Herbs & Plants

Hemerocallis fulva

Botanical Name: Hemerocallis fulva
Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Hemerocallidoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Genus: Hemerocallis
Species: H. fulva

*Hemerocallis crocea Lam.
*Gloriosa luxurians Lour. ex B.A.Gomes (syn. of H. fulva var. fulva)

Common Names: Orange day-lily, Tawny daylily, Corn lily, Tiger daylily, Fulvous daylily or Ditch lily (also Railroad daylily, Roadside daylily, Outhouse lily, and Wash-house lily)

Habitat: Hemerocallis fulva is native to Asia from the Caucasus east through the Himalaya through China, Japan, and Korea. Orange daylily persists where planted, making them a very good garden plant. It is common and widespread in the wild, probably as an escape from cultivation.

Hemerocallis fulva is an herbaceous perennial plant growing from tuberous roots, with stems 40–150 cm (16–59 in) tall. The leaves are linear, .5–1.5 m (1 ft 8 in–4 ft 11 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (1?2–1 1?4 in) broad. The flowers are 5–12 cm (2–4 3?4 in) across, orange-red, with a pale central line on each tepal; they are produced from early summer through late autumn on scapes of ten through twenty flowers, with the individual flowers’ opening successively, each one’s lasting only one day. Its fruit is a three-valved capsule 2–2.5 cm (3?4–1 in) long and 1.2–1.5 cm (1?2–5?8 in) broad which splits open at maturity and releases seeds.

Both diploid and triploid forms occur in the wild, but most cultivated plants are triploids which rarely produce seeds and primarily reproduce vegetatively by stolons. At least four botanical varieties are recognized, including the typical triploid var. fulva, the diploid, long-flowered var. angustifolia (syn.: var. longituba), the triploid var. Flore Pleno, which has petaloid stamens, and the evergreen var. aurantiaca.


Hemerocallis fulva has been cultivated in Europe and naturalized there since at least the 16th century. A few cultivated varieties exist which are grown as ornamental plants. Their propagation is by division since most plants in cultivation are sterile triploids.

They are long lived perennials that are adaptable to varied garden conditions and vigorous growers doing well in even difficult areas where other plants do not thrive. The plants grow well in full sun to open shade, and are drought tolerant. H. fulva is winter hardy to UDSA Zone 4.

Edible Uses:
Leaves and young shoots – cooked. An asparagus or celery substitute. An excellent sweet tasting vegetable, though some caution is recommended. The leaves need to be eaten whilst still very young since they quickly become fibrous. Flowers – raw or cooked. The petals are thick and crunchy, making very pleasant eating raw, with a nice sweetness at the base because of the nectar. The flowers can also be dried and used as a thickener in soups etc. In this case, they are picked when somewhat withered and closed. A rich source of iron. Flower buds – raw or cooked. A pea-like flavour. Can be dried and used as a relish. The dried flower contains about 9.3% protein. 25% fat!?, 60% carbohydrate (rich in sugar), 0.9% ash. It is rich in vitamin A. Tubers – raw or cooked. A nutty flavour. Young tubers are best, though the central portion of older tubers is also good.

Medicinal Uses:
Diuretic, febrifuge, laxative (mild). The flowers are anodyne, antiemetic, antispasmodic, depurative, febrifuge and sedative[218]. In China they are used as an anodyne for women in childbirth. An extract of the flowers is used as a blood purifier. The rhizome has shown antimicrobial acivity, it is also tuberculostatic and has an action against the parasitic worms that cause filariasis. It is used in Korea to treat oppilation, jaundice, constipation and pneumonia. The juice of the roots is an effective antidote in cases of arsenic poisoning. The root also has a folk history of use in the treatment of cancer – extracts from the roots have shown antitumour activity. A tea made from the boiled roots is used as a diuretic.

Other Uses:
The tough dried foliage is plaited into cord and used for making footwear. Plants form a spreading clump and are suitable for ground cover when spaced about 90cm apart each way. The dead leaves should be left on the ground in the winter to ensure effective cover. The cultivar ‘Kwanso Flore Pleno’ has been especially mentioned.

Known Hazards: Large quantities of the leaves are said to be hallucinogenic. Blanching the leaves removes this hallucinatory component. (This report does not make clear what it means by blanching, it could be excluding light from the growing shoots or immersing in boiling water.)

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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