All-American Daylilies

By Susan Littlefield

Daylilies are popular perennials for their ease of care and the astounding variety of sizes, flower forms, and colors they offer. But selecting the best varieties from among this abundance can be a daunting prospect for some. That's where the All-American Daylilies test program can help.

Begun in 1987, this program uses a scientific methodology to evaluate daylilies based on 52 characteristics to identify the best varieties from among more than 40,000 cultivars. Since the first winner, 'Black-eyed Stella', was announced in 1994, 18 more cultivars have made the cut. Plants are tested at sites ranging from Zone 10 in Florida and California to Zone 2 in Alberta, Canada and are evaluated for quality and length of bloom, as well as strong foliage performance.

The most recent winner is 'Lady Elizabeth', with 5 inch, near-white flowers with a yellow eye carried on 18-24 inch high scapes above a mound of bright green, arching, deciduous foliage. Showing good rust resistance, 'Lady Elizabeth' is equally stunning as an accent plant or in a mass planting. Recommended for USDA Zones 4-10, it blooms in early to midsummer.

For more on 'Lady Elizabeth' and other winning daylilies, go to: All-American Daylilies.

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