Sometime in the mid-nineties, before I began growing daylilies myself, I remember hearing about a wonderful daylily garden near Cobbs Hill Park. So one July morning I set out to find it. I drove around for a bit, and then turned as if by chance into a little cul-de-sac facing a field. When I stepped out of the car, a man wearing a baseball cap was walking toward me down the driveway. He said, "Welcome! How did you hear about the Open House?"
That was how I met Charlie Zettek, who became my friend and mentor in the art of hybidizing. Soon after this, Finger Lakes Daylily Society was born, and we both became charter members.
This flower is a light mango orange with an olive heart. Hot vermilion flows out of the center and repeats at the crimped edge. The eye is bisected by a raised midrib. Petals gently flare, sepals recurve. As Charlie might say, it jumps out of the landscape and hits you in the eye.
This was the most vigorous grower of this cross, and also had the highest budcount. Hardiness and vigor come from Dick Bennett's Genesee Fire, form and branching from David Kirchhoff's Marilyn Siwik. Lots of scapes and lots of flowers. Three- to four-way branching with a budcount of 30-plus.
Finger Lakes Charlie Z. is my tribute to the man who opened his garden to me and taught me how to hybridize.
Genesee Fire x Marilyn Siwik
Flower 6 ¼” x 2 ½” x 1 ½”
Introduced at $100