Plant Profile



 The humble border Daylily should be coming into bloom now, but perhaps it isn't as humble as you first thought?

In America dedicated breeders have produced a great deal of new and exciting varieties. The Daylily has been through an enormous transformation and is now available in a range of colours from the deepest reds and purples all the way through yellow and pinks to nearly pure white. About the only colour you can't get is blue, but breeders are bound to be working on it and there are some good blue tinted lavenders available. As well as singles there are now double flowered varieties and blooms can be over 8" across. The size of the plants is also now very varied from big tall 4 footers to dainty 12" high plants that are ideal for pots and containers on the patio. Many varieties flower perpetually all summer long and a lot are evergreen so you still have foliage in winter. The one word for daylillies is diversity - there is a place for one variety or another in any garden and if you're into collecting plants, you'd better watch out, they're addictive!

The American plantsmen caught on to the charms of this plant some years ago and today it now rivals the popularity of the rose in their gardens. They are also very popular in Australia and NewZealand, South Africa and much of Europe. This in itself is a tribute to the plant and its adaptability to a variety of climates. They're as tough as old boots! Daylilies can be grown in almost any position except deep shade, on any reasonable garden soil as long as they are not waterlogged, having said this they look great beside ponds.

With all these factors in their favour it is hardly surprising that there are countless breeders trying to improve upon this already beautiful flower and that the very newest varieties change hands for several hundred dollars each in the states. Obviously, this price is a little out of average gardeners' league, but prices in this country are still pretty high for many of the new varieties, due to their scarcity. 40 each or more is not uncommon however, but some of the slightly older varieties, which have been available for five or ten years, are more reasonably priced.

2000 Chris Bonnett - Gardening Express