Ron Valente....One of Steve Moldovan's favorite purples.
I'll never forget the fun I would have traveling from Gates Mills, Ohio out to Avon, Ohio to Moldovan gardens during peak bloom. The more I got into hybridizing, the more I would try and bring blooms over to share with Steve and Roy on those weekends. Steve and Roy have always been very generous with sharing pollen with me over the years. In the years leading up to Steve's passing I tried to bring blooms over to try and give back for all they had given me. I'll never forget this one particular time, where I had brought a bloom of Ron Valente over. Ron Valente was a Moldovan introduction in 2004, but unfortunately a lot
of the stock was wiped out when a sewer line broke and flooded the back yard. The reason I was bringing a bloom over was because Steve didn't have any Ron Valente pollen to work with because of the flood damage. When I walked into the garden that day, I thought I saw another purple in bloom that I mistook for Ron Valente, so I tossed my bloom to the ground. Steve came down to the guest house and while talking to him I told him I had brought a bloom of Ron Valente, but I saw he had another plant of it. Steve immediately said that the purple I thought was Ron Valente was not, and where did I throw the bloom? I pointed it out and Steve hurried over to see if the pollen was still good. Thankfully it was and Steve was able to use it that day to cross with. I always paid close attention to what Steve was crossing with and the year of his passing there were more "Ron V." tags crossed on more daylilies than I can remember. This past summer Roy was seeing the results of those crosses for the first time. I'm sure it will be even more exciting to see how those plants mature. For me it is important to remember how much Steve loved using Ron Valente. It was selected by Ron Valente himself in the seedling fields. The cross that produced Ron Valente was Vatican City X Imperial Wizard, two of Steve's grand purples! I am starting to see the results of my crosses using Ron Valente and the seedlings show promise. Like all of Steve's purples, Ron Valente possesses grand plant habit with great bud count and branching. It is easily fertile both ways and it is a purple every hybridizer should grow. Photos above and below of Ron Valente.