From The Plant Encyclopedia
Daylily, Day LIly, Lily, Lillies
|Hemerocallis - Daylily variety Hush Little Baby|
|Species in this genus|
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3 - 20
- Cultivation: Naturalizing, Low-Maintenance, Easy-To-Grow
- Light: Sun
- Soil: Rich
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium, Dry
- Form: Herbaceous
- Habit: Perennial
- Flower: Large, Petals, Yellow, Orange, Red, Pink
- Fruit/Seed: Medium, Small, Brown
- Foliage: Leaves, Green
- Uses: Edible, Ornamental
Daylily is the general nonscientific name of a species, hybrid or cultivar of the Genus Hemerocallis (). Daylily cultivar flowers are highly diverse in colour and form, as a result of hybridization efforts of gardening enthusiasts and professional horticulturalists. Thousands of registered cultivars are appreciated and studied by local and international Hemerocallis societies. Hemerocallis is now placed in family Xanthorrhoeaceae, subfamily Hemerocallidoideae, and formerly was part of Liliaceae (which includes Lilium, True Lilies).
Hemerocallis is native to Eurasia, including China, Korea, and Japan, and this genus is popular worldwide because of the showy flowers and hardiness of many kinds. There are over 60,000 registered Cultivars. Hundreds of cultivars have fragrant flowers, and more scented cultivars are appearing more frequently in northern hybridization programs. Some cultivars rebloom later in the season, particularly if their capsules, in which seeds are developing, are removed.
Most kinds of Daylilies occur as clumps, each of which has leaves, a crown, flowers, and roots. The long, linear Lanceolate leaves are grouped into opposite fans with arching leaves. The crown is the small white portion between the leaves and the roots. Along the scape of some kinds of daylilies, small leafy "proliferations" form at nodes or in Bracts. A proliferation forms roots when planted and is often an exact clone of its parent plant. Many kinds of daylilies have thickened roots in which they store food and water.
A normal, single daylily flower has three Petals and three Sepals, collectively called Tepals, each with a Midrib in the same or in a contrasting color. The centermost part of the flower, called the throat, usually has a different color than more distal areas of its tepals. Each flower usually has six Stamens, each with a two-lobed Anther. After successful Pollination, a flower forms a capsule (often erroneously called a pod).
The Fulvous Daylily, although a beautiful plant, is an unwanted alien, invasive weed in some parts of the United States, such as in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources). People sometimes plant the Fulvous Daylily and other rhizomatous daylilies, which have underground runners. These kinds can overrun one's garden, and can take an appreciable amount of time and effort to confine or remove.
The Tawny Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva), and the sweet-scented Lemon-lily (H. lilioasphodelus; H. flava, old name)were early imports from England to 17th-century American gardens and soon escaped from gardens. The introduced Tawny Daylily is now common in many natural areas, and some people think that it is a native wildflower. Its nonscientific names include Railroad Daylily and Roadside Daylily and Outhouse Lily, Tiger Lily, and Wash-house Lily (although it is not a true lily). Some people have planted this species near outhouses and wash houses, hence two of its nonscientific names.
Hemerocallis is one of the very highly hybridized plant genera. Hybridizers register hundreds of new cultivars yearly. Hybridizers have extended the genus' color range from the yellow, orange, and pale pink of the species, to vibrant reds, purples, lavenders, greenish tones, near-black, near-white, and more. However, hybridizers have not yet been able to produce a daylily with primarily blue flowers in forms of blue such as azure blue, cobalt blue, and sky blue. Flowers of some cultivars have small areas of cobalt blue.
In the last several decades, many hybridizers have focused on breeding Tetraploid plants, which tend to have sturdier scapes and tepals than diploids and some flower-color traits that are not found in diploids. Until this trend took root, nearly all daylilies were Diploid. "Tets," as they are called by aficionados, have 44 chromosomes, while triploids have 33 chromosomes and diploids have 22 chromosomes per individual plant. Hemerocallis fulva 'Europa', H. fulva 'Kwanso', H. fulva 'Kwanso Variegata', H. fulva 'Kwanso Kaempfer', H. fulva var. maculata, H. fulva var. angustifolia, and H. fulva 'Flore Pleno' are all triplods that almost never produce seeds and reproduce almost solely by underground runners (Stolons) and dividing groups by gardeners. A polymerous daylily flower is one with more than three sepals and more than three petals. Although some people synonymize “polymerous” with “double,” some polymerous flowers have over five times the normal number of petals.