(he-mer-o-cal' iss)

Common name: Daylily

Family: Formerly in the lily family (Liliaceae), botanists have now reclassified it in a new family (Xanthorrhoeaceae, subfamily Hemerocallidoideae)

Height x width: 12-36" (or more) x 12-24"

Growth rate, habit: moderate to fast; arching clump, vase-shaped

Foliage: rosette from crown in groups called "fans", linear 1-2' long and ½-1" wide

Flowers: many colors and combinations on leafless stem (scape), occasionally fragrant, 6 petals (tepals) forming tube at base, 1½-6" wide 

(photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden plantfinder)

Hardiness:zones 3-9

Soil: well-drained, prefers organic, high fertility yields poor flowering

Light: sun, part shade for pastel colors

Pests and problems: leaf streak fungus, aphids, thrips, "spring sickness" physiological disease from early season injury (as from cold) to new tissue resulting in distorted and sideways growth

Landscape habit, uses: borders, massed, rock gardens (dwarf cultivars), containers, edible garden

Other interest: genus name in Greek means "beautiful for a day" refering to one day life per bloom; species native to Europe to Asia; bud and flowers are sweet and edible; American Hemerocallis Society has cultivar listings, newsletter, more information

Other culture: easy and relatively maintenance free and long-lived; choose cultivars best suited for North or South

Propagation: division of "fans" preferably in spring each with 3 or more shoots, seeds primarily when breeding


All of the current cultivars orginally derive from 11 species, of which the following species are often seen in commerce and plantings.


•fulva (full' vah)--Tawny Daylily, zones 3-9, 30-36", rusty orange-red flowers in early summer, native to Siberia to Japan

•lilioasphodelus (flava) (lil-ee-o-as-fo-dell' us)--Lemon Lily, zones 3-9, 30-36", lemon yellow flowers early summer with sweet scent, arching scapes, native to Siberia and Japan

•middendorffii (mid-den-dorf' ee-ii)--Middendorf Daylily, zones 3-9, 24-30", yellow flowers in early summer and fragrant, tolerant of shade and moisture, native to Siberia and Japan

•minor (mii' nor)--zones 4-9, 12-24", lemon-yellow flowers tinged brown outside, native to China and Japan


Of the over 20,000 cultivars registered with the international registration authority, and over 40,000 registered with the American Hemerocallis Society (over 1000 new cultivars are registered yearly), the following representative selections are the ones most available from U.S. nurseries and include many of the more popular and proven cultivars. Bloom refers to relative bloom time with early=late June, mid=July, late=August in zones 4-6; decrease by 1-2 weeks for each zone warmer, add 1-2 weeks for each zone colder. Flower size of small=1-2" across, large=over 4" across.
Cultivars flower color bloom height
'Alice in Wonderland' lemon-yellow late 30"
'Apple Tart' dark red, green throat early-mid 28"
'Baja' bright red, green throat mid 30"
'Baltimore Oriole' red mid 30"
'Bama Music' pink mid 28"
'Becky Lynn' rose-pink, darker eye, fragrant mid 30"
'Bertie Ferris' orange, ruffled, small mid 24"
'Bitsy' lemon-yellow, small early 30"
'Black-eyed Stella' gold, dark throat reblooms 24"
'Buttercurls' creamy-yellow, small mid 20"
'Cape Cod' burgundy, orange center, ruffled early-mid 34"
'Carey Quinn' velvety red mid 30"
'Catherine Woodbery' orchid-pink, large mid 30"
'Chicago Arnie's Choice' lavender, plum halo mid 28"
'Chicago Sunrise' orange, green throat mid 30"
'Ed Murray' dark maroon, green throat mid 28"
'Eenie Weenie' yellow, green throat, small mid 12"
'Erin Prairie' gold mid 27"
'Fairy Tale Pink' pink mid 28"
'Frans Hals' rusty orange, red bicolor, large mid-late 22"
'Gentle Shepherd' near white, yellowish throat early-mid 28"
'Golden Gate' orange-yellow, large mid 36"
'Golden Gift' gold, quilted, large mid 32"
'Golden Prize' gold, ruffled, large mid-late 26"
'Green Flutter' canary yellow, green throat late 20"
'Hall's Pink' light clean pink late 20"
'Happy Returns' clear lemon-yellow reblooms 18"
'Hyperion' lemon-yellow, fragrant mid 36"
'Ice Carnival' pale lemon-yellow mid-late 36"
'James Marsh' red, large early-mid 28"
'Joan Senior' ruffled near white, yellowish throat mid 30"
'Kindly Light' yellow spider type mid 36"
'Kwanso' orange, double, historic mid-late 30"
'Little Business' bright red, green throat, small mid 24"
'Little Grapette' light grape-purple early-mid 15"
'Little Wart' lavender, small mid 24"
'Mary Todd' golden-yellow mid 28"
'Mini Stella' clear yellow, very small reblooms 14"
'Naomi Ruth' light apricot pink, small mid 30"
'Pandora's Box' cream, purple eye, green throat early-mid 19"
'Pardon Me' bright red, yellow throat mid 18"
'Penny's Worth' yellow, small early 10"
'Prairie Blue Eyes' ruffled lavender, green throat, large mid 28"
'Radiant Greetings' orange yellow, red halo, red veins mid 38"
'Raindrop' butter yellow, small mid 18"
'Raspberry Pixie' raspberry, small mid 15"
'Red Magic' red, yellow throat, dusting early-mid 36"
'Rocket City' orange, darker eye mid 36"
'Ruffled Apricot' ruffled apricot mid 30"
'Russian Rhapsody' plum, yellow-green throat, small early-mid 32"
'Siloam Double Classic' bright pink, green throat, double early-mid 16"
'Siloam Ethel Smith' beige, red-yellow-olive eye mid 20"
'Siloam Pink Glow' chalky pink, rose eye, green throat mid 20"
'Siloam Tee Tiny' lavender, purple eye, green throat mid 20"
'Siloam Ury Winniford' cream, purple eye, small mid 26"
'Siloam Virginia Henson' pink, red eye, green throat, small early-mid 18"
'Sombrero Way' orange-apricot, darker throat mid-late 24"
'Stella de Oro' gold, the most popular cv. reblooms 16"

(cultivar photos courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden plantfinder)

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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