Common names: Day Lilies
Taxonomic name: Hemerocallis species
Uses: Food, decoration, sore throats, fluid retention, blood in urine
Area of origin: Eastern Asia
Warnings: Don’t confuse other Lilies with Day Lilies. Day Lilies aren’t true Lilies. True Lilies have toxic compounds in them. See below for identification tips.
Day Lilies are all members of the genus Hemerocallis. They all bear large, spectacular flowers that last only a day each. Fortunately, each plant bears quite a few flowers.
Besides their beauty and variety, Day Lilies have another thing going for them – you can eat them. Yes, every part is edible! Roots, leaves, flowers – the whole thing.
I will admit though that my favourite part is the stamen. They are long, crispy and kind of sweet. I just pinch one or two off every time I pass and crunch down on them happily.
Herbally, Day Lillies are useful for sore throats, laryngitis and fluid retention. Chinese medicine uses them further for jaundice, blood in the urine and faeces and a prolapsed rectum. They’re good for you from one end to the other!
It’s important to distinguish an edible Day Lily from a toxic Lily. Fortunately, its pretty easy to do so. Just check out these four points of identification on the plant that you have –
Of course, play it safe and if there is any doubt, don’t eat it!