Daylilies are very easy to grow in
the home landscape. This probably accounts for the fact
that there are over 60,000 named cultivars of
Hemerocallis and more being added every year.
China, daylilies are often used as
a food. The flowers are steamed and carefully dried or
they may be eaten fresh.
Most daylilies are
perennials that die back to the ground every fall.
However, there are a number of types that are evergreen
and, in milder climates, keep their foliage year around.
Although most daylilies have a bloom period of 3 to 5
weeks, there are cultivars called "repeaters" which will
continue to bloom throughout the summer. Often, they
have a larger flush of bloom in the early season and the
have smaller number of flowers the rest of the summer.
The cultivar 'Stella de Oro' is an example.
Other characteristics that have been
developed by breeders include creating some cultivars
that bloom early in the season and others extend the
bloom season into the fall. There are bloom scape
heights from one foot up to 4 feet. Some cultivars have
branching scapes with many more buds that usual. Flower
substance (petal thickness) varies widely from tissue
thin to rubber thick. Flower forms have expanded also
with some being described as flat, round, triangular,
recurved, tubular, cup shaped, bell shaped, trumpets,
orchid like, spiders and others.
Daylilies come in a very wide variety
of colors and color combinations. However, there is
still no pure white or pure blue daylily. Some
advertized as white (off white, near white or tinted
white) actually have remnants of pink or other colors in
One "drawback" to daylilies is that
the blooms open with the sun in the morning and begin to
fade by late afternoon. For people who work a 9 to 5
schedule, it is difficult to see the blooms at their
peak except on weekends. Well, the breeders are hard at
work and are coming up with new cultivars that continue
to bloom through the first night and into the
evening of a second day before fading.