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Diploid and Tetraploid: Is the explanation for Daylilies the same for Hostas?

  • Subject: Diploid and Tetraploid: Is the explanation for Daylilies the same for Hostas?
  • From: RBRSSR@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 22:55:03 EST

The following is from Wayside Gardens e-mail newsletter pertaining to diploid 
and tetraploid Daylilies. Does this explanation hold true for hostas?   

Question: Daylilies are classified as diploid or tetraploid. Is tetraploid 
always preferable, on the principle that 4 is better than 2? What exactly is the 
Answer: Okay. Diploid Daylilies have two chromosomes, while tetraploid have 
four. This means that tetraploid varieties are going to be bigger, stronger, 
and more resistant to adversity in the garden. Their blooms will be larger, with 
thicker petal substance. 
So why would anyone ever choose a diploid? Well, their advantages are speed 
and showiness. They grow more quickly than tetraploids, and they will have more 
blooms (perhaps 20 per stem as opposed to 12 to 15 for the tetraploid). So if 
you live in a mild climate and want a mass planting of Daylilies, economical 
diploids are the logical choice. On the other hand, if you want a showpiece 
planting, or if you live in a harsh climate, tetraploids are the solution.
Ray Rodgers, Bartonville, IL, Zone 5

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