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(36,825 posts)
Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:52 PM Nov 2012

The common daylily

"As for edibility….. Young spring shoots and leaves under five inches taste similar to mild onions when fried in butter. They are also a mild pain killer and in large quantities are hallucinogenic. The leaves quickly become fibrous so they can only be eaten young (but you can make cordage out of the older leaves.) The flower buds, a rich source of iron, are distinguished from the plant’s non-edible fruits by their internal layering. The blossoms are edible as well, raw or cooked (as are seeds if you find any.) The dried flower contains about 9.3% protein, 25% fat, 60% carbohydrate, 0.9% ash. It is rich in vitamin A. The closed flower buds and edible pods are good raw in salads or boiled, stir-fried or steamed with other vegetables. The blossoms add sweetness to soups and vegetable dishes and can be stuffed like squash blossoms. Half and fully opened blossoms can be dipped in a light batter and fried tempura style (which by the way was a Portuguese way of cooking introduced to Japan.) Dried daylily petals are an ingredient in many Chinese and Japanese recipes (they usually use H. graminea). Nearly any time of year the nutty, crisp roots can be harvested, but they are best in the fall. They can be eaten raw or cooked. You want to harvest new, white tubers. Older brown ones are inedible.

And now for the warnings to keep the lawyers happy: While daylilies are listed in virtually every foraging book as edible as I said earlier, don’t presume any daylily other than the original is edible. Many are, but don’t assume so. Have it proven. Some people also have severe allergic reactions to them. In fact, some people can eat them for years with no problem then suddenly develop an allergy. Also, don’t go overboard with any part of the plant or you’ll be creating a lot of personal fertilizer. They are nature’s laxative. Incidentally, they are toxic to cats, including the plant’s pollen."


It's been my experience that daylilies are a very hardy perennial that, once established, require very little care. Some here may consider planting daylilies along a border of their garden, not just for ornamental value but for food also.

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(9,992 posts)
1. We have lots of day lilies around here and enjoy the flower petals in salads.
Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:45 AM
Nov 2012

Had no idea the rest of the plant was edible and so healthy too!


(36,825 posts)
2. Until very recently, I didn't know any part of the common daylily was edible.
Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:12 AM
Nov 2012

I could get all the daylilies I want for free and as I sit here at the kitchen table and think about where to put them, there are several spots. Nice thing about daylilies is that they are perennials and once they are established, they will produce year after year after year and they require little care.

Latest Discussions»Culture Forums»Gardening»The common daylily