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 dumortieri esculenta (Koidz.) Kitam.
Hemerocallis dumortieri exaltata (Stout) Kitam.
Hemerocallis dumortieri var. middendorff (Trautv. & C.A.Mey.) Kitam.
Hemerocallis esculenta Koidz.
Hemerocallis exaltata Stout
Hemerocallis pedicellata Nakai
Hemerocallis middendorffii is a herbaceous perennial plant producing a cluster of stems 40 - 80cm tall from a rope-like, slightly fleshy rootstock.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens, where it can be used as a ground cover.
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 - Russian Far East, eastern China, Japan, Korea
Meadows in high mountains of N. Japan[
]. Forests, forest margins, meadows and wet grasslands; at elevations from near sea level to 2,000 metres in China[
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Succeeds in most soils[
], including dry ones, preferring 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 middendorffii is treated here as consisting of four varieties, some of which have previously been treated here as distinct species. These varieties are:-
Hemerocallis middendorffii esculenta (Koidz.) Ohwi. Native to central Japan (Honshu).
Hemerocallis middendorffii exaltata (Stout) M.Hotta. Found only on Tobishima and Sado Islands in Japan
Hemerocallis middendorffii longibracteata Z.T.Xiong. Native to northeast China (eastern Jilin).
Hemerocallis middendorffii middendorffii. Found over almost all of the entire range of the species.
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
Individual flowers are short-lived, but the plant produces a succession of blooms and also flowers again in late summer[
The plant has a fibrous root system that does not extend far[
Plants take a year or two to become established after being moved but then form large clumps[
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
The plants are very susceptible to slug and snail damage, the young growth in spring is especially at risk[
Leaves and young shoots - cooked[
]. They must be consumed when very young or else they become fibrous[
Flowers and flower buds - raw or cooked[
]. The flowers can be dried and used as a thickener in soups etc. The flower buds contain about 43mg vitamin C per 100g, 983 IU vitamin A and 3.1% protein[
The juice of the roots is an effective antidote in cases of arsenic poisoning[
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 45cm apart each way[
]. The dead leaves should be left on the ground in the winter to ensure effective cover[
]. (This report was for a plant labelled H. middendorfiana, which I have assumed is a mis-spelling of this species[
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.