Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Garden Stalwart

The daylily is one of the all-time hardiest landscape plants and with 60,000 registered cultivars, there's sure to be one that pleases you. This perennial puts up multiple blooms on individual stalks, each of which opens at sunrise and lasts only that one day. They come in many colors, some ruffled, some plain, some large and some small, most unscented. How useful they are in bouquets is debatable, but as a border plant, where you want a burst of color, they're worth giving a try. Along the coast in Southern California, "Judith" is a good choice. It has a nice orange color, not too brassy, is easily divided and establishes itself readily in even relatively poor soil. Snails are attracted to the foliage, but seem to ignore the flowers.

In Asian markets, some daylily flowers, known as golden needles, are sold for use in cooking hot and sour soup and moo shu pork. However, not all day lilies are edible, so best to purchase from someone who knows which ones are.

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