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Hemerocallis fulva

Hemerocallis fulva (L.) L.

Hemerocallis fulva (L.) L. var. fulva

Hemerocallis fulva (L.) L. var. kwanso Regel

Hemerocallis fulva (L.) L. var. rosea Stout

Common Daylily, Orange Daylily, Tawny Daylily, Tiger Daylily, Ditch Lily

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyXanthorrhoeaceaeAloes, many tropical plants, flax lilies, daylilies, many others
GenusHemerocallisFrom the Greek hemera, “day,” and kallos, “beauty,” thus meaning “beauty for a day,” in reference to the fact that the blooms last only a single day
SpeciesfulvaOf a fulvous color, tawny, orange-gray-yellow

About plant names...

Daylilies are Asian natives, unrelated to true lilies, that are often coveted by gardeners in temperate climates. They are among relatively few plants that resemble exotic tropicals but thrive in mild climates, and they are rugged perennials. So rugged, in fact, that they are sometimes considered invasive. Some gardeners consider them déclassé now, though it isn’t clear whether this is a result of horticultural marketing or concern for the environment.

Identification: Daylilies are 16-59" (40-150 cm) in height. Linear, straplike leaves, tapering to a point, grow in a cluster from a central base, and are 20-35" (50-90 cm) long and ⅜-1" (1-2.8 cm) wide. Flowers emerge on stiff stalks, facing sideways or somewhat upward. They are brilliant orange or orange-red, and 1¾-4½" (5-12 cm) in size. Each funnel-shaped flower appears to have six tepals—three are petals and three are sepals. They appear in spikes of 10-20. Each flower opens in succession, lasting a single day. Blooms appear from July to August.

Daylilies are sometimes confused with similar-appearing true lilies, such as wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum). In true lilies, though, the tepals are spotted, the anthers are at right angles to the filaments, and there are leaves along the stem.

Edibility: Young leaves and young shoots are edible when cooked, though they quickly become too fibrous for consumption. Flowers are eaten raw or in soups. Tubers are also edible.

Online References:

Hemerocallis fulva at Illinois Wildflowers

Hemerocallis fulva at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Hemerocallis fulva on Wikipedia

Hemerocallis fulva on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Hemerocallis fulva at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Hemerocallis fulva on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Hemerocallis fulva on eFloras


Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 138

Hemerocallis fulva description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.

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Hemerocallis fulva (Common Daylily, Orange Daylily, Tawny Daylily, Tiger Daylily, Ditch Lily)

3/5/2001 · Road to Hana, Maui, HI

Hemerocallis fulva (Common Daylily, Orange Daylily, Tawny Daylily, Tiger Daylily, Ditch Lily)

7/17/2010 · Mackworth Island, Falmouth, ME
≈ 7 × 9" (18 × 22 cm)

Hemerocallis fulva (Common Daylily, Orange Daylily, Tawny Daylily, Tiger Daylily, Ditch Lily)

8/3/2008 · Kathy’s Flowers
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Hemerocallis fulva (Common Daylily, Orange Daylily, Tawny Daylily, Tiger Daylily, Ditch Lily)

7/6/2013 · Mike and Ellen’s, Shohola, PA
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm)

Range: Zones 3-9:

About this map...