Daylily

In terms of popularity, it is hard to beat members of the genus, Hemerocallis. In recent times, Hostas have outsold the daylilies but over the past 50 years, more daylilies have been sold than any other herbaceous perennial.

The genus name is supposed to come from Greek meaning "Beautiful for a Day." That pretty much sums it up since each bloom on a daylily is open for just one day. A whole new set of blossoms open up the next morning.

Today, there are over 60,000 named cultivars of daylilies. Notice I did not say, "different cultivars" because many of them look very, very similar. PGC-P-Hemerocallis-Eleonore-2010-001Many, many amateur and professional hybridizers create and name new cultivars annually resulting in many lookalikes. There is really nobody whose job it is to say, "No, that is not a unique plant. It is just like...so you cannot give it a name."

In the end, the market makes the final decision based on how many people buy the plant and how widely grown it becomes in the garden world. The other, less unique plants, just fade away in the hybridizer's (and friend's) garden.

The original "wild" species were quite different from the current day cultivars of daylilies. They came from Eurasia in Siberia to the Japanese Islands to the Caucasus Mountains. They were brought to Europe and made their way to America with the colonists.

PGC-P-Hemerocallis-Frans-Hals-Horrocks-8-2011-002There are a number of species that have led to the modern daylily. Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus is also known as the Lemon Daylily. H. fulva was called the Tawny or Corn Daylily. These two have escaped cultivation in America and have "naturalized" throughout parts of the temperate zones.

Other species involved in the progression of the genus include H. fulva rosea, H. auranthiaca, H. auranthiaca major, H. auranthiaca liltorea, H. altissima, H. citrina, H. damortieri, H. flora, H. forestii minor, H. middendorffii, H. plicata, H. thunbergii and H. multiflora.

People get confused over the difference between the daylily (Hemerocallis) and the hardy lily (Lilium).

Care and Culture of Daylilies

 

PGC-P-Hemerocallis-Little-Business-2010-001

Hemerocallis Hybrids  
H. altissima  
H. auranthiaca Orange Daylily
H. citrina Citron Daylily
H. dumortieri Early Daylily
H. forrestii Forrest's Daylily
H. fulva Tawny Daylily
H. liliasphodelus Lemon Daylily

H. middendorifii

Middendorif Daylily
H. minor Grassleaf Dayilly
H. multiflora Mayflower Daylily
H. thunbergii Thunberg Daylily
H. yezoensis Yezo Daylily

 

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