Celebrating the Orange Daylily

'Afternoon Glow' photo by Elizabeth (Betty) Moore

Over the years, I have both loved and at times cursed the tenacious orange daylilies growing in my garden. From the early morning sun lighting up each bloom to their fiery glow at sunset, the daylilies charm everyone who sees them.

I thought about writing a lively story highlighting the characteristics of these flowers. So I scoured the net looking for something nice to say about the common orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva), also known as ditch lilies or tiger lilies.

I found these interesting facts. "Introduced to the ornamental trade from Asia in the late 19th century, the common daylily has since been cultivated endlessly due to its hardiness and its beauty. Multiplying wildly not by seed but through their fibrous roots and rhizomes, the orange daylilies are extremely invasive and hard to kill once established."

Let me take an ah ha moment!

I am not alone with this love/hate feeling for these flowers. I have photographed them and painted them. I have also spent many long hours digging up the plants, mowing them with the lawnmower, taking a weed trimmer to knock them down and filling way too many dumpsters with their spent foilage at the end of the season.

Yet year after year, they spring forth to bloom gloriously in June. Each thin stalk, or scape, has several flowers that bloom for one day only. Bees and butterflies ignore them. But for several weeks, my garden is awash in dazzling orange as the blooms sway in the breeze like ballerinas on point. And then they are gone. And the cleanup begins again. Sigh.

Please visit "Botanical" at stlouisphotos.com and use the Augmented Reality (AR) tool to see how these daylilies would look on one of your walls. Drop me a note if you have any questions or suggestions. In the meantime, I'm plotting new strategies on how to come to terms with the daylilies.

Elizabeth (Betty) Moore