Although it has “lily” in its name, the daylily is not a member of the lily family (Liliaceae); it belongs to the Hemerocallis genus and is native China, Korea and Japan. The plant produces beautiful, showy trumpet-shaped flowers. There are thousands of cultivars available, ranging in colours, sizes and forms. Many of the cultivars are fragrant. Plants can grow to be 6 inches to over 6 feet tall! The flowers will bloom from early spring to fall, depending on the variety.
The name daylily refers to the fact that the blooms will only lasts one day. The flowers typically will last no more than 24 hours, opening in the morning and dying within the night. As such, daylilies don’t make the best of cut flowers.
Despite its short life, daylilies are nicknamed the “perfect perennial plant” because they are one of the easiest and hardiest perennials around! Once they are established, they are essentially carefree and can survive the coldest of winters and the hottest of summers. Basically, daylilies are suitable for all landscapes and climates.
Plant in masses or as a ground cover on slope for the best visual impact. Grow in full sun or partial shade. Daylilies can also tolerate most soils, but do best in rich loam. Lighter, pastel colours shades, such as yellow, pink, will require a sunnier location to bring out their colours, while darker daylilies, such as some red and purple flowers, need shade because their darker colors will absorb heat.
Climate Zones: 1-11
Fun Flower Facts about the Daylily:
- The name Hemerocallis comes from the Greek words hemera for “day” and kalso for “beautiful.”
- While daylilies, generally bloom during the day, there is night blooming daylily called the H. citrina that blooms pale yellow spider-shaped blossoms at night.
- Both the roots and the flowers are edible and are commonly used in Chinese cuisines.
- The young leaves of some species are also edible.
- Daylilies contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals. Plus, these eating these flowers can help detox the body and help cure insomnia.
- Because their roots can absorb a lot of water, daylilies can prevent brush fires and soil erosion on slopes.
- Some believe that if pregnant women wear daylilies on their waist, they will give birth to a male child.
- In some parts of the United States, the Tawny or Fulvous Daylily is considered to be an invasive weed.
- What is the Difference Between a Daylily and a Lily? (funflowerfacts.com)
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- Reblooming Daylily Beauty: Stephanie Returns, Hemerocallis (homegardenartist.wordpress.com)
- Wild Edibles: Daylily (wisewildflower.wordpress.com)