to and have your picture taken with it. And you do not have to squat, or stand in a hole, or use a funny camera angle to show the height of this daylily. Modesty dictates that I register this beauty at 68" but I have measured scapes at 74". What's half a foot when we are talking about "reaching new heights?" I would rather tell you that it has wonderful fragrance, and 7 ½" blooms, and fabulous mounds of foliage.... and it sets pods!
At the time of introduction the AHS Registration Database shows 43 registered cultivars of 68" or higher, and only 10 registered cultivars of 74" or higher. Parentage is H. 'Sears Tower' × H. 'Notify Ground Crew'
Single Fans... $80.00 available spring 2013
Additional images... click to enlarge
Addendum 9-22-2012: A few years ago I had a desire to breed for a "race of giants" or daylilies more commonly known as tall daylilies. I adapted my theory for breeding high percentage polymerous daylilies (high % poly X high % poly) to breeding for a tall so I acquired two flowers which I knew were tall. These were H. 'Sears Tower' and H. 'Notify Ground Crew' (tall daylily X tall daylily).
Both of these plants are registered as mid-season bloomers but H. 'Sears Tower' has always been a very late bloomer in my garden and it never reaches the registration of height of 72 inches. However, H. 'Sears Tower' has a wonderful plant habit with great foliage, strong scapes, opens well, sets pods easily, and it does tower over just about everything in the garden.
H. 'Notify Ground Crew' didn't fair very well and I actually lost it. Nor did I get it established to evaluate how tall it could get given the growing conditions of my garden.
Wow! Was I surprised with the results of this cross. So many tall daylilies but only one of them towered over the other by a good 1 1/2 to 2 feet. Fortunately, this super tall one also had all the best plant characteristics compared to its siblings and I registered it as H. 'Reaching New Heights'.
All the seedlings displayed nocturnal characteristics but only H. 'Reaching New Heights' had blooms that fully opened and had substance. The nocturnal traits came from H. 'Notify Ground Crew' and the seedlings that I retained for evaluation had blooms that opened at different times. One opened in the late afternoon, another in the early evening, and another in the middle of the night. All of these blooms never opened all the way and were closed by morning and had light substance, but they were all fragrant. H. 'Reaching New Heights' inherited middle of the night opening blooms that actually stay open during the day and it also inherited fragrance. I attribute the "stay open during the day" trait and the extra substance to H. 'Sears Tower'.
My next goal in hybridizing tall daylilies is to get a very tall one that has nice color and it not yellow. Fortunately, I have a tall daylily with huge blooms and incredibly vivid color that will be a future introduction. The parentage of this flower is H. 'Panic In Detroit' × H. 'Sears Tower'. I am now working this future introduction with both H. 'Sears Tower' and H. 'Reaching New Heights'.