Plants belonging to the Hemerocallis genus are especially appreciated for the extraordinary shapes and colors of flowers with fleeting, ephemeral beauty; in fact the name hemerocallis (of Greek origin) means "beauty of a day", an expression that refers precisely to the short duration of hemerocallis flowers.
The Hemerocallis plants are perennial herbaceous, with tuberous root, originating in Asia and Europe; the enlarged root system constitutes, at ground level, a large fleshy crown, from which numerous very ribbon-like leaves emerge, similar to large stems of grass, arched, 40-70 cm long, which constitute large clumps; from June to July until the autumnal colds between the leaves develop some erect, fleshy, rigid stems, 70-100 cm high, which carry numerous buds, which bloom in succession; every single flower lasts only one day, but each plant produces numerous floral stems, each of which bears many flowers, hence the flowering of the flowers hemerocallis lasts weeks.
THE flowers they are made up of six broad petals, slightly fleshy, rolled outwards, of triangular shape; there are flowers with slightly different shapes, decidedly triangular, or rounded, in the shape of a funnel. The botanical species have yellow, orange and red flowers.
However, the diffusion of these plants as garden essences and cut flowers has led to the production of many hybrids, with the most disparate colors: generally they have a yellow or green throat, the color of the petals instead can be the most varied, from white up to the very dark purple, almost black; then there are many varieties with more colors, with a contrasting edge or with streaks of two or three colors. The species are numerous, some evergreen, others with deciduous leaves.
General characteristics of Hemerocallis
The genus hemerocallis, native to central Europe and temperate regions of Asia, has few species (about 30), but a high number of varieties: today there are more than 3500. Several varieties have been created in Japan where the plant It is very widespread, and endless cultivars are the result of hybridization processes carried out by nurserymen.
The hemerocallis is a perennial herbaceous plant consisting of a rhizome from which the roots and long leaves branch off. The rhizome stores enough resources, which allow the plant to withstand even long periods of drought.
The green leaves, ribbon-like, can be persistent or semi-persistent depending on the variety. Some more recent varieties, for example the "Golden Zebra", have deciduous foliage with streaks that make the plant even more beautiful.
THE flowers emerocallide have a funnel shape, which makes them very similar to lilies, with an extraordinary variety of petals: single or double petals, with a wavy edge, like the “Curley Ripples”, or the curved edge, like the “Big Bird ".
The colors of the flowers are equally varied: from white to pink, from orange to brown, from yellow to garnet red: the only color absent so far seems to be blue. Some varieties are two-colored, for example the “Wineberry Candy” with an intense pink color with fuchsia internal shades and the center of the yellow flower.
Although the duration of the flowers is short, their quantity is considerable, and the flowering period is quite long: some varieties bloom the whole summer and others until the first cold ones arrive, for example the "Golden Star". Some varieties are scented, such as "Agape Love", "Ben Arthur Davis" or "Citrina", with a delicious lemon aroma.
Hemerocallis in a nutshell
|Type of plant||Ornamental|
|Foliage||Caduco, persistent or semi-persistent (depending on the variety)|
|Use||In planters, flower beds, borders or rock gardens|
|Height at maturity||From 50 to 100 cm|
|Diseases and pests||Shreds, aphids, rust, red spider|
|Temperature||Resistant to heat and cold (even at temperatures below 00).|
How to cultivate hemerocallis
Cultivating the hemerocallide is very easy, so even the inexperienced can try it: they will undoubtedly be rewarded by the beautiful flowers of a plant that does not require special care, is very resistant and withstands very different climatic conditions and soils.
The planting should preferably take place in autumn or spring. Prepare the soil by adding compost to the normal soil to facilitate growth.
If you plant the hemerocallis in the open ground, place the varieties of larger plants at a distance of about 70 cm from each other, while for the dwarf ones 30-40 cm may suffice. Place the rhizomes 3-4 cm from the surface of the soil. In the coldest places, during the winter perform a mulch of straw or dry leaves, to protect the roots from frost.
If the hemerocallis is cultivated in pots, it is necessary to periodically proceed with repotting when the plant has developed a lot. Do not move the plant once the position has been chosen, since hemerocallis does not like changes.
The hemerocallis generally prefers a lot of light and sun, but for some varieties, which are satisfied even for a few hours of light, the half-shade positions are advisable, since the direct sun, especially in the hot season, could damage the flowers and leaves.
To obtain an abundant flowering it is necessary that the Hemerocallis enjoy at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily, preferring the morning sun, especially during the hottest seasons. Some species are very resistant to cold, while others are delicate and not very rustic. Before placing an emerocallis in the ground, it is good to ascertain its rusticity, otherwise it is advisable to place the tubers in large containers, to be repaired in a cold greenhouse during the winter.
In addition to being used to embellish gardens, hemerocallis also lend themselves to pot cultivation. If you want to keep them on a balcony or a terrace, you need to plant them in very large containers, at least 30 cm deep. For cultivation on a balcony or terrace, it is advisable to choose the varieties that do not reach considerable dimensions, for example the "Golden Star" (25-40 cm in height).
Hemerocallis is resistant to both high and low temperatures, even below 0 °.
The cultivation of hemerocallis
|Exposure||Sun or partial shade|
|Ground||Rich in humus, light, draining|
|Cleaning / Pruning||Elimination of stems and withered leaves|
|Composting||In the flowering period: every 2-3 weeks|
|Multiplication||Division of the heads|
The hemerocallis calendar
Spring or autumn
|Flowering||June-July (depending on the variety)|
As for the terrain, hemerocallis is not very demanding. The soil may be the one generally used for the garden, rich in humus and light but draining. For the planting, add to the compost soil, and add sand, if the soil is clayey.
For better flowering, a fertilizer can be used every 2-3 weeks.
The multiplication of this genus of plants generally occurs by division of the tufts, in spring or autumn.
By division of the tufts
The division of the tufts can be carried out when the plant has reached a considerable size and has become sufficiently robust. The division will make it possible to reduce the tufts that have grown too much and to rejuvenate the older plants. Perform the operation in autumn (if in winter there is no risk of frost) or in spring, with a well sharpened tool in order to have clean cuts that do not expose the plant to diseases.
Cut a portion of a head by dividing the individual plants together with the roots to facilitate rooting, and being careful not to damage them. Pick the most vigorous tufts and place them to root directly in the ground or in pots. After the planting watered copiously for a short period. After engraftment, the hemerocallis does not require any further treatment.
Pests and diseases
They can be attacked by aphids, cochineal, mites and rust; conditions of poor drainage or excessively abundant watering can favor the development of collar rot. If you notice the presence of parasites it is good to promptly intervene with the use of specific insecticide products.
The hemerocallide is resistant to pests and diseases so it does not need any treatment. However, it can be attacked by slugs, aphids, rust and red spider.
The dimensions of the hemerocallis plant vary according to the cultivar: some can even reach 1 meter in height, while other dwarf varieties measure only about 30 cm. Therefore, the use of the plant is also different depending on the size: the dwarf varieties lend themselves to papering paths and gardens, the highest species are used in rock gardens, under trees to enrich the garden with a touch of color, or in flower beds to serve as background to other flowers.
The larger varieties - which reach one meter in height - can in fact be planted close to other flowering plants to create wonderful ornamental compositions. The colorful flowers of the hemerocallis blend very well with the plants belonging to the genus of ornamental grasses or the yarrow. A successful mating is hemerocallis-rose: the rich foliage of the emerocallis will make roses more valuable. The hemerocallis can also furnish a part of the garden placed near a small course of water since the plant resists humidity.
There are thousands of hemerocallis cultivars and hybrids, with different sizes and flowers with more unusual shapes and colors.
Golden Star, dwarf variety with golden yellow flowers characterized by a very long flowering period. The golden yellow flowers create a pleasant contrast with the green leaves. It can be used in borders or rock gardens, but also in planters on balconies and terraces thanks to its small size (25-40 cm).
White Temptation, with large pale yellow flowers, almost white. It enjoys sun exposure and resists cold, even at temperatures below zero. Deciduous foliage.
citrine: variety that can exceed 80 cm, with long and thin leaves, with numerous pale yellow flowers and a delicate lemon scent. It flowers in June-July.
Minor, a variety native to Asia, reaches 50 cm in height, with yellow flowers that bloom in the May-June period and very thin leaves. In China, hemerocallis flowers are a traditional food
Prairie Blue Eyes, a hemerocallis with really unique colors: lavender blue petals and pale yellow throat. Plant up to 70 cm tall that blooms from June to August.
Little business, rather small plant (about 40 cm), suitable for cultivation in pots. Velvety geranium red flowers with a yellow-green throat.
Jolyene Nichole, beautiful and very delicate flowers. The deep pink color and the petals with curled edges make this variety one of the most appreciated. These flowers are so beautiful they look fake. Although their duration is short, the long flowering period and the numerous buds of the plant will ensure you splendid flowers from the end of spring to the entire summer. Despite its delicate appearance, the plant is as resistant as all those belonging to the Hemerocallis genus.
It is not necessary to provide a real pruning and you can limit yourself to eliminate the withered or damaged floral stems. In autumn, cut the leaves to stimulate a more vigorous vegetative growth in spring. If there is a danger of frost, it is advisable to perform the cutting operation in spring.
Hemerocallis - Hemerocallis: Curiosity
All parts of the hemerocallis are edible, so they are also used in cooking, for example in Japan, the shoots are eaten fried and the flower petals appear in salads.
The genus Hemerocallis belongs to the Liliaceae family and comes from the Far East, in particular from China and