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Hemerocallis_fulva - L.

Common Name Common Day Lily, Orange daylily, Tawny Daylily, Double Daylily
Family Hemerocallidaceae
USDA hardiness 3-10
Known Hazards Large quantities of the leaves are said to be hallucinogenic[127, 137]. Blanching the leaves removes this hallucinatory component[205]. (This report does not make clear what it means by blanching, it could be excluding light from the growing shoots or immersing in boiling water[K].)
Habitats Common and widespread in the wild[205], probably as an escape from cultivation.
Range Of uncertain origin. A garden escape in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Hemerocallis_fulva Common Day Lily, Orange daylily, Tawny Daylily,  Double Daylily

(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Hemerocallis_fulva Common Day Lily, Orange daylily, Tawny Daylily,  Double Daylily
(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future


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Bloom Color: Orange, Red. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Hemerocallis_fulva is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.



Edible Uses

Leaves and young shoots - cooked[85, 116, 179, 183]. An asparagus or celery substitute. An excellent sweet tasting vegetable[179, K], though some caution is recommended[127, 137]. The leaves need to be eaten whilst still very young since they quickly become fibrous[K]. Flowers - raw or cooked[62, 100]. The petals are thick and crunchy, making very pleasant eating raw, with a nice sweetness at the base because of the nectar[K]. The flowers can also be dried and used as a thickener in soups etc[62, 183]. In this case, they are picked when somewhat withered and closed[85]. A rich source of iron[218]. Flower buds - raw or cooked[62, 100, 105, 116]. A pea-like flavour[85]. Can be dried and used as a relish[178]. The dried flower contains about 9.3% protein. 25% fat!?, 60% carbohydrate (rich in sugar), 0.9% ash. It is rich in vitamin A[179]. Tubers - raw or cooked[183]. A nutty flavour[62]. Young tubers are best, though the central portion of older tubers is also good[85].

Medicinal Uses

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Diuretic, febrifuge, laxative (mild)[62, 178, 205]. The flowers are anodyne, antiemetic, antispasmodic, depurative, febrifuge and sedative[218]. In China they are used as an anodyne for women in childbirth[240]. An extract of the flowers is used as a blood purifier[240]. The rhizome has shown antimicrobial acivity, it is also tuberculostatic and has an action against the parasitic worms that cause filariasis[279]. It is used in Korea to treat oppilation, jaundice, constipation and pneumonia[279]. The juice of the roots is an effective antidote in cases of arsenic poisoning[205]. The root also has a folk history of use in the treatment of cancer - extracts from the roots have shown antitumour activity[218]. A tea made from the boiled roots is used as a diuretic[205, 218].

Other Uses

The tough dried foliage is plaited into cord and used for making footwear[205]. Plants form a spreading clump and are suitable for ground cover when spaced about 90cm apart each way[208]. The dead leaves should be left on the ground in the winter to ensure effective cover[208]. The cultivar 'Kwanso Flore Pleno' has been especially mentioned[208].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Erosion control, Ground cover, Massing. Succeeds in most soils[1], including dry ones, though it prefers a rich moist soil[111] and a sunny position but tolerating partial shade[88, 111]. Plants flower less freely in a shady position though the flowers can last longer in such a position[205]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in short grass if the soil is moist[1]. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7[200]. This species is hardy to about -20°c[187]. Plants take a year or two to become established after being moved[200]. The roots have spindle-shaped swellings and spread freely, the plant can become invasive[205]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is cultivated in China and Japan for its edible flowers and leaves, there are many named varieties[200]. Individual flowers are short-lived, opening in the morning and withering in the evening. The plant, however, produces a succession of flowers over a period of about 6 weeks[205]. The sterile cultivar 'Kwanzo' has double flowers, it has been especially mentioned for these flowers which are said to be crunchy with a nutty aftertaste[137]. 'Flore Pleno' is another form with double-flowers that have a delicious taste[K]. The sterile cultivar 'Europa' is very vigorous, with long stolons, and each piece of root is capable of growing into a new plant[205]. This cultivar, which is the form usually supplied from nurseries, succeeds in lawns and has even been known to grow through tarmac[205]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Many forms of this plant are sterile triploids, probably of garden origin, and do not set seed[205]. The pollen, however, is fertile and can be used to fertilize other plants[205]. The plants are very susceptible to slug and snail damage, the young growth in spring is especially at risk[200]. Special Features: Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.


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Seed - sow in the middle of spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring[K]. Division in spring or after flowering in late summer or autumn[200]. Division is very quick and easy, succeeding at almost any time of the year[K]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Hemerocallis fulvaCommon Day Lily, Orange daylily, Tawny Daylily, Double Daylily52
Hemerocallis fulva longituba 41


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Readers comment

José Waizel   Wed May 18 23:40:17 2005

it's elaborate cochicine

Link: 53. Snyder, AL. 1997. Table of other Anticancer botanicals. In internet cyberbotanica

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