Who, besides me, thought that daylilies are native American woodland plants? Daylilies are actually from Asia and the ones that we see in woods and forests are invasive escapers from gardens!


Orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) growing wild in Inwood Hill Park

Daylilies are clearly very vigorous plants that spread easily (often a bit too much) and are pretty resistant to frost, drought and diseases. There are many beautiful cultivars in colors ranging from light yellow to dark red. Several different varieties grow in our garden and are now flowering.


An additional benefit of daylilies is that the flowers are edible. In Asia, they are eaten in soups and stirfries, but I have put them as a sweet and colorful additions to salads, too.

A warning is in order: as with mushrooms, don’t take a bite if you are not absolutely sure that you identified your species correctly. Other lilies are poisonous!