Daylilies are easy-to-grow perennials
Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp. and hybrids) are some of the easiest perennials you can grow. But if you think they’re overused and passé, think again! With thousands of varieties (and counting), there’s bound to be a tantalizing option or two. You can find a rainbow of colors, many with unique flower forms, and even ones that are really tall or super small.
Daylilies are perfect for novice gardeners and green thumbs alike and grow well in any well-drained soil. And if you want, you can have some flowering from late spring through fall by choosing early, mid- and late-season bloomers, as well as rebloomers. I hope these beautiful varieties will inspire you to seek out some unusual, unique daylilies for a full sun to part shade spot in your garden.
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Anatomy of a daylily
A typical daylily flower has six segments. Only the top three segments are actually petals. The second layer is considered sepals. This will help you better understand some of the definitions outlined in “Daylily terms” below. The endless characteristics of a daylily are like the cuts of a diamond — lots of beautiful parts make one shining plant.
Check out the images above for reference to some of the daylily terms we have outlined below.
Daylily flower forms
- Single daylily Three petals and three sepals
- Double daylily More than one whorl of petals and sepals or peonylike outgrowth (See photo A above)
- Spider petals Petals that are much longer than they are wide
- Polymerous More than the normal number of segments in each floral whorl (See photo B above)
- Unusual form Distinctive petal or sepal shapes, affecting the form of the flower in a unique way
Daylily color markings
- Band A coloring that does not show on the sepals
- Bicolor Petals are a different and darker color than the sepals
- Bitone Petals are a darker shade than the sepals
- Blend Petals and sepals are two or more colors
- Diamond dusting The flower reflects light as if it is sparkling
- Dotted/dusted The surface color is unevenly distributed over the background color
- Edged/picoteed The edges of the flower segments are a different color
- Eye A coloring that is on both the petals and the sepals, and is darker
than the rest of the segments (See photo C above)
- Eyezone Zone of color above the throat
- Halo An eye that is very narrow or indistinct and shows on both the
petals and sepals
- Midrib The center vein that runs through each petal and sepal; it can
be a different color
- Polychrome Petals and sepals have intermingling of three or more colors
- Self Petals and sepals are all the same color
- Tipped The tips of the flower are a different color
- Watermark An eye that is a lighter color than everything else on the
segment (See photo D above)
Where to find unique daylilies
You can find unusual daylilies locally, but for those really out-of-the-ordinary ones, try the mail-order sources below. Take a look at “Anatomy of a daylily” above to familiarize yourself with some of the terms you’ll see when you’re choosing cultivars.