Yard & Garden Report


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Finest daylilies

Daylilies are among the toughest of all perennials. Daylily enthusiasts select the finest cultivars.

Daylilies at NDSUAvailable as a single page, printer-friendly PDF

Our last winter was cold and unusually long. Perennial flowers were slow to emerge out of the ground—many never did. Perhaps this is why daylilies are having such a strong presence in landscapes this year.

Daylilies are among the toughest of all plants. We as North Dakotans show a special appreciation of this flower and boast the nation’s largest collection, located at North Dakota State University.

When talking daylilies, the conversation begins with the introduction of ‘Stella De Oro’ in 1975. Daylilies had previously been respected for their toughness, but their bloom time was only about a month. ‘Stella De Oro’ changed everything—it bloomed all summer! The plant was embraced by all and appeared everywhere—from the International Peace Garden to gas stations.

Today there are THOUSANDS of daylilies to choose from. Which one is best for you? Ask the experts. Go to the leaders of the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS). Every year they provide awards to top performers. The Stout Silver Medal is the highest honor, given to only ONE variety per year.

I respect the AHS official judges, 'Ruby Spider' daylilybut also enjoy learning which varieties are preferred by gardeners. Members of AHS vote on their favorite varieties annually. Go to www.daylilies.org and see the results by region. Popular selections include ‘Ruby Spider’ (bottom photo).

You can judge for yourself by going to the NDSU gardens in Fargo. The gardens are open to the public and located at 12th Avenue North and 18th Street North.


Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in the NDSU Yard & Garden Report, August 18, 2014. Photos were made available under Creative Commons licenses specified by the photographers: North Dakota State University; Jim, the Photographer.


American Hemerocallis Society. 2014. www.daylilies.org. Awards and honors winners, Popularity poll results. Accessed 8/15/2014.

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