Daylily/ HemoracillisCrystal Calhoun
What is it? The Daylily is a beautiful plant most recognized for its blooming orange/yellow
/reddish flowers. The color varies depending on the variety. There are many uses for the flowers, shoots, and leaves; as well as being a beautiful garden ornament. In fact, the species name, Hemoracillis, comes from the Greek words hemera which means “day” and kalos which translates into “beautiful”.
Where to find it? This flower can be seen growing in fields, roadsides, and any sunny place where there is water and plenty of minerals. The Daylily grows all over Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and many other states such as Ohio and states surrounding. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to find the Daylily growing wild in places such as California.
What to eat? There are many things you can eat off of the Daylily. The leaves and young shoots can be consumed, as well as the leaves, flowers, petals, flower buds, and even the tubers. In fact, this plant has many healthy attributes. The dried flowers are rich in vitamin A, 0.9% ash, 25% fat, 9.3% protein, and 60% carbohydrate! However it is warned to not eat too many of the leaves as large amounts have been reported to be hallucinogenic.
When to find it? This plant can be found from spring to late fall, but if your yearning for the flowers, early summer is the best time to start looking for them. Still, if you’re willing to do some hard research, then you can start looking early in spring for the young tubers, shoots, and leaves which have said to be much tastier than the older leaves.
What does it look like? The daylily is easy to spot once it starts flowering, but the leaves are a deep green and grass-like, growing out from one stem. The stem is thick and long. The roots grow in clumps nearby the parent plant. The flower can be several different colors depending on the species. Some names to research for identification is the Tawny Daylily (native to Oklahoma), the Red Magic Daylily (native to Texas), and Yellow Daylilies (native to Rhode Island). The flowers grow in clumps the top of the stalk, and usually have six petals. They only last about a day, then wilt during the night, but the next morning a new flowers might pop up, making it seem as if the flowers are constant.
How to enjoy it? Because of its edibility, there are many things you can do. The leaves and young shoots can be cooked or steamed like asparagus and is said to be a delicious sweet and nutty tasting vegetable. The flowers can be eaten fresh or cooked, or even dried and used to thicken soups. If you are interested in drying them, then don’t bother for the freshest flowers, pick the wilted and use the fresh for something different. The tubers can be eaten raw and added to salads or cooked. Young tubers are preferred.