|Flower of Hemerocallis fulva var. fulva|
Hemerocallis fulva, the 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), is a species of daylily native to Asia. It is very widely grown as an ornamental plant in temperate climates for its showy flowers and ease of cultivation. It is not a true lily in the genus Lilium, but gets its name from the superficial similarity of its flowers to Lilium and from the fact that each flower lasts only one day.
It is an herbaceous perennial plant growing from tuberous roots, with stems 40–150 cm (16–59 in) tall. The leaves are linear, 50–90 cm (20–35 in) long and 1–2.8 cm (0.39–1.10 in) broad. The flowers are 5–12 cm (2.0–4.7 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 (0.79–0.98 in) long and 1.2–1.5 cm (0.47–0.59 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 var. fulva has escaped from cultivation across much of the United States and parts of Canada and has become a weedy or invasive species. It persists also where dumped and spreads more or less rapidly by vegetative increase into woods and fields and along roadsides and ditches, hence its common name ditch lily. It forms dense stands that exclude native vegetation, and is often mistaken for a native species.
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, they grow well in full sun to open shade, drought tolerant, and winter hardy to UDSA Zone 4.
The flowers, leaves, and tubers of the orange daylily are edible. Leaves and shoots can be eaten raw or cooked when very young (or they become too fibrous). The flowers and young tubers can also be eaten raw or cooked. The flowers can be dried and used as a thickener in soup. The cooked flower buds, served with butter, taste like green beans or wax beans.
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