ALL PURPOSE DAYLILIES
For centuries daylilies have been a source of food for
people in the Orient. Chinese food shops throughout North
America sell dried daylily blossoms. All parts of the daylily
are edible. The new roots, the shoots from the crown, the buds
and the blossoms are all used in Chinese cooking. If one accepts
the daylily as a vegetable, the beauty of the plant can be
complemented by its nutritional value. The buds of daylilies
provide more vitamin C than either asparagus or string beans,
while, also, boasting a much higher percentage of protein than
either of these two well known western vegetables.
In the Orient daylilies have been considered a source for
medicines. The roots of daylilies have long been believed to own
pain killing properties. They have been used to treat a range of
illnesses in the East, including jaundice, fevers and some tumors.
As Eastern natural medicines gain closer study in the West, the
daylily may one day be valued and grown for its pharmacological
In the American Far West swaths of daylilies for mile after
mile have been planted across some Californian hills as
firebreaks. Since daylilies consist mostly of water and can
suffer benign neglect in terms of maintenance, they are ideal
for use in this novel way.
So the daylily is not just "a pretty face" but a plant with
many uses, some, perhaps, yet to be discovered. Yet introduction
to its wide scope of applications in the garden, the place where
it earns the greatest admiration, can only bring joy to those
not fully acquainted with its horticultural virtues.