Ask a Question forum: Daylily variety to produce golden needle dried lilies in China

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Auburn, WA (Zone 8a)
Oct 31, 2015 2:18 PM CST
Does anyone know what day lily variety is used to produce golden needle dried lilies in China? Can I get a live plant from any vendor in the US?

Name: Jude
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
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Nov 1, 2015 1:00 PM CST

It is the common "ditch" lily, found this on Wikipedia:

Hemerocallis fulva, the Orange Day-lily, Tawny Daylily, Tiger Daylily, Fulvous Daylily or Ditch Lily (also Railroad Daylily, Roadside Daylily, Outhouse Lily, Tiger Lily, and Wash-house Lily), is a species of daylily native to Asia. It is very widely grown as an ornamental plant in temperate climates for its showy flowers and ease of cultivation. It is not related to true lilies, but gets its name from the similarity of the flowers and from the fact that each flower lasts only one day.

The tubers, inflorescences, buds and flowers can all be cooked and eaten. Dried or fresh flowers are used in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese cooking, and are known as golden needles.
Auburn, WA (Zone 8a)
Nov 1, 2015 3:01 PM CST
Thank you.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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Nov 2, 2015 12:33 PM CST
Winsorw, welcome to ATP! Welcome!
Here's a secret, kinda...most daylily growers will give you fulva daylilies because they don't want them in their gardens because they grow TOO well. The "ditch lilies" are good for preventing erosion in ditches and they are pretty. As far as taste, I have tasted most of my 1200+ dayliles, and I believe the yellow blooms are far more tasty. "Hyperion" is a cheaper, older, tastier yellow daylily that many nurseries still sell. It's available online from many sellers for $5 or so. If you can find a daylily grower near you, see if they will let you walk through the beds, tasting the different colors. You will see there is quite a variance in flavor.
I've never cooked mine, I just snack on them the way you would a fresh cucumber or pepper. They kind of taste like cucumbers to me. They also add color and flavor to salads!
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H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Auburn, WA (Zone 8a)
Nov 2, 2015 1:57 PM CST
Hi Cindi, Thank You!

Thank you so much for spending time answering my question and for welcoming me to the group. I found out about fulva too and I agree that it's unlikely that it is the variety that Chinese people use in cooking. I'm not sure about tasting the fresh bloom though, hoping to dry them before use. But one of my neighbors came to my house and just eat it like you described.

I'll have to try mine next year. Thanks again.

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