Monday, January 23, 2012

Linnaeus Day: Open Hearth Daylily

From the Soil blog writer, Christopher Tidrick, began a monthly series today in honor of Carl Linnaeus, who is considered the father of modern plant classification.  On the 23rd of each month, Christopher plans to post a lesson about a plant from his garden.  He encouraged other blog writers to join him, so that we can all learn a bit more about the plants we grow.

My garden obsession is daylilies, so I think it fitting to learn more about them.  Many people are familiar with the common roadside lily that is primarily orange and grows wild.  Those do not appeal to me!  But, if you take the time to check out what is available for your garden, there is a beautiful, huge selection of colors and styles to choose from.  There are spider daylilies, bi-color daylilies, nocturnal daylilies, fragrant daylilies, eyed daylilies and from those so many colors, sizes, shapes that you can see why it can easily become an obsession.

The scientific name for daylily is Hemerocallis, derived from two Greek words meaning "beauty" and "day".  Each flower on a daylily lasts only one day.  Most plants have multiple blooms on a single scape (stem) and multiple scapes to a single plant, so the flowering period can be several weeks long.

I am selecting "Open Hearth" for this writing challenge.  Open Hearth is a spatulate flat red and copper bitone spider daylily with ruby halo around a prominent yellow throat.   It won both Honorable Mention and Junior Citation Awards of the American Hemerocallis Society.  The flower scape grows 26" high.  The flower size is 9", which is on the large size for a daylily.  It is dormant in the winter, meaning the foliage goes totally brown.  It blooms in mid-season, which for Ashland, Massachusetts (Zone 6a) has typically been around the first week in July.

Open Hearth, 5 Jul 2011

I purchased this daylily from Tranquil Lake Nursery in Rehoboth, Massachusetts about 5 years ago.  Per their website, the breeder was John R. Lambert, Jr. (1916-1994), a hybrid specialist in daylilies.

Open Hearth is thriving in a dry garden bed at the end of my driveway, where it receives nearly full sun and very little watering.  I only watered this garden with a watering can the first year I planted and one other time when we had a significant drought.  Otherwise, it is only receiving rainwater.  I enrich the soil at the end of the growing season with Coast of Maine Lobster Compost, but have provided little other care except weeding, as needed.


  1. Dawn, what a wonderful post! I'll probably do a dayliliy at some point this year, too! Thanks for participating in Linnaeus Day!

    1. Thanks, Chris! It was a good challenge for me. I discovered something about myself this year. Although I appreciate birds, butterflies and flowers visually, there is actually very little I actually know about them. I have so much to learn!

  2. Dawn, that's a pretty one. I didn't think I liked daylilies much until several years ago and they got me under their spell. There are some really gorgeous ones. I'm not a collector, but I seem to add one or two new ones every year.

    1. Adding one or two every year sounds like a collection to me!