Jun 27th, 2014

Daylilies: Gifts of Love & A Great Reason to Seize the Day

by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

baby katydid

Look closely and see if you can find the baby katydid on the daylily!

Daylilies blooming pretty much everywhere  is a sure sign that summer is in full swing at the Garden. Thousands of cultivars of day lilies exist, and here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden we are lucky to have quite an extensive collection.

Day lily across from Bloemendaal House.

Day lily with an oak leaf hydrangea on the background.

Many of our daylilies or Hemerocallis  are located in Flagler Garden, which was was built back in 1993 with a focus on perennials, but we have them elsewhere in the Garden too. And the daylilies here have an interesting provenance.   Some came from Andre’ Viette and Viette’s Nurseries, known for their extensive daylily offerings and even a Daylily Food & Wine Festival in July (next held in 2015). Viette is a former board member at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and was friends with the Garden’s first director, Bob Hebb.

An unidentified daylily in Flagler Garden.


Others plants came from Richmond Area Daylily Society, and some were gifts from amateur hybridizers.  In fact, the Richmond Area Daylily Society continues to have an annual Daylily Show and Sale here at the Garden and continue to hybridize daylilies.  Because some of the Garden’s daylilies were gifts from amateur hybridizers we may not know exactly what cultivar they are. They may not actually be a named cultivar at all, but a sort of “love child”  created by a passionate daylily fan who wanted to create something new, mixing traits of two beloved blooms.  Personally, I think there’s an additional beauty and mystery to these very special unlabeled plants that were created with love and given in love.  While I’ve identified some of our daylily photos here, but you can be sure if a photo isn’t labeled or if there is not a tag by one of our daylilies in the Garden, now you know the reason.

dalylily spider

Look closely for the spider!

You may know, most daylily blooms last only one day, but each plant has lots of blooms, so come see ’em while you can! I can’t think of a better reason to seize the day, and take time to stop and truly enjoy the beauty of the Garden.  Scroll down to see more daylily photos!

lavendar frolic

Hemerocallis ‘Lavender Frolic’

Hemerocallis 'Carolina Cranberry'

Hemerocallis ‘Carolina Cranberry’

day lily explosion

An entire bed of sunshiny Hemerocallis.

day lily


dl green flutter

Hemerocallis ‘Green Flutter’

dl pink and blue

Pink day lily contrasting nicely with the blue sky.

day lily pink

Another shot of the pink day lily.

martagon lily

Martagon lily

Dl little carnation

Hemerocallis ‘Little Carnation’

Day lily 'plate of sunshine'

Hemerocallis ‘Plate of Sunshine’

 Hemerocallis 'Bela Lugosi'

Hemerocallis ‘Bela Lugosi’

Hemerocallis 'Ancient Trail'

Hemerocallis ‘Ancient Trail’

On another note a little bird told me that we’ll also be featuring daylily splits at our Fall Plant Sale this year. These will be the bare roots of daylilies, dug up just before the sale, so you can take a piece of the Garden home with you and enjoy daylilies in your own yard! This helps the Garden too, because it gives our daylilies more room to grow when they are thinned out. Want to learn more about day lilies? The American Hemerocallis Society has a great FAQ page that can answer many of your questions.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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