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
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.
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 eFloras
Hemerocallis fulva description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 3-9: