A spider daylily must
have a petal ratio of at least 4:1. That is, the length
of the longest petal (usually
the bottom one) must be at least 4 times its width.
are two methods of measuring a spider daylily. The
first method is an easy way to determine if the flower
meets the minimum 4:1 ratio and can be done with the
flower "on scape" without destroying the
1: On Scape
CINNAMON WINDMILL - Crochet
the petal width is the same for both methods. The blossom
should always be "on scape" for this measurement.
lay a ruler across the longest petal at its widest point. The ruler
should barely touch the petal, so as not to flatten the petal and
change the width.
the petal width is 3.1 centimeters.
order to be a spider the length must be 4 times 3.1, or at least
In the "on scape" method, the length of the petal is measured
on the scape from the "V" where the sepals separate - indicated
by the white circle above.
Place the end of the ruler in the "V" where the sepals separate
and gently extend the end of the petal out as far as it easily will
go along the ruler.
See if it passes the 12.4 mark on the ruler. If it does, then the
flower is a spider. Here we see the length is 15.8 centimeters,
so the petal exceeds the 4:1 ratio of 12.4. 15.8 (length) divided
by 3.1 (the width) = 5.09. By this method the spider has a ratio of
2: Off Scape.
Method 2: This is the most accurate measurement. Hybridizers
should use this method when registering their introductions.
Using the same procedure as the "on scape" method, measure
the width of the longest petal at its widest point.
Then remove the blossom from the scape. Cut the petal away from
the base of the flower at the "V" notch where the sepals
Lay the petal flat on a surface and lay the ruler on top of it. That
way the measurement of the length will be exact.
We see that the exact length is 16.6.
width remains the same - 3.1. The ratio is 16.6 (length) divided
by 3.1 (width) = 5.35:1.
is more accurate than the "on scape" method which arrived
at a ratio of 5.09:1. However, the difference is less than 5%. So,
the "on scape" method is pretty accurate, and, in most
cases, it is an easy way to determine if the blossom meets the minimum
by: Bob Schwarz, East Hampton (Eastern Long Island) NY, reviewed by
Gary Colby and committee.
All photos by Bob Schwarz, used with permission.