Edible daylilies.

Botanical name: 

Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 09:40:06 -0500
From: Paul Bernier <pbernier.ESCAPE.COM>
Subject: Re: Daylily as food

>I just read about called "The Delightful Delicious Daylily: Recipes and More", by Peter Gail. Has anyone read this or know anything about the uses of daylilies and other edible plants. Last year I planted daylilies and calendula for consuming purposes. This year will be the first to actually use them.
>Any expericences or ideas? I'll be ordered the book soon and will let you know how it is.

I've eaten them over the past twenty-five years, and they are delicious. They taste mild; no one should be put off by them. Treat them like green beans (though they don't take as long to cook). I've even put them in sukiyaki.

From: Paul Bernier <pbernier.ESCAPE.COM>

>Paul (eater of daylilies): To eat cooked daylilies do I just pick the flower head, wash, pull out the insides then cook with a little water for a few minutes?

Donna, just take the unopened buds, wash and cook. They are easy to clean because they seem slightly waxy, and the water (and dirt) seem to roll right off. Use a steamer or very little water so as not to lose vitamins, and enjoy!

From: JoAnne Hildebrand <hildebra.EUROPA.UMUC.EDU>

Nibbling on raw daylilies has upset my stomach. Stir-fried are tasty.

From: Paul Bernier <pbernier.ESCAPE.COM>

>Peter's books on Daylilys, Dandelions etc. are excellent resourses. But, how can anyone bring themselves to eat a flower as lovely as Hemerocallis unless they have nothing else to eat?

Chris, don't worry about eating a few buds from a patch of daylilys. They'll grow new ones almost as fast as you pick them. You'll still have plenty of flowers to admire.

From: Vicki Latta <luna.BBS.TSF.COM>

In my experience, daylily buds and flowers are a _DELICOUS_ food, but best consumed in small to moderate quantiies as part of a meal rather than a meal in themselves. There were about two dozen of us at the New England Women's Herbal Conference last summer who laughingly called ourselves the "Sisterhood of the Daylilies" because we all had survived, at one time or another, the * severe * gastric distress that can follow the over-enthusiastic consumption of this flower.

I still enjoy eating daylily blossoms, but no more than a few in a meal. Of course, as in all things relating to plants, your mileage may vary.... So give them a try, but go easy at first.

Bon appetit!

From: Peter Gail <PETERGAIL.AOL.COM>

> But, how can anyone bring themselves to eat a flower as lovely as Hemerocallis unless they have nothing else to eat?

Because, Chris, it lasts only a day, there occur in profusion, and therefore judicious harvesting of buds leaves no noticeable effect on the floral display. Besides, you can enjoy the blooms and at the end of the day (when they will wilt anyway) enjoy them as fritters or in confetti biscuits, you can take the withered floweers and use them to thicken soups and stews, make the fruit pods into pickles, etc, etc, none of which will disturb the floral magnificance. After all, daylilies are, and always have been, much more than just pretty faces!

All the best

Peter Gail, the sadistic promoter of daylily consumption. eating daylilies!

From: "Paula B." <yogt.INTERSOURCE.COM>

>I am really interested in trying daylilies, but always fear getting the wrong plant. Could someone give the scientific name that I could take to a nursery.

Hemerocallis is the daylily family that is edible. There are literally thousands, however, the wild ones along roadsides were the original etibles. I enjoy Lemon Lilies (Hemerocallis) and old strain that is light yellow in color and smells like lemon and has a pungent lemon taste. I would not use dark colored ones only because the color bleeds and dyes finers and hands plus any other food that might be cooked with it. As for choices, I recommend a reblooming variety (so that it can produce repeatedly and supply lots of flower/food. i've been known to chomp a few raw while working in the garden without cooking them at all.

From: Peter Gail <PETERGAIL.AOL.COM>

Family is Liliaceae, genus is Hemerocallis, wild type species is mostly fulva. The rest are varieties, cultivars, what ever you want to call them. The rest of the post is right on, particularly about the wonderful yellow flowers. There is nothing like buds of the yellow Stella d'Oros a day or so before opening, picked and eaten raw right out of the garden.

Peter Gail, author, The Delightful, Delicious Daylily. Goosefoot Acres Press.

From: Peter Gail <PETERGAIL.AOL.COM>

> I am told that the little "plug" at the stem end of the daylily flowers should be removed as they are bitter.

The little plug on the end of daylily buds may or may not be bitter, as may the buds themselves, depending on variety. We don't take them off, and generally don't notice any bitterness, with the Stella d'oro (yellow flowered daylilies) which we prefer in cooking. Rule of thumb is that yellow flowers are the sweetest and tastiest, with the flowers/buds getting more bitter as one moves toward the red end of the spectum. The red pigments are the bitter ones.

From: Pat Patterson <PSP.LCE.OES.ORST.EDU>

We use the daylily buds in stirfries and tear up open petals for salads. It is also good for dyeing. We use the petals of calendula mostly in salads or floated on soups. Very elegant and tasty.