Daylily Flower 

TBay Area Daylily Buds
An American Hemerocallis Society Member Club

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When most people hear the word daylily, they probably think of the old fashioned orange "ditch lily," or the very common gold "Stella de Oro."   Unknown to most, daylilies come in a wide range of flower colors.  Daylilies have been hybridized to display more colors than any other group of plants grown in our gardens.  Varying shades of pink, red, yellow, purple, lavender, gold, and nearly everything between, can be found (if you look long enough).  The only colors yet to be produced are pure white and true blue.  Some very near whites are available on the market, but upon closer examination are actually very light pink or have a slight infusion of yellow.   The color blue has been elusive and is not yet represented in the daylily flower.  Many hybridizers have produced cultivars with blue hues in their flowers, but at this time no flower can claim to be true blue.   The goal of producing daylilies with blue flowers is a major goal in many hybridizing programs today.

The following are flower color variations that are recognized by the American Hemerocallis Society.

A flower that has all parts being the same color,
without variance. 


  Bitone flowers have petals that are of a different color or shade than the sepals.  A reverse bitone has flowers that have darker sepals than petals.


 The flower color is a blend that cannot be differentiated easily.



Diamond Dusting
Small shiny pigmentations in the flower that appear to glitter.

Diamond Dusting


Throat Color...

The throat color of daylilies varies greatly from green to yellow to orange or to no difference in color at all.  Green throats, oddly enough, provide a excellent aesthetically pleasing affect to the flower!

Yellow Throat with Green Base
(pictured below:  H. Amazon Parrot)

Green Throat
(pictured below::  H. 'Brookwood Wow')


Color Patterns...

Many daylily cultivars produce flowers that express beautiful and interesting patterns.  Patterns may be subtle or dramatic depending on the cultivar.  Some cultivars produce flowers with a single pattern, while others combine two or more patterns.  Some flowers have patterns only on their petals, others on sepals, yet others will show the pattern on both petals and sepals.


A variance in color (usually on the petals) that forms a subtle change in color, as if water has left a mark.



  An eye in a daylily flower is much like a watermark, but is distinctly darker-begins in throat and carries out onto petals (sometimes on to sepals). 
(pictured below: H. 'Janice Brown')

Daylily cultivars that have narrow darker colored eyezones that are interrupted by another color before meeting the throat are said to have a band of color.  Multiple bands are sometimes called layers.



Penciled Eyezone
Another type of banding is the penciled eyezone or etched eyezone.  Penciled eyezones are very narrow and appear as though a color pencil was used to draw it on the flower. 

Penciled Eye


Color Overlaying or Washing  
Cultivars that exhibit a color that appears to be brushed or washed on top of a another base color are called 'color overlayed.' 
(pictured: H. 'Matt')

Color Overlay

Colored midribs  
Cultivar flowers that exhibit a line of color that bisects the petals are known as midribs (these are usually white or cream in color).  

Colored Midrib

 Edges and Ruffling...

Modern daylily cultivars are continually being introduced with larger and more extravagant edges and ruffling.  The variation and refinement of these features is astounding and one can only imagine what future generations of hybrids will bring to gardeners in the areas of edges and ruffling!

Picottee Edge
Picottees are a band of color that follows the edge of the petals and sometimes the sepals.  A picottee will usually match the color of the eyezone on cultivars with these characteristics.  Few cultivars exist with picottees and no eye.

Picotee Edge

Wire Edge & Gold Edge
 A fine color band that may be found on the very edge of the flower segments-usually the petals is known as a wire edge.  Gold edges are quite common in tetraploid daylilies and may be wide bands on segment edges with varying degrees of ruffles.  Ruffled gold edges may take on forms of that have been given many creative names (chicken fat, bubbles, hooks, knobbies, teeth, spines, loops, crunchies, crinkles, crust and piecrust).  The many descriptors are slang that does seem to add identity and, perhaps, an entertaining quality to the flower edges of these daylilies.

Gold Edge

Ruffling refers to the varying degrees of contour the edges of a cultivar's flowers exhibit. Many forms of ruffling exist and many gardeners feel it adds a great deal of character or elegance to the appearance of the flower.

Ruffled Edge

Flower Textures...

Each cultivar has a distinct texture to the flower segments that can add aesthetic value and performance qualities.  Heavy substance (wax-like) flowers typically have a shiny appearance and often stand up to wind and rain better than other textures.  Creped flowers have a puckered or quilted look that usually withstand strong sunlight well.  Flowers that have thickened or raised areas within the flower are referred to as sculpted.  



Typically very thin textured, creped flowers perform well in hot sun, but are easily damaged by rain and wind.  Creping add a 'puffy' or inflated look to flowers.


2)  Sculpted : (may be considered a form)


Daylily Types...(for more information visit the AHS FAQ page)


Siloam Fine Art.JPG (137670 bytes)

Small Flower:

Brookwood Wow resc.JPG (20578 bytes)

Large Flower:

Large Flower

Unusual Form:

Spiders=segments of the flower are much longer than their width (at least a 4:1 ratio)



Double:  the type of doubling of petals is quite variable in daylilies, please refer to the AHS website for further information

Country Pride.JPG (140982 bytes)


Early blooming, Mid-season blooming, Late season blooming, and Very late Blooming



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