Each showy, six-petaled daylily flower opens, matures, and withers within 24 hours. Orange, yellow, cream, peach, lavender, and wine-red are the daylily's main colors. There are over 30,000 named varieties in many heights (one to five feet) and flower sizes. These perennials have fleshy roots topped with clumps of curving, sword-shaped leaves that can grow up to two feet long. After the foliage develops, the tall, straight, branched stalks appear, bearing numerous flower buds. The flowers on a single stalk open a few at a time for a period of several weeks.
How to grow: Daylilies prefer good, well-drained garden soil in full sun and can grow whether soil is wet or dry. These plants benefit from partial shade in the South. Fertilize plants when new growth begins. Divide plants and refresh the soil with compost every few years. Protect plants from deer.
Propagation: By division in spring or fall, sometimes from seed.
Uses: By mixing varieties, you can have a succession of bloom from spring to late fall. Use daylilies as ground cover on banks and in flower borders. Everbloomers are good container plants.
Related varieties: Stella D'Oro has golden blooms on one-foot stems and is everblooming; Catherine Woodberry has pale, orchid-pink flowers on 30-inch stems; Hyperion is a fragrant yellow lily blooming midseason on 42-inch stems.
Scientific name: Hemerocallis species