Daylilies on anyone's menu?

The daylily has become a staple in landscapes and there are over 80,000 named cultivated varieties per the American hemerocallis society (daylily society)…but have you ever tried
the buds blooms or root tubers for dinner?

I have, and at least ocasionally pick an unopened blossom and just eat it as I do chores in the yard.

Anyone have any allergies or reactions or anything? I’ve read good things mostly but here and there someone says they shouldn’t be etaten.

Everybody recognizes this plant unless they live on a remote island or in an igloo I think.

Daylily for dinner anyone?


I’ve tried the unopened flower buds raw and they have a pretty nice texture and flavor. Never tried any other part but apparently the whole plant is edible. A clear distinction needs to be drawn between daylillies and other types of Lillies which are poisonous.


This is a pretty good book for plants commonly grown for ornamental purposes but are also edible


How far along to eat an unopened flower bud? Completely green like a bean or nearly the color of the blossom just before or a couple of days prior to opening?

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The dried daylily buds (aka “golden needles”) are a common ingredient in several chinese foods including Hot & Sour Soup and Mu Shu Pork. I have used them in both these dishes, from a purchased source.

What makes me a little reluctant to harvest my own is that I have seen some opinions on the internet that only the original wild type is known to be completely safe to consume, unlike the hybrids, especially the non-triploids.

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They are definitely on the deer menu around here… no flowers for several years in my yard because they were all munched. Well I got one flower this year because one plant happened to be behind a deer fence.


We used to add daylilies to the mesclun that we sell at farmers market. We stopped when my wife discovered that daylilies wilt more quickly than the greens and other flowers in the mix. They still go into the flower salads we eat at home.


I regularly snack on Day Lily petals when I find them and no one is looking. They are very tasty and refreshing. Never had a problem with toxicity.

On another topic, I just learned that my friend regularly chews on sugary Hackberry fruits (Chinese Hackberry I believe).


Really? I’ve heard the opposite. That the native one might be potentially toxic?

Try 'em all…even open petals.

I prefer about 36 hours before opening…as the nectar is there to make it taste better than a tiny bud.


I got these from my neighbor last year when they were tearing out their yard and threw them in my bee enclosure. Are these day lillies?

Not positive from the pix…but I don’t believe you have ‘daylily’ there. Pretty lily though.

By the way, they’re called ‘daylily’ because they bloom for one day (only)…one day per blossom.
A few do make the exception and bloom at night. (Nocturnal instead of diurnal).

Those are Asiatic lilys.


I’ve found that the lighter colored daylilies tend to taste better. (my kids agree with me on this).



Asiatic lilies…and definitely poisonous.

This is the most comprehensive article I have found about daylily toxicity: Daylily Dangers and Delights


I think that’s a good reference on the topic. Don’t think I’m going to pay $40 for the book though.

Many of the daylilies found in people’s gardens are in fact diploids. Only the ones having largest flowers are generally tetraploid.

Thanks for sharing the reference.

Yes, I would fill daylily flowers with fresh raspberries and serve them with a coconut-lime vinaigrette. Really good. Or whipped cream. First I would trim the stem way back, then remove the pistils and stamen.


Hmmmm.sounds delicious @mrsg47