Members of the lily family are among the most prized flowering plants for the home garden. Two of the most popular and durable lilies are the daylily and the hardy lily.

Daylilies belong to the genus Hemerocallis. The common name comes from the fact that individual flowers last just one day. The good news is that a mature sized clump will develop dozens of buds and flower continuously with 5 or 6 blooms opening every day for a month or more.

Daylilies form a clump made of tufts of grass-like foliage. They survive the winter as a swollen crown sheltered beneath the soil surface. Most varieties are extremely hardy and will thrive under widely varying conditions in the garden.

Daylilies are easy to hybridize by either the professional or the hobbyist in the backyard. That is why there are over 30,000 named varieties recorded. Even with this vast array, there are no pure blue or white daylilies although plant breeders continue to search for the right genetic combinations for these colors.

Hardy lilies would include the Easter lily and the Tiger lily. The genus for these plants is Lillium and there are many different types available for the home garden.

Hardy lilies emerge from bulbs and have a single long stem with pairs or clusters of leaves emerging along its length. Plant heights may vary from 12 inches to over 6 feet depending on the variety. Unlike daylilies, their flowers last many days before fading and several varieties are extremely fragrant. A single blossom may fill the entire house with a wonderful scent.

Both plants are relatively pest and disease free. Hardy lily bulbs need a site with good drainage to avoid rots. Taller varieties may need staking.



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