Daylily nutrient values are not well documented. Below are a couple of values that were found. One might expect variation in these values depending on species or variety of daylily as well as age of the harvested material.

Early Gold Hemerocallis 5 fans for $17.50

 Most of the Nutritive values of Daylilies seems to be from this publication by the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) Chapter 6 FAO Plant Nutritive Values

 Protein and Vitamin Content of Daylily Buds (from Erhardt: Daylilies 1992)

 Daylily buds

Vitamin C : 43 mg/100g

Vitamin A : 983 IU

Protein % : 3.1

 Green Beans

Vitamin C : 19 mg/100g

Vitamin A : 630 IU

Protein % : 2.2

 It's assumed that this refers to dried flowers of Hemerocallis fulva. 

 Day Lily (per 100g) Hemerocallis fulva

Calories 42

Protein 2g

Fat .4g

Calcium 87mg

Phosphorus 176mg

Iron 1.2mg

Sodium 24mg

Potassium 170mg

Vitamin A 3,000 I.U.

Thiamin .16mg

Riboflavin .21mg

Niacin .8mg

Vitamin C 88mg




Use of Daylily as Food and in Medicine by Shiu-Ying Hu American Horticultural Society Magazine 1968


 Dark Scaped daylilies add a whole new dimension to the flower garden. Well before the daylilies bloom the dark scapes and buds produce a stunning show. Later when in bloom the dark saturated color of the stems contrasts nicely with the flowers. The pigmentation need exposure to sunlight to develop and as such the scapes may start out green before turning dark.

Below are a number of dark scaped cultivars growing here at Olallie Daylily Gardens. Most were developed here on the farm.




4-9-01 is part of the EB series developed in the mid 90's. 4-9-01 produces clear yellow blooms in mid June. Rebloom was observed in 2016 at Olallie daylily gardens, as well as reported by one customer in 2016 as well.


Some species of daylilies (Hemerocallis) have pigmentation in the scapes and/or bracts and buds. Many cultivars also exhibit some pigmentation in the scapes and buds as well. However few cultivars have completely pigmented scapes. One classic is Sir Blackstem.

H. middendorfii 'Japan Hybrid' red bract


Most of the pigmented scape types have growing here at Olallie Daylily gardens have been derived from Hem. dumortieri and other red bracted early cultivars such as Hem. middendorfii Japan Hybrid red bract.




17-08 is distinctive because of the height of the scapes and the intense pigmentation of the stems. 



1-09: This red flowered red bracted cultivar is of somewhat mysterious origins although the short bracts indicate that it has Hem middendorfii in it. The red is not as clear as one would like but the red scapes coupled with the red flowers are quite eye-catching.


The red pigmentation of 1-09 is quite strong and  is even exhibited in the spent blossoms.


From Darkness Comes Light (Huben)

Developoed by M Huben, From Darkness Comes Light is a mid season (July) bloomer with creamy yellow blooms. The scapes are not as dark as the Olallie pigmented types, but they are quite showy and contrast nicely with the pale blooms.

This article is a partial quoting of Dr Hu's article in the American Horticulture's Daylily Handbook 1968. Mostly the most pertinent parts of the article have been quoted. The text is transcribed verbatim.

The complete scan of the article Daylilies as Food


Use of Daylily as Food and in Medicine by Shiu-Ying Hu American Horticultural Society Magazine 1968


 “The daylily is one of the most valuable herbaceous perennials introduced from China to American gardens for their attractive foliage, conspicuous and colorful flowers, exquisite and graceful form, superior ability to compete with weeds and to withstand drought, and for their complete cheerfulness in the face of neglect. In the use of dallies, the American people have only adopted and amplified one of the varied merits of the species discovered by the ancient Chinese, e.g. its ornamental merit. The economic and medicinal merits of the species known to the people of eastern Asia, from Korea to Vietnam, is practically unknown to the American public…

Fields of Daylilies grown for flower harvest in Taiwan


 Cultivation and Preparation for Market



Although daylily flowers are used extensively as an article of food and the crown and root are used as medicine in China, daylilies are not as abundant in China as in the United States. The wild species in China are found in isolated clumps among grass and herbs on the slopes of mountainous areas in western, central and northern China where the land sparsely populated. Daylilies do not occur in large patches as one may see them along the highways in eastern United States (Fig. 1). Actually in China, daylilies are rarely found around ordinary houses. They are planted as a minor crop for ready cash and are placed along the edges of fields or vegetable gardens where the land is to steep or too dry for major crops. It is only in temple grounds, or the backyards of poets and artists, or around the castles of government officers, that daylilies are planted as ornamentals.

Preparation of flowers for market

Although the mature flower buds are delectable, the thrifty Chinese flowers wife seldom prepares a daylily dish for her own table. They are a cash crop and must be sold to augment the family income. Because of the highly perishable nature, the daylily flowers are carefully dried ion the farm. Fresh flowers are not seen  in the market. The dried product appears brownish yellow, wrinkled and twisted and is frequently covered with whitish mould or bloom. It is amusing to note here that many city folk who use the dried flower buds have no idea the common daylily is the source of Chin-chen s’ai which they esteem so highly at the table. Among my non-botanical Chinese friends in America, I have not found one who does not respond in delightful surprise when told that the daylily flowers buds are the source of Chin-chen-ts’ai. Perhaps this is the reason for the large importation of dried flowers from Hong Kong to meet the particular demand of the Chinese Americans particularly the restauranteurs.

In preparing daylilies for the market the farmers pick mature flower-bud early in the morning, just at the time when the flowers begin to open. These buds are brought home and steamed immediately. Then they are spread one by one on a mat and dried in the sun. Experienced field botanists all know the principle of killing plant cells of fleshy specimens, flowers or fruits by application of sudden heat or chemical. Such treatment, hastens the drying process and keeps better color in the dried flowers.

Preparation of the roots for medicine.

The ancient Chinese observed the concentration of material and the hibernation of life in the underground portion of the daylilies, and in their battle with hunger and disease they not only learned the use of daylily flowers for food, but they also discovered the value of the crown and root for the conservation of health. To this end the crown and roots are trimmed off the plant in the Autumn or early Spring before the leaves appear. These are dried in the sun and used as medicine.












The marketing of dried daylily flower buds in China and in world trade is noteworthy. In rural China collectors may carry two willow or bamboo baskets at the ends of long poles on their shoulders and travel from village to village to collect small object of farm products…

Marketing the crown and root for medicinal purposes

Marketing of the daylily for medicinal uses is limited to inhabitants of cities, for in rural China the people live on the good earth. The underground part of the daylily, like any other medicinal plant is collected as the need arises and is used fresh…


 Food and Medicinal Value


 Medicinal Value

The use of the underground part of daylilies for medicine is not limited to the people of China. The practice has been adopted by all Asians who have assimilated the Chinese culture, from Korea to Vietnam. In my article ‘Medicinal Plants of Chengdu Herbshops’ published in 1945, I noted :

“ The spindle-shaped thickened fibrous root of the plant, about 8 cm long and 1.5 cm. Thick is boiled with port. The preparation is administered to promote the formation of blood cells, to give strength, to relieve a feverish condition and to cure toothache.”

Numerous ancient Chinese herbals, for example Li Shin-chen’s Pens-ts-ao-kang-mu (Chinese Materica Medica) published in 1590, recorded that daylily underground parts are used for the reduction of temperature (anti febrile), the easing of pain (anodyne), and a diuretic. It is prescribed for dysuria (urinary infection) ,lithiasis, dropsy, gonorrhea, jaundice, piles and tumor of the breast…


Food Value

 The dried daylily has been a delight to the Chinese gourmet. Modern science has proved  this gustatory and nutritional choice completely sound. Chemical analysis of the dried flower buds shows that 11.42 percent of dried weight is protein, 3.3% minerals, 2.27 percent fats, and 8.48 % crude fibers. The content Vitamins A and B is also high. Evidently in daylilies one finds a high protein, non-fattening food rich in both minerals and vitamins. It is very likely that fresh material contains a higher vitamin value, but it seems that the dried form has better flavor…"

 footnote: Dr George Darrow was good friends with Dr Hu and she named a daylily species she discovered after him H. darrowiana. 

Hemerocallis hakuensis (gold, left, 36") and Hemerocallis citrina thunbergii (yellow, right, 70")


The Hemerocallis species are of interest to people who wish to know more about the history and development of the daylily. Many species have unique characteristics and an understated natural beauty that lends themselves to centerpiece plantings, cottage gardens and more.

One mostly overlooked aspect of daylilies, including the species are their culinary, nutritive and medicinal value. Daylilies have been used for centuries as a source of food and medicine. Almost all if not all part of the daylily can be eaten. There is some indication of adverse effects of the leaves in some people, primarily severe diarrhea but it may be related to quantity, age or preparation of the leaves. There is no indication that daylilies (Hemerocallis) are poisonous in any way.

Hemerocallis species have some issues as to true identification. The various species interbreed very easily and can produce offspring which are similar to the parents but with differences in bloomtime, shape and color. The daylilies described on these pages are our best guess as to species types. Some of the species originated from Dr. George Darrow, others were acquired from additional sources. We are constantly looking for new species or new sources for some of the same species in order to verify the true identity of the species.

There are some species which we can't grow here in Vermont as they are evergreen and do not survive the winter. Other species such as H. sempervirens and H. lilioasphodelus are slow increasers but survive the winters just fine.

There is also a daylily species named after Dr George Darrow. its is called Hemerocallis darrowiana. It has never been grown in cultivation and is only found on the Sakhalin Island which is north of Japan.

This link will tell you a little more about this daylily H. darrowiana



For further information, a good source of original information is A.B. Stout's book, Daylilies, originally published in 1934, it was reprinted in 1986, by J.M Dent and Sons, London. A more up to date reference is The New Daylily Handbook An updated anthology based on the classic 1968 Am. Hort.Soc. Daylily Handbook republished by the Am Daylily Soc. in 2002.


Hemerocallis sp. in its native habitat in Japan. Coexsisting with various other herbaceous plants on presumably what is a seaside meadow. It is not clear which species this is though.

Hemerocallis (hem-er-o-kal-lis), the botanical name for daylily means in Greek ''beautiful for a day'. Each flower only opens for one day. After it is spent, it is succeeded by the next day's blossom. Established clumps bloom vigorously for weeks and weeks.

 Hemerocallis citrina (right) next to a large Tetraploid hybrid cultivar.Note the different characteristics between the two types.


The daylily is a monocot related to Orchids, Hostas and Grasses. Daylilies were originally thought to be in the the Lily family (Liliaceae) but are now placed in their own family Hemerocallidaceae. and are in the genus Hemerocallis . Daylily species were originally found in Manchuria, Mongolia, Northern India as well as throughout China, Japan and Korea. In their natural habitat daylilies are found in swamps, seashore meadows, forests edges and on mountains up to 10,000 feet.

While there was some hybridizing of daylilies in the early 1900's however it wasn't until the 1930's when Dr. A.B. Stout ( New York Botanical Garden link to A B Stouts's archives) began to working with daylilies, hybridizing and identifying the species that they really took off. Dr Stout did extensive breeding work and developed dozens of hybrids. Since then daylilies have become nearly as popular as roses. They are collected, grown and hybridized by people around the world.

It is amazing to think that from approximately 20 species of daylilies over 65,000 varieties of daylily hybrids have been developed. While the colors of most species are orange, yellow or rarely pinkish there are now daylily hybrids in shades of red, purple, near white and more! With so many daylily varieties to choose from why would one want to grow daylily species?

Besides the historical interest of growing a species there are many traits that makes a species desirable. First and foremost in our opinion is the simple natural lines and form that species exhibit. The trumpet or simple star shapes of the blooms, the graceful narrow foliage and the loose growth habit of many of the species is delightful and fits into most landscaping designs. Secondly as plants that have evolved over millions of years they contain potential adaptability that may not be present some of the more modern cultivars. Finally from a breeding standpoint the species may contain genetic material that
could produce new yet undiscovered traits.

The daylily species listed below are arranged by bloom time here in Vermont


Hemerocallis minor


Usually the earliest daylilies to bloom. This yellow daylily has scapes only 10-12 long, 3" star shaped blooms and low grass-like foliage. Hem. minor seems to have a relatively short bloom time as well lasting only about 2-3 weeks.
Hemerocallis minor: A photo from Dr A Stout, note the grass-like foliage
Hemerocallis minor foliage: Notice the small short bracted scapes. 

Hemerocallis dumortieri

Hemerocallis dumortieri is frequently one of the first daylilies to bloom here in Vermont. We have also noticed that this is one of the most fragrant daylilies, surpassing Hem. lilioasphodelus. Vigorous and exteremly hardy this species blooms early and well for us regardless of the winter and spring conditions. The red backed sepals add the the attractiveness of this plant. Foliage is blue-green and noticeably spikey.

Hemerocallis dumortieri: star shaped golden yellow blooms 4" across are produced on 26" scapes.


The red buds of Hem. dumortieri are distinctive. There is the potential for heavily pigmented scapes in Hem. dumortieri hybrids
Pigmented hybrid link
Hemerocallis dumortieri has distinctive spikey blue-green foliage. This is clear in this image
of a large stand stand growing in May, here in Vermont

Hemerocallis middendorfii
Hemerocallis middendorfii is particularly notable for it's fast increase and strong bloom early in the seaon. blooming reliably en masse, with flat golden blooms  in early June here in Vermont. Foliage is a plain green.
A profuse bloomer, H. middendorfii puts on a splashy show in June.
Somewhat less spikey and distinctively spring green coloration. 
Wavy edged squat bracts are very characteristic of H. middendorfii.
 These illustrations from the Am. Hort. Soc. show both growth habit and the characteristic short bract.
 Amazingly adaptable and a vigorous competitor, we have it growing in semi-shady spots with ferns.

Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus
The so-called Lemon Lily this daylily species is also quite early although consistently blooming after Hemerocallis dumortieri and Hemerocallis middendorfii. The color is a clear lemon yellow and has a distinct fragrance. Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus has a somewhat stoloniferous spreading habit but is a slow grower here in Vermont. One of the first daylilies introduced into the U. S., it is sometimes found near old abandoned cellar holes, a testament to daylily's longevity.
Less clumping than the other early blooming Hemerocallis species, the foliage is blue-green and spikey.Hem lilioasphodelus is not particularly vigorous and so creates loose clumps.  seems to prefer a damper location as well.
Interestingly the Am Hort Soc illustration seems to indicate a more clumping plant than we have seen here at Olallie Daylily Gardens.
Hemerocallis flava 'Major is supposedly a larger type of Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus. Blooms are larger with more substance.
H. flava 'Major' has larger denser foliage that grows into clumps with no spreading habit. No real noticeable fragrance either.

 Hemerocallis fulva

Commonly known as the Orange Roadside Lily, the Ditch Lily or even Tiger lily is probably the best known daylily in the U.S. if not the world. With an aggressive spreading habit and tall showy orange blooms, it never fails to make an impression. This daylily is frequently considered a weed, but planted in the right location, this plant can outcompete other weeds and/or act as an erosion control.

H. fulva was the first daylily to be imported into Europe and then America from China.


An Am. Hort Soc. illustration clearly showing the running habit of Hemerocallis fulva.


A complex mix of orange, red and yellow, the color combination is actually quite stunning. The color carries for a long way



 Hemerocallis fulva 'Kwanso" is a spreading variant with double blossoms. The spreading habit is the same, but the bloom time is a little later. The extra petals, made up of the sepals can make for a frilly show!


Below is the rarer variegated version of "Kwanso'. Sometimes the new shoots of a variegated clump's leaves can revert to all green and so the all green shoots must be removed in order to retain a variegated stand, as the variegated fans are less vigorous that the all green fans.




Hemerocallis fulva hybrids 

Oddly the majority of Hemerocallis fulva found worldwide (I believe) is a sterile clone. As a Triploid it is not self compatible. Rarely a seed pod is produced through a series of unusual and rare events. Dr A Stout, through persistence was able to produce some H. fulva hybrids. These hybrids are much like H. fulva in coloration, bloomtime and growth habit, but none have the spreading rhizomatous habit.

Linda: A pale version of a H. fulva hybrid. This cultivar is a very vigorous grower, much like H. fulva.


Baghdad, a more subdued orange-red mix.


An unknown H. fulva hybrid type of unknown origin growing here at Olallie Daylily Gardens, this hybrid does have a spreading habit.


 Hemerocallis hakuensis


Hemerocallis hakuensis begins blooming in early July here in Vermont. H. hakuensis produces numerous orange-yellow trumpet-shaped blooms. Good growth and high seed set are characteristic of this species. H. hakuensis can produce up to 35 buds per scape and blooms well into August.


Large clumps of open heavily branched scapes are characteristic of the H. hakuensis we grow here at Olallie Daylily Gardens


Vibrant green clean dense growing foliage is characteristic of H. hakuensis.



Hemerocallis altissima


Hemerocallis altissima like most of the Hemerocallis citrina complex is tall and vigorous and seems to be very disease resistant.  Hemerocallis altissima produces lemon yellow blooms on scapes up to 5-6 feet tall. The H. altissima pictured here was originally from Dr George Darrow. 


Hemerocallis altissima scapes are extremely straight, with upward facing blooms. The spent scapes can be quite persistent as is evidenced by this photo which shows last years scapes, amongst currently blooming scapes.


The foliage of Hemerocallis altissima is a pleasing deep green.


Hemerocallis citrina

Also called the Citron lily has a lemony scent and is nocturnal. Flowers open late in the day and remain open through midday the next day. Trumpet shape,lemon yellow spider-like blooms are typical of H. citrina. Here H. citrina blooms along with Geranium 'Johnson's Blue", July 8, 2007.


Vigorously growing, with immaculate foliage.  H. citrina types can grow quite tall.



Masses of late opening fragrant blooms appear in July and August.


H. citrina roots are unusual as they mostly seem to lack the bulbous roots that the H. fulva types and other species exhibit.


 Hemerocallis citrina vespertina


A large Tetraploid daylily on the left, Hemerocallis hakuensis (36")in the middle and Hemerocallis citrina vespertina (72")


Hemerocallis citrina vespertina is an a variant of H. citrina and depending on the taxonomy is a subspecies or a seperate species. Extremely tall with wide branching it makes a wonderful show and has huge breeding potential. Hemerocallis citrina vespertina blooms from mid July into the end of August.


Extremely tall, up to and even over 6 feet. (182 cm) with heavy branching and high bud counts, H citrina vespertina produces a masses of blooms over a long time period (July-August here in Vermont)


Pale lemon yellow trumpet shaped blooms 


The foliage of Hemerocallis citrina vespertina like all the citrina types is spikey, and blue green in coloration. The dead foliage is surprisingly resilient, as is evidenced by this image.




 Hemerocallis citrina thunbergii



Hemerocallis citrina thunbergii, appears virtually identical to H. citrina thunbergii but blooms about 2 weeks later and thus into September.  A vigorous grower as are all the H. citrina types this cultivar also has lots of hybridizing potential.


Hem. citrina thunbergii blooming late in August.



Hemerocallis multiflora




Hemerocallis multiflora produces and unbelievable number of buds, upwards of between 40-80 buds per scape are possible. Hemerocallis multiflora with tiny 2.5-3" blooms will bloom well into September here in Vermont. The foliage is upright much like the H. citrina types.

Hemerocallis multiflora is typically described as having orange colored blooms. This variant is more yellow and came from Dr George Darrow.



Photographed from below, the enormous number of buds is evident. Buds are quite small as are the seed pods. The seeds are unusually small as well.



Multiple branches are characteristic too it seems. 




Hemerocallis sempervirens


Hemerocallis sempervirensis a particularly late blooming species, beginning in mid to late August here in Vermont. The coloration and spreading habit seem to indicate a relation to Hem. fulva.

 Hemerocallis sempervirens does not grow very vigorously in Vermont. But has survived the winter with no problem.



Hemerocallis sempervirens foliage exhibits a somewhat loose spreading habit but doesn't increase as quickly and aggresively as H. fulva. 




Seedpods are distinctly oblong.

Hemerocallis coreana




 Hemerocallis coreana is a relatively new acquisition. H. coreana does not seem to be a very vigorous grower or bloomer here in Vermont.


Miscellaneous Hemerocallis hybrids growing at Olallie Daylily Gardens

These are hybrids that are known to be closely related or appear to be species types. Most were developed here or came from Dr G Darrow others are from other sources


 Hemerocallis citrina X Hemerocallis hakuensis (Halinar)

This cross was obtained from J Halinar (CA).  This hybrid of Hem. citrina and Hem. hakuensis exhibits some of the characteristics of both species, the lemon yellow color of H. citrina and the trumpt shape of H. hakuensis.


Tetrina's Daughter

A Tetraploid derivation of H. citrina  with many of the characteristics of H. citrina.