Daylily - Hemerocallis



Daylilies are used both fresh and dried in popular Asian cuisines. The whole plant of daylily is edible and possesses a rich ethnobotanical history in Asia.

  • Plant Family: Asphodelaceae
  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Day Lily
  • Medicinal: No
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flowers & Early Shoots
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About Daylily

The daylily is a perfect flowering perennial that hails from the genus Hemerocallis. Gardening folks love to grow it for its vibrant flowers that attract a vast array of pollinators to the garden. Around 15 or so original species of daylily are found in Orient and Central Europe with approximate semi and evergreen 35,000 hybrid species and around 80,000 registered cultivars all around the globe. 

Daylily flowers blossom for just one day and wither during the night, only to be replaced by a new one the following morning. Remarkably, some of its species are night-bloomers, opening in the late afternoon and continuing to stay open until the morning arrives. They are not true lilies but their flowers are reminiscent of their shape. Its leaves emerge from the crown while the flowers grow from the scapes (leafless stem). A mature plant can have 4 to 6 scapes, each scape bearing 12-15 buds that rise above the foliage during its blooming phase. 

Daylilies are used both fresh and dried in popular Asian cuisines. The whole plant of daylily is edible and possesses a rich ethnobotanical history in Asia. Its roots are employed to treat bladder infections, jaundice, breast abscesses, constipation, piles, spasms, nausea and vomiting, and gonorrhea.


Daylilies can be planted at any time of the year but early spring and early fall are hailed as the best time for their plantation. You can start them indoors or outdoors, depending on your feasibility. It requires moist, well-drained, loose loamy soil along with the added goodness of organic compost, wood chips, rotten leaves, or old manure. 

Daylilies should be planted in a spot that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sun exposure. If you are planting dar-colored cultivars, make sure they receive some afternoon for preserving their highly-prized color. Water them well to keep the soil moist.

Daylily seeds take 1-2 weeks to germinate and take about a year or so to get established and hit their stride. Their blooming phase, although short, is an event to behold that occurs from March to April in the South and May or sometimes June in the North. 

Various pollinators, such as butterflies, flies, hummingbirds, and bees, come to the garden and pollinate the daylilies so that they can carry on with the process of seed production. These seeds can be saved to be sown again to start a new daylily plant. 


In early spring, daylily shoots can be harvested whereas its seeds can be collected when they turn jet black from brown. As for the roots, harvest them anytime between late fall and early spring.

Daylily shoots and flowers can be harvested with gardening scissors and roots can be dug up by loosening the soil around using shovels.

It is recommended to use the daylilies fresh. Its tubers should be wrapped in a wet paper towel to keep them moist for a few hours until the site of the plantation is prepared for them. 



Daylilies are used to treat various bodily disorders. They are added to a good load of medicinal preparations to attain their benefits.

  • Tea - Take a fresh daylily flower and steep it in hot boiling water for 10-15 minutes to enjoy daylily tea.
  • Decoction - Fresh roots of orange daylilies are decocted for 2 to 4 hours to form a diuretic decoction.
  • Syrup - Simmer fresh daylily buds in a sugar solution for a few minutes and save it to make some funky cocktail.