O Positive (Huben 2013) 46 EM 3.25, Red w'Dark Band, Dor Dip
This red has everything. It is vigorous, tall, sunfast, well branched and budded and beautiful. The instant Bob Sobek saw it, he said he wanted it: and not too surprisingly, it is out of one of his introductions. With 6 branches and 24 buds, it puts on a terrific display for a long time. The foliage is excellent. My other tall, red introductions have a trumpety form, but O Positive has more a ruffled bagel form: or perhaps you could say it resembles a red blood cell (but it's too big to be named Erythrocyte.)
What makes this one special for me is the SUNFAST velvety intensity of the red color combined with the width needed for a bagel form. It doesn't slick, curl or fade. It doesn't show damage from thrips, aphids, or rain. There is no muddyness in this green-throated red! True, it's not as wide as many, but the recurve makes it a good bagel. O Positive is the second most sunfast red I have, right after its parent Indelible Blood. It compares extremely well with Arterial Blood (left): it has a deeper color and is only a smidgeon smaller.
I've also compared it to Grace Stamile's excellent Broadway Valentine (left), which is much less saturated and much less sunfast. AS you can see from the picture, you don't need wide petals to still have the bagel effect.
As a clump, O Positive is assertive: the scapes are bolt erect and the flowers are rather upfacing. The branches start low on the scape, just above the foliage, and present flowers at many different heights. At almost 4 feet tall, this one stands out at a distance. Bob Sobek and I have bred with it extensively this past summer (2012): I can't wait to see the kids!
I really don't perceive any faults with this one, and can't recommend it highly enough.
Crazy Kids (Sobek )
(Sobek 89.38B * Dark Avenger)
Sobek 89.38B (Sobek ) 18 M 3, Red Self, Dor Dip
(Pardon Me * Over There)
Pardon Me (Apps 1982) 18 M Re 3, Red Self, Dor Dip Noc Fra
(sdlg * Little Grapette)
Over There (Apps 1983) 28 EM 3.5, Red w'Red Halo, Dor Dip Noc
(Little Red Hen * Lord Camden)
Dark Avenger (Salter 1988) 18 M Re 2.5, Red Self, Sev Dip
Indelible Blood (Huben 2013) 44 M 4, Red Self, Dor Dip
(Sobek 90.34A * Red Spire)
Like most velvety reds, Indelible Blood is very difficult to photograph accurately. The photograph above is my best, yet it still doesn't show the true depth and intensity of the dark red color. However, it does show off the beautiful green throat and hint at the velvety sheen. The photo below shows more sheen and more or the oxblood-red darkness, but still cannot capture the true appearance. Indelible Blood is very simply the most durable red I've ever grown. It has all the types of sunfastness: I have never seen it curl, slick, fade or melt, not even in 100+ degree heat. It does not show thrips or aphid damage in my unsprayed garden. It is unfazed by rain. No blotchy petals from insects or water. The flowers close tight: no need to deadhead.
Sobek 90.34A (Sobek ) 24 M 4, Red Self, Dor Dip
(City Of Sin * Pardon Me)
Red Spire (Saxton 1996) 59 ML Re 3.5, Red w'Red Halo, Dor Dip
(Monseigneur Garnet * Jersey Beacon)