It’s true! Not only are these flowers pretty to look at, daylilies are also quite tasty! In fact, daylilies are common in eastern Asian cuisines. And the best part is that, you don’t have to wait for the plant to bloom for a meal.
All parts of the daylily are edible, including the flowers, tuber, buds, young shoots and leaves. The flowers are mild in flavour, similar to lettuce— slightly sweet and crunchy. But it’s best to avoide the green bases of the flowers, as they can be bitter and unpleasant tasting. The fleshy tuber has a crisp texture and nutty flavour. The smaller buds will taste better than older, more bitter buds. Harvest the shoots early (before they reach 8 inches tall) or they will become too fibrous to eat.
Daylilies are a good source of vitamins C and A. That being said, daylilies can act as a laxative or diuretic. So eat in moderation to be on the safe side.
Daylilies are very versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. Like the name suggests, daylilies will only last for one day. Once you have harvested the flowers, use them immediately. However, the buds can last several days in the refrigerator.
Here are some daylily recipes to get you started:
- Use the flower as an edible garnish for soups, cakes, and salads.
- The fresh flowers can be stuffed with cream cheese and herbs to make a fancy appetizer.
- Add the flowers and/or shoots to a salad.
- The flowers and/or young shoots can be added to a stir fry.
- Dried flowers, which can be found in Asian supermarkets, can be added to soups and other dishes. Dried daylilies are a key ingredient Chinese hot and sour soup.
- The flowers can be deep fried. Try this recipe: Daylily Fritters with Strawberry & Mango Salsa
- The flowers can be made into a jelly.
- Or a daylily ice cream!
- The tuber can be used in place of potatoes; add to soups and stews.
- Or you can use the tubers to make a cake!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you put anything in your mouth, make sure that the daylilies are safe and clean to eat. In some places, daylilies grow in the wild, but it’s not a good idea to harvest those flowers, as they might have been sprayed with chemicals. As well, make sure they are daylilies are not lilies, as lilies are consider toxic and poisonous if ingested. As well, some people may be allergic to daylilies. If it’s your first time eating them, take only a bite or two to see if there is any allergic reaction.