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Daylily... best varieties for eating and where to get them

 
pioneer
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I am interested in adding daylily to my forest garden, and was wondering if there are species & varieties selected for improved edibility.

I am also looking for a reputable nursery/permie to source daylily from (I know they grow all over the US, but I'm not 100% sure how to identify).
 
pollinator
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The only one I believe is certainly edible is Hemerocallis fulva http://www.eattheweeds.com/daylily-just-cloning-around-2/

I just did a trade for some with Leila Hamaya.  She may have more that she'd be willing to trade or sell!
 
pollinator
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I have often eaten the flowers of run-of-the-mill orange species daylily that grow like weeds all over.

Not sure if other varieties might be bred for tubers.

Be careful, because they can take over aggressively and start popping up all over.
 
gardener
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Everything I've read says to only eat the wild orange variety. Other varieties of day lily have been crossed with species you can't be sure of and thus may not be healthy choices.
 
pollinator
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I am certain that I saw a post in Joseph Lofthouse’s garden thread about edible day lilies complete with a photo of him nibbling on some petals😘 if I find it, I’ll post the link
 
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I love eating daylily flowers. Haven't had any that I felt were poisonous.

 
pollinator
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I love eating daylily flowers. Haven't had any that I felt were poisonous.



It was my understanding that all Hemerocallis species are edible, but of the ones I've eaten the petals of, I like the wild orange "ditch lily" (Hemerocallis fulva) the best. To me, it tastes kind of like iceberg lettuce. Stella d'Oros and other of the prissier ones taste terrible. I did like classygroundcovers.com's White Triangle and Aztec Gold flavors. No ill effects from eating them in moderation.
 
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just saw this today, a daylily bred for flavor

https://oikostreecrops.com/products/perennial-vegetable-plants/edible-daylily/
 
pollinator
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the one used for food is the feral wild type also called the tawny daylily.

the others are good tasting too, but they are less prolific. i think one of the main reasons for sticking with the feral types is they are sooooooooo easy and sooooo prolific, they spread vigorously.
plant in any soil, dry wet clay sand, whatever they can hang with anything, produce a lot of food very quickly, thrive on neglect.

the pretty daylilies don't spread very fast, and are much slower growing. i grow some of those too, and occasionally eat them.

but yeah i do have many hundreds/ probably thousands of tawny daylily plants, if anyone is interested in a trade, i am down =)
 
Megan Palmer
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master gardener
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The standard orange daylily that spreads quickly is generally the triploid H. fulva 'Europa'.  I love eating it's young flower shoots when the largest flower bud is only about 1/2" long.  I just feel down the scape until I reach the point where it's starts to feel less tender and snap it off there.  Then I steam them as a nice vegetable.  I also eat the new spring leaf shoots if I ever accidentally snap them off.  I've tried the flowers and large buds from it, but they are kind of acrid in the back of my throat so I now avoid them.  I seem to like the flavor of the petals of purple daylily hybrids the most.  I've picked the young scapes from large tetraploid selections thinking "look at the size of those!", but the ones I've tried are not nice flavored like 'Europa'.  I've been meaning to try the petals of H. fulva 'Kwanso' to see if it doesn't have the acridness I get from 'Europa' petals, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
Here are pictures of 'Europa' and 'Kwanso' I found online:

https://garden.org/pics/2014-06-25/Lilydaydreamer/affb87.jpg
 
Diane Kistner
pollinator
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C. West wrote:just saw this today, a daylily bred for flavor

https://oikostreecrops.com/products/perennial-vegetable-plants/edible-daylily/



Yow...22 bucks for one daylily? Or is that a bundle? Anyone ordered this?

 
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The Flava Flavor daylily from Oikos is just a small bag with maybe a couple of plants.  I bought some many years ago and they are very fragrant but I have not thought to eat any yet.  I have eaten daylily flowers dried in the sun right after the blooms close and thought they tasted vaguely of mushrooms.  I guess fresh is best.
 
Diane Kistner
pollinator
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Jeff Painter wrote:The Flava Flavor daylily from Oikos is just a small bag with maybe a couple of plants.  I bought some many years ago and they are very fragrant but I have not thought to eat any yet.  I have eaten daylily flowers dried in the sun right after the blooms close and thought they tasted vaguely of mushrooms.  I guess fresh is best.



Good to know about the Oikos plants. Did yours multiply much over all this time?

I actually love the taste of mushrooms, so maybe I'll try dehydrating some of the buds this year.

 
Jeff Painter
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They have multiplied into a clump about 18 inches in diameter in the last 7 or 8 years.  I bought them mainly because of the fragrance and in hopes that having another variety in the garden would result in cross pollination.  Years later I still have not seen any seed pods develop on any daylilies so I will just have to learn how to pollinate by hand.
 
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J Webb wrote:I am interested in adding daylily to my forest garden, and was wondering if there are species & varieties selected for improved edibility.

I am also looking for a reputable nursery/permie to source daylily from (I know they grow all over the US, but I'm not 100% sure how to identify).



I use lily buds in cooking, I have never raised them myself, I buy dried at my local Asian Food Market. I use them mostly to flavor vegetable stock for soups and then I eat them in the soup. Your post made me curious about growing them and I did some research for myself, I want to share it with you and others who may be interested, see below.

All daylilies are edible and all parts of daylilies  (Hernerocallis spp., Hemerocallidaceae) are edible. I hope you know daylilies are not related to the true lily which is extremely poisonous.

Here are several links you may find helpful.
https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/download/39856/PDF  
http://www.michaelandjudystouffer.com/judy/organic/daylilies.htm
https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/how-to-sustainably-harvest-daylilies-zbcz1307
https://www.pbs.org/food/kitchen-vignettes/daylily-fritters-edible-flowers/

 
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