What is a daylily?

The scientific name for daylily is Hemerocallis, most recently considered to belong in the plant family Hemerocallidaceae. Previously, many older works placed daylilies in the Lily family, Liliaceae. Notice that the preferred spelling is “daylily” as one word. Many dictionaries spell it as two words. The word Hemerocallis is derived from two Greek words meaning “beauty” and “day,” referring to the fact that each flower lasts only one day. To make up for this, there are many flower buds on each daylily flower stalk, and many stalks in each clump of plants, so, the flowering period of a clump is usually several weeks long. And, many cultivars have more than one flowering period.  

Why is the daylily the perfect perennial?

The daylily is sometimes referred to as the perfect perennial because it is:

  • Available in a rainbow of colors and a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • Able to survive with very little care in a wide range of climates.
  • Suitable for all types of landscapes.
  • Drought tolerant when necessary, with relatively few pest and disease problems in most gardens. See descriptions of pests and diseases that may be encountered .
  • Adaptable to various soil and light conditions.
  • Known to bloom from late spring until autumn.

Where did daylilies originate?

The genus Hemerocallis is native to Asia. Since the early 1930s, hybridizers in the United States and England have made great improvements in daylilies. Originally, the only colors were yellow, orange, and fulvous red. Today, we have colors ranging from near-whites, pastels, yellows, oranges, pinks, vivid reds, crimson, purple, nearly true-blue, and fabulous blends. Many people are familiar with only the common yellow or orange daylilies which are often seen along roadsides. These daylilies are cultivated forms of the wild types of daylilies which have “escaped” and are growing as if they are wild. All the modern daylilies have been developed through a complicated history of hybridization among these and other wild types.


Source: http://www.daylilies.org/AHSFAQsNew.html#whatis