The Hemerocallis is a perennial plant of the genus Hemerocallis that in its original wild form comes from Asia.

The genus Hemerocallis contains a relatively small number of species.

In the 18th century, Linnaeus named the genus Hemerocallis and placed it under the lily family (the Lillaceae,

including, for example, the hostas and the 'normal' lilies).

In 1985 the Hemerocallis was classified under the Hemerocallidaceae family.

The earliest references to these plants come from the time of Confucius (551-479 BC) and the first plants

(Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus and Hemerocallis fulva) probably arrived in Europe in the first half of 1500.

The first descriptions were made by the European herbalists Clusius (1525-1609), Lobel (1538-1616) and Gerard (1545-1612).

In the last 200 years in particular, the range has expanded through the discovery of many other species. The first cross (cultivar) was introduced at the end of the 19th century and was a cross between Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus and Hemerocallis middendorffii. George Yeld introduced this plant (Hemerocallis Apricot) in     1893. Hemerocallis has come from Europe to America, the country where the plant now enjoys unprecedented popularity.

Hemerocallis is a monocotyledonous clump-forming perennial. Monocotyledonous means that the plant gets one germ leaf when the seed germinates. The roots of this plant are often thick and fleshy and are used by the plant as a buffer for food and water.

The roots form a compact clod in which the roots from the crown first grow sideways and then downwards. If a cultivar originates from      Hemerocallis fulva and/or Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, it can form a compact clod and spread over small distances with the help of runners (so-called rhizomes).

The ribbon-shaped leaf of the Hemerocallis emerges from the growing points on the crown. The foliage is smooth or slightly ridged and forms a fan similar to the leaf shape of a leek plant. The leaves are light to dark green and there is at least one known cultivar with variegated leaves (Hemerocallis Golden Zebra). In our climate, Hemerocallis is divided into three classifications with regard to the behavior of the leaves in winter.

Firstly, there is the deciduous Hemerocallis, where the leaves die off above ground in the (late) autumn and only emerge again in the spring. The evergreen Hemerocallis, on the other hand, keeps its leaves all winter and is therefore also called wintergreen.

An intermediate form is the partially deciduous Hemerocallis, which sees its leaves die completely in a severe winter, but (partly) not in a mild winter.

A deciduous plant takes a rest period in the winter to reappear in full force in the spring.

The evergreen and partially deciduous plants continue to grow in winter under the right conditions, even if the pace is slower. The evergreen Hemerocallis has a harder time with us than the deciduous, because the frost and thaw cycles attack the plant. That's not to say they aren't hardy, just an indication of which plants are doing better. The classification (partially) evergreen therefore has no direct influence on winter hardiness and it can certainly not be said that evergreen Hemerocallis is not winter hardy.

Hemerocallis, which are not hardy, are also worthwhile, even if they have a heated greenhouse to survive.

The flowers of the Hemerocallis live up to the name of the plant.

It is truly a beauty for one day. However, one day is a bit confusing and for many people it is a reason not to include this beautiful plant in their garden. Although most Hemerocallis indeed only flower for one day (in fact sometimes more than 24 hours), a plant will flower so many that it can be admired between 4 and 6 weeks of flowering.

In addition, the former already start to show their floral splendor in May and the latter give an after-gift at the end of August / beginning of September. With a little planning you can have a flowering Hemerocallis in your garden from late spring to early fall.

The flowers of the Hemerocallis consist of three sepals (bottom) and three petals (top). Sometimes a flower has more petals (for example 7 calyxes and 7 petals, see also the photo below of Hemerocallis 'Ruby Spider'), stamens and pistils than normal. Such a flower is called a polypetal. Usually, however, this is not the normal appearance of the flower of that particular cultivar, but there are some that are very consistent with giving polypetal flowers. The flowers have a diameter of 3 cm to over 28 cm and come with an almost round shape to a star shape. From the throat of the flower comes one pistil (the female organ) and six stamens (the male organs). At the end of the pistil is the stigma and at the end of the stamens the anthers with the pollen on them.

The flowers arise from flower buds that are attached to long flower stems.

The flower buds start out as small almost round balls and slowly grow longer and become tubular. There are also Hemerocallis that smell. The flower stems come from the crown of the Hemerocallis and are erect. The thickness of the flower stems can differ per species or cultivar, but ranges from less than ½ cm to a maximum of 5 cm. I've never seen the latter, but it seems to happen. The height is also variable and starts at 4 cm and extends to more than 2 meters. The average length of the flower stems of the Hemerocallis cultivars is between 60 and 70 cm. Most Hemerocallis have flower stalks that carry their flowers above the foliage.

However, there are also those that show their flowers in the leaf, such as Hemerocallis 'Stella d'Oro'. I prefer the plants with flower stems longer than the leaves. At the ends of the flower stem, the Hemerocallis branches and the flower buds form. The more branching and a good spread of this branching (i.e. regular and not just at the top) will generally give more flowers. For a beautiful flower, the number of flower stems, the branching and the number of flower buds (American-style budget) are of great importance. Many growers therefore pay a lot of attention to this part of the Hemerocallis when developing new cultivars.

There are many differences in the shape of the flower of the Hemerocallis. There are many cultivars with an almost round front view, but there are also many where the flower has a more triangular shape.

These two forms are characterized by the fact that the petals are wide and overlap (to a large extent). If the petals do not overlap or only partially overlap, we are talking about a spider-like shape or a star-shaped flower, respectively.

The arachnid form is called spider or spider variant. Only flowers with a petal length:petal width ratio of 5:1 or more are called a spider, the others are spider varieties.

A flower shape of great importance to me is the so-called special shape. A special shape (UFO) does not meet the requirements of the spider and has characteristic curled/twisted and/or striking spatula-shaped sepals and/or petals. However, the special shape is the one that gives the Hemerocallis a very exotic appearance. Finally, there are the so-called double flowers.

These are Hemerocallis with more than 6 petals, for example the stamens may have taken on the appearance of a petal. There are several different types of the filled form, such as the fully filled form, the semi-filled form, the crested form, the flower in flower form and the popcorn form.

In our climate, not all filled molds are filled consistently and they only show themselves in warm weather.

Filled flowers are called doubles. The side view of the flower also has four basic shapes, namely: trumpet shape, bell shape, flat shape or rolled back shape.

The trumpet shape is a tube-like flower shape in which the interior of the flower is often not visible. In fact, a large part of the flower at the trumpet shape is formed by the throat of the flower. In the bell shape, the petals fan out after a relatively short throat of the flower. If the petals have almost no throat and open very wide at the same time, we speak of a flat shape.

In the rolled back shape, the petals curl back. The most beautiful side view for me is the thrown back shape, because in my opinion it is a more exotic shape than the other side views.

Another striking feature of a Hemerocallis with external consequences are the edge shapes of the petals in particular. A petal can be ruffled, jagged or pleated. A striking appearance are the so-called shark teeth, which give the flower a serrated appearance.

Color is always an important and often all-determining characteristic of a flower and therefore unfortunately also for the entire plant.

With Hemerocallis, many different color shades can be found in the flowers, from almost white to almost black (or are those no colors?).

If you go back to the origin of the Hemerocallis, it is hard to believe that all these colors originated from the yellow, (pale) orange and pink of the species. Purple, red, yellow, cream and green are colors that appear in the palette of the modern Hemerocallis.

However, current breeders are still looking for the pure white and true blue in the flower of the Hemerocallis.

But these are also colors that are now slowly but surely appearing in the latest introductions.

The color of the Hemerocallis is solid (colon and sepals one and the same shade), a mixture (two mixed colors evenly distributed over the petals), polychrome (different colors spread over all the petals), bicolour (colon and sepals have different colors). ) or two-tone (petals and sepals have different tones of the same color).

The flower substance is the thickness of the petals.

The flowers of the Hemerocallis have very thin to fairly thick petals. Depending on the thickness of the petal, a Hemerocallis is more resistant to heat (thick) or a color is expressed more or better (thin).

A thin petal gets ugly more quickly during the day than a thick petal.

The surface of a petal can be smooth, rough, wrinkled, waxy or grained. The surface of the flower is also important for the color because a smooth surface shows color better and more intensely than a rough surface. A Hemerocallis can also have eye bands or other markings on the flowers.

The first Hemerocallis start to flower in spring and the last ones continue to bloom until the first frost announces itself. A Hemerocallis flowers on average between 4 and 5 weeks with peaks downwards and upwards. For our convenience, most modern cultivars are classified into the following flowering times for us: extra early (EV), early (V), early to mid (VM), mid (M), mid to late (ML), late (L) and very late (ZL).

The center represents the high bloom in your garden,

i.e. around early to late July. The arrangement of the plants in such a flowering time depends on the weather and the place where you live. The same cultivar can flower earlier in Limburg than in Groningen and in one year the same plant flowers weeks earlier (or later) than the following year.

A Hemerocallis can therefore be found from (early) spring to (late) autumn, so you only have to really be deprived of these beautiful flowers in winter. But then the photo album and the internet offer sufficient solution again.

A Hemerocallis has one more characteristic with regard to flowering that can be of great importance, namely the reblooming. Rebloom means that a fan produces new flower stems when the previous ones have finished flowering, extending the flowering season of one plant. Not all Hemerocallis rebloom and in our cooler climate it is even less common because rebloom requires a longer warm period. The types of rebloom are: rapid rebloom (equivalent to one new set of flower stems after the first set has finished flowering), normal rebloom (one new set of flower stems after the plant has taken a short rest period), and continuous bloom (almost constant production of new flower stems). .

Reblooming is a characteristic that rightly receives a lot of attention when crossing, because it can considerably extend the flowering time of a Hemerocallis. If you look up the Hemerocallis in the catalog at a good nursery, there will always be dip or tet behind a cultivar.

Even the real collector knows how to tell which dip or tet are from his plants. Dip is the abbreviation for diploid and tet stands for tetraploid. A diploid Hemerocallis has a double set of 11 chromosomes (22) and a tetraploid a quadruple set (44). The normal and natural number of chromosomes in a Hemerocallis is 22.

Only through human intervention can a tetraploid form of Hemerocallis arise. Chromosomes are the small particles within the cell nucleus that determine the hereditary properties. For example, a diploid Hemerocallis cannot be crossed with a tetraploid Hemerocallis. They are simply not compatible.

A tetraploid Hemerocallis usually has a thicker petal substance, but a diploid Hemerocallis has more intense colors and is more graceful.

However, this difference is slowly disappearing as many originally diploid cultivars are converted to a tetraploid variety and used for crosses. To change the chromosome number, colchicine can be used, a highly poisonous alkaloid from the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale).

However, there are also other substances on the market with which the doubling of the number of chromosomes can be achieved. The conversion method is not that easy, but descriptions can be found on the internet. In the beginning there was much opposition to the introduction of tetraploid Hemerocallis but at present more tetraploid plants are crossed and introduced than diploid.

There are also triploid Hemerocallis, i.e. plants with a triple set of chromosomes (ie 33), but these only occur in some species and are in principle not fertile.