Region 13

Daylilies in Louisiana & Arkansas
American Hemerocallis Society

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Clubs Histories in Region 13

Source: The following article was originally printed as "Notes From Central Louisiana", by Mrs. George D. (Vernon) Beall, Louisiana. 
The Hemerocallis Journal, 1959 Yearbook Issue: Volume 12, No. 2 – April-May-June, 1958.
Peggie Shulz, Editor.

Central Louisiana Hemerocallis Society
Founded 1956
(currently aka CENLA Daylily Reorganized 1994)

On November 1, 1956, Mrs. U. B. (Jo) Evans, Regional Director, met with the Alexandria-Pineville Hemerocallis group for their organization session.  Mrs. John F. (Dee Randolph) Kerper was elected President of the Society, which includes 28 enthusiastic members.  We take pride that two of these members, Mrs. Oscar Shanks and Mrs. Memie H. Leatherman, are charter members of the old Midwest Hemerocallis Society.

While our organization itself is new, interest in daylilies in central Louisiana dates back at least 25 years.  Our findings indicate that the first daylily grown here was SOVEREIGN (Yeld, 1906) which was brought to Pineville by Mrs. S. W. Tudor in 1932 form the Chattanooga, Tennessee garden of her sister, Mrs. W. V. Costello.  It was also in the early 1930’s that Mrs. E. C. Erving obtained from foreign nurseries the varieties QUEEN OF MAY (Van Veen, 1925), ROYAL (Mead, 1925) and Dr. Stout’s 1931 introductions MIKADO, VESTA and WAU-BON.

 At about the same time Mrs. Shanks, Mrs. Leatherman and Mrs. T. J. (Nell) Greiner ordered from Fisher’s Nursery, Germantown, Tennessee twenty varieties of daylilies.

 Interest in the early 1940’s was heightened by a daylily program at the Alexandria Club, given by the outstanding hybridizer Mr. Hugh M. Russell, Russell Gardens, Spring, Texas.

Mrs. Edward C. Mounce began collecting daylilies in 1935, and now grows nearly 700 of the newest and best introductions of the top hybridizers, along with hundreds of her own seedlings.  A number of these have been recently introduced and promise to win high honors.

 In 1945 Mrs.  S. W. Tudor, visiting the Ralph Wheeler and Ophelia Taylor gardens in Florida, brought back some of their fine originations.  Mrs. Tudor’s seedlings are used extensively for landscape effect, but several of the best have been introduced, with others still under observation.  Mrs. Leatherman and Mrs. Greiner have produced some fine reds, and Mrs. Kerper some very interesting pinks.

 Much of our growing and hybridizing success in this area is due to Mrs. Shanks and her sister, Mrs. Annie Miles, who have given so generously of their time, talents, plants and seeds.

 The Alexandria-Pineville group played host to the Region 13 Convention May 24-26, 1957, with fifteen gardens being open to members and the public.

 We are looking forward to the American Hemerocallis Society Convention in Houston and the Region 13 meeting in Shreveport.  We cordially invite those who travel via Alexandria and Pineville to “stop by and visit us.”

 Re-organized 1994 -  The first meeting was held on September 3, 1994, at the home of Theo and Tot Ratliff. Present at this first meeting were Lyn Odom, Doris Barron, Billy and Nancy Deville, and Patricia Deegan.

A decision was made to name the club the Cenla Daylily Society. Also, the meeting time was set for the first Saturday of each month. Tot Ratliff was asked to serve as president and Doris Barron to serve as secretary until officers could be officially elected. Other meetings were held over the next few months.

People other than those mentioned above who attended meetings were Joy Lafleur, Bonita Fontenot, Elllis and Wrenetta Powell, Lavelle and Alma Doughty, and Charlene Soileau.

The above information from Dr. Donnie Barnes, 2004.