Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Datlily, Hemerocallis

 Hemerocallis cultivars, Daylily hybrids (Hemerocallidaceae)
It's Daylily week with lots coming into flower right now. I grow a very small selection of the hundreds available. They are reliable perennials and are fairly easy care. I like the fact that you can cut them off at ground level and they regrow with fresh leaves in a very short space of time. This is a useful tidy up thing to do if you are growing them in pots as the foliage can be susceptible to damage by thrips which causes it to develop silver markings and by rust which shows up as small rusty spots all along the leaves, both problems leaving the plant a bit tired looking. Cutting off spent flower stems and regular doses of liquid fertilizer ensure healthy plants overall.
Hemerocallis species are native to eastern Asia and have been grown in Chinese gardens for centuries where they are used as both a food and in traditional medicine. As a vegetable they are known as Huanghuacai or yellow flower vegetable or as Jinzhencai, golden needle vegetable. The orange daylily, H. fulva, is known as the Xuan Plant ,Xuancao, or 'forgetting sadness herb'. They are also favoured by women who are hoping for the conception of sons over daughters.

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