Plants - Perennials

Falling for daylilies

Stephen Westcott-Gratton
Photography by
Shannon Hong (illustrations)

Brilliant new varieties for the late-season garden

Talking the talk
Before you rush out to purchase new late-blooming cultivars, arm yourself with a bit of daylily lingo about their blooms and how their foliage behaves.

Throat: located at the base of the petals; most of the newer cultivars have green throats

Self: refers to flowers where the petals and sepals are the same colour

Eye: the dark band on some daylilies at the juncture where the throat opens out into the exposed petals and sepals

Midrib: the stripe or large vein that divides petals into halves; may be prominent or hardly noticeable

Bitone: refers to blooms where petals and epals are the same colour but differ in ntensity or shading

Dormant: dies back to below the soil surface; new leaves are produced each spring. Traditionally thought to be hardier than evergreen types

Semi-evergreen: retains some of its outer leaves over winter, but the centre (or growing point) of the plant goes dormant

Evergreen: stays green under snow all winter. Although evergreen types have been planted more widely in warmer zones, many new cultivars, such as ‘September Heat’, have proven themselves to be fully hardy

Flower forms

Daylily blooms fall into five main categories depending on their shape. They can be star- or spider-shaped, triangular, circular or double.









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