Hemerocallis fulva is a variable species that has, at times, been treated as several distinct species. We are following the treatment in the 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families' which treats it as one species comprised of seven varieties. See below for the list of varieties.
Hemerocallis is a very difficult genus taxonomically, with no overall concensus amongst botanists as to how many distinct species there are and the delineation between them. The genus as a whole needs a comprehensive revision. We are trying to follow the most recent thinking for each species, though it is inevitable that a number of species we have included in the genus will have to be amended as and when a comprehensive new treatment is published.
Hemerocallis sendaica Ohwi
Hemerocallis flava Suter
Hemerocallis maculata (Baroni) Nakai
Hemerocallis picta W.Bull
Gloriosa luxurians Lour. ex B.A.Gomes
Hemerocallis littorea Makino
Hemerocallis longituba Miq.
Hemerocallis sempervirens Araki
Common Name: Common Day Lily
Hemerocallis fulva is a usually herbaceous perennial plant, though some forms remain evergreen in winter. Growing from fleshy roots with a swollen tuberous part near the tip, and rhizomes up to 30cm long, the plant forms a clump of leafy stems that can range from 40 - 90cm tall and flowering stems up to 150cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for use as a food, medicine and source of materials. The flowers and young shoots are a popular food in parts of eastern Asia and the plant is sometimes cultivated, both as a food crop and an ornamental. The flowers and the young shoots in spring are often sold in local markets[
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[
E. Asia - southeast China, Japan, Korea
Forests, thickets, grasslands, streamsides; at elevations from 300 - 2,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
This species is hardy to about -20°c[
Succeeds in most soils[
], including dry ones, though it prefers a rich moist soil[
] and a sunny position but tolerating partial shade[
]. Plants flower less freely in a shady position though the flowers can last longer in such a position[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in short grass if the soil is moist[
]. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7[
Hemerocallis fulva is treated here as consisting of seven varieties, some of which have previously been treated here as distinct species. These varieties are:-
Hemerocallis fulva angustifolia Baker, Long cultivated, this form is not known in the wild in China.
Hemerocallis fulva aurantiaca (Baker) M.Hotta. Native to southern Japan, this form is usually evergreen. See separate entry for more details.
Hemerocallis fulva fulva. This includes the double-flowered form 'Kwanso'
Hemerocallis fulva littorea (Makino) M.Hotta. Native to southern Japan and Korea, A usually evergreen form growing in rocky places near the sea..
Hemerocallis fulva longituba (Miq.) Maxim. Native to central and southern Japan, growing in moist grassland.
Hemerocallis fulva pauciflora M.Hotta & M.Matsuoka. Native to central Japan
Hemerocallis fulva sempervirens (Araki) M.Hotta. Native to southern Japan and Taiwan, this form is usually evergreen.
A very ornamental plant[
], it is cultivated in China and Japan for its edible flowers and leaves, there are many named varieties[
Individual flowers are short-lived, opening in the morning and withering in the evening of the same day. The plant, however, produces a succession of flowers over a period of about 6 weeks[
The sterile cultivar 'Kwanzo' has double flowers, it has been especially mentioned for these flowers which are said to be crunchy with a nutty aftertaste[
'Flore Pleno' is another form with double-flowers that have a delicious taste[
The sterile cultivar 'Europa' is very vigorous, with long stolons, and each piece of root is capable of growing into a new plant[
]. This cultivar, which is the form usually supplied from nurseries, succeeds in lawns and has even been known to grow through tarmac[
Plants take a year or two to become established after being moved[
]. The roots have spindle-shaped swellings and spread freely, the plant can become invasive[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
]. Many forms of this plant are sterile triploids, probably of garden origin, and do not set seed[
]. The pollen, however, is fertile and can be used to fertilize other plants[
The plants are very susceptible to slug and snail damage, the young growth in spring is especially at risk[
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[
Diuretic, febrifuge, laxative (mild)[
The flowers are anodyne, antiemetic, antispasmodic, depurative, febrifuge and sedative[
]. 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[
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[
The tough dried foliage is plaited into cord and used for making footwear[
Seed - sow in the middle of spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring[
Division in spring or after flowering in late summer or autumn[
]. Division is very quick and easy, succeeding at almost any time of the year[
]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.