Day Lily

Scientific name: Hemerocallis fulva
Abundance: common
What: leaves, flowers, flower pods, tubers
How: young leaves-raw or cooked; flowers/pods raw or cooked; tubers-cooked
Where: sunny areas, often in flower beds but have escaped
When: summer
Nutritional Value: calories, minerals, vitamins B & C
Dangers: The original species (Hemerocallis fulva) of day lilies is considered edible but due to extensive experimental breeding toxic forms of day lilies have been created. It is safest to only eat day lilies that you can confirm are Hemerocallis fulva at the time of purchase (it should say the species name somewhere on the sales tag).

Leaf Arrangement: Leaves are basal, growing directly from the base of the plant in a fan-like arrangement.

Leaf Shape: Leaves are long and linear, typically 18 to 24 inches in length and 1 to 1.5 inches wide.

Leaf Venation: The venation is parallel, running the length of the leaf.

Leaf Margin: Margins are entire, with smooth edges.

Leaf Color: A bright to deep green, often with a slightly glossy appearance.

Flower Structure: Flowers are large, funnel-shaped, and borne on tall, erect scapes.

Flower Color: The blooms are typically orange, with variations ranging from yellow to red.

Fruit: Produces a capsule containing black seeds.

Seed: The seeds are black and glossy, enclosed within the capsule.

Stem: The flowering stem, or scape, is long, round, and hollow, rising above the foliage.

Hairs: There are no significant hairs on the leaves or scapes.

Height: The foliage remains close to the ground, while the scapes can reach about 3 feet tall.

Day Lily flowers and flower pods.

Day Lily

Root tubers.
Day Lily Tubers

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The flowers add a colorful splash to salads while the unopened flower buds are best battered then fried...but then everything is good battered then fried. Roast the tubers.

Buy my book! Outdoor Adventure Guides Foraging covers 70 of North America's tastiest and easy to find wild edibles shown with the same big pictures as here on the Foraging Texas website.

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