How to Sustainably Harvest and Eat Delicious Daylilies


| 7/10/2013 3:38:00 PM


Tags: wild food foraging, edible flowers, Leda Meredith,

I love a plant that is beautiful, provides several different tasty ingredients, and is easy to harvest in ways that allow the plant to replenish. Daylily is one of those plants.

Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) is originally native to Asia. It was brought over to North America as an ornamental and has naturalized along roadsides and other sunny or partially sunny areas. The orange, or tawny daylily is the most common one to find growing wild, and that’s lucky for foragers because it is also the tastiest.

Daylily is not related to the lilies that are common in florists’ shops. Although they have similar flowers, those lilies at the florist's are Lilium species with lots of short, spiky leaves all the way up the flower stalks. Hemerocallis (daylily) flower stalks are leafless, and the main, strap-like leaves are up to two feet long and grow from the base of the plant.

Daylily Plants Provide Four Excellent Edible Parts

In early spring, harvest the shoots when they first emerge and are completely tender. That's usually when they are less than eight inches tall. Slice the plants off just above the soil level (they will regenerate from the roots). Chop them up and use them in stir-fries or pasta.

Daylily Shoots Are Edible




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