Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are a well-loved flower that may be discovered nearly wherever – they’re as more likely to flip up in a roadside ditch (even incomes the title ditch lily) as in a perennial backyard – and whereas some folks deal with them as weeds, they’re principally revered for his or her straightforward, no-nonsense magnificence. However it’s arduous to imagine that this ubiquitous plant isn’t in any respect native to North America, and even Europe! So the place do the old school daylilies come from and the way did they turn out to be so widespread?
Origin of Daylilies
Daylilies are a well-traveled plant which have managed to hitch a trip midway all over the world by charming gardeners with their vivid flowers and hardy structure. The old school orange flowers are native to east Asia, the place they’ve been cultivated for millennia. In actual fact, they’ve lengthy been fashionable with the Chinese language for his or her edible and medicinal properties. Within the 16th century, they gained the hearts of European merchants, who carried them house and made them a mainstay of their very own gardens.
With the European colonization of North America, the vegetation made one other large transfer west, the place they have been a best choice in colonial gardens for his or her low upkeep, straightforward rising nature and chilly hardiness (The colonists have been too busy making an attempt to outlive the winters to spend plenty of time on flower gardens). Then earlier than you would say “invasive species,” the vegetation escaped their fenced-in houses and unfold all through the countryside.
Fashionable Daylily Plant Historical past
Regardless of being round for years, daylilies weren’t cultivated a lot in any respect in America till the 20th century, and it was all thanks to at least one man. Dr. Arlow Burdette Stout, a botanist in New York, grew to become fascinated with the flowers. He spearheaded an enormous breeding program and is liable for no less than 100 new varieties.
In 1934, he printed Daylilies, the definitive e book on the topic. He is named the “father of the trendy daylily.” At the moment, there’s a thriving American Daylily Society, in motion since 1946, and there are over 80,000 registered cultivars. So exit and plant some daylilies and assist these stunning, hardy vacationers.