Daylilies forum: Edible Daylilies

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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Mar 24, 2016 9:24 AM CST
Which daylilies are edible?

Last year (or the year before) I discovered daylilies were edible. That got me researching daylilies, which started the daylily madness that enveloped my life last summer (and is already beginning to again, even though spring has barely begun).

I can't seem to get a solid answer, though, on just which daylilies are safe to eat. I've heard some hybridizers say they have eaten their daylilies (though they didn't specify which ones and I didn't ask at the time), I've heard others caution against it, and I've heard some say they haven't eaten any but that they would.

My own thought, based on nothing more than the fact that daylilies are supposed to be edible and the fact that tetraploids aren't naturally-occurring (chemical induced somewhere along the lines), is that diploid varieties are safe to eat, but tetraploid daylilies are probably riskier or toxic on some level.

Today I dug up an old article on ATP that was excellent:
http://garden.org/ideas/view/Sharon/985/Daylilies-for-Dinner...

...although the author wasn't entirely sure about the safety of hybrid daylilies.


Thoughts? Experiences?

Does anyone have any novel recipes for daylilies? (Something other than frying them in butter and flavoring with garlic or other Italian herbs.) If you cook with the buds, do you fish out the anthers and stamen before cooking or eating, or do you leave the bud intact to eat it?

I would love to hear from people who have actually eaten daylilies. (Do any of you know anyone who has had an allergic reaction or upset stomach from eating daylilies?)
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Mar 24, 2016 10:51 AM CST
Tests and dips are equally edible. The yellows remind me of iceberg lettuce, with flowery hints.

The ancestors of tetraploid daylilies have been exposed to colchicine or some other chemical in order to induce polyploidy, but this is inconsequential as the chemical is not only transitory, but would essentially be lost through dilution in the first generation. You might not want to consume the flower segments on the first scape of a newly-treated plant, but in reality, that's probably not a problem either. I believe colchicine is transitory, based on the reasoning that it interrupts cell division, and if it was that persistent in the treated plant, it wouldn't survive.

Regarding the seedlings from that plant, and subsequent tetraploid generations, consider how much of any contaminant could be transferred to a seed, and how diluted that chemical would be once that tiny bit of tissue grew into a blooming size plant.

What I would be more concerned with is what fungicides and pesticides your plants have been exposed to. Some of them can persist in plant tissues for up to six months or longer - long enough for someone else to have sprayed (or dipped) a daylily and shipped it to you to bloom that season. Spraying for rust seems to be routine in many daylily gardens, and the most common—and effective—chemicals are systemic. Dip-and-ship is common as well.

I seem to remember reading a scientific paper regarding naturally-occurring substances in hemerocallis plants which might be an issue if ingested in large quantities, but I can't recall where I found that information. I'm pretty sure this is the case with most plants, so munch away.

Ken

Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
Region: Europe Cat Lover Daylilies Irises Dog Lover Hellebores
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Mayo62
Mar 24, 2016 10:57 AM CST
hi

I have never eaten a DL myself, but that is because I started 'collecting' DL's just last year and my flowers were too precious to eat Lovey dubby
During the season my preference in DL flowers changed, so I now have some DL's that wil be 'sacrificed' in the kitchen this Summer Whistling

One of the nurseries in the north of my country organises a DL dinner every year Thumbs up

On their site it says:
"In China they call Hemerocallis fulva 'hsuan-soa', what means as much as 'the plant that makes you forget' because of it's calming effect. The young, cooked, shoots were often given to people in mourning.

Single flowers are edible, double flowers are NOT.

ALL parts of the single flowered DL's are edible. The roots taste like potato, the flowers taste like cruncy lettuce, but a bit more sweet. Every kind of flower has there own distinctive taste. Orange flowers are sweeter that red ones. Red ones are more peppery.
If you want to use the buds you should put them in boiling water for a few minutes.

Some examples: you can use the flowers to garnish you dishes, but you can also fill them with creamcheese or icecream, whipped cream and crème brûlée, or with rice and crayfish.
Our chefs have used them to make a flowery pesto and the buds in soups or with endive stalks."

Sorry if I made some mistakes translating Whistling

They don't say anything about hybrids, so I don't know about that... Shrug!

And if you want more ideas: googling 'recipes daylilies' resulted in 348,000 hits Rolling on the floor laughing
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Mar 24, 2016 10:59 AM CST
There have been toxicities associated with eating daylilies, both animal and human. This would be primarily in Asia and therefore related to species (diploid) daylilies. Usually it involves the roots but doesn't appear to apply equally to all daylily species. If you want to read more about this try a Google search on the word "hemerocallin". Edit: Google will probably ask you if you mean Hemerocallis instead but don't fall for that :-)

The "ditch lily" (Hemerocallis fulva 'Europa') as discussed in your link above is neither diploid nor tetraploid, it is triploid.
[Last edited by sooby - Mar 24, 2016 11:00 AM (+)]
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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Mar 24, 2016 11:05 AM CST
Wow, Mayo! Those cooking ideas are great! I'm impressed that you live near (and know of) a place that has a daylily dinner- how neat!

You mentioned that doubles are not edible--why not? I know in the article I linked, the author stayed that kwanzo (a poly) is edible, so I'm not sure what to make of the information.

Thank you for sharing all of that info! And your English is excellent, no translation worries there.
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Mar 24, 2016 11:16 AM CST
Here are some links with more information regarding the natural toxicity of daylilies.

First and most informative is Maurice's post;
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/390980/

The entire thread;
The thread "Cats and Daylilies - survey results" in Daylilies forum
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
Region: Europe Cat Lover Daylilies Irises Dog Lover Hellebores
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Mayo62
Mar 24, 2016 11:18 AM CST
DogsNDaylilies said:
You mentioned that doubles are not edible--why not?


I have no idea! Sad
That is what is says on the nurseries website Shrug!
I have sent them an email a minute ago to ask about it, so perhaps they can answer that question Thumbs up

Mayo




a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Mar 24, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Ken, thank you for the links!

I have to find fault with Maurice's logic regarding his caution that a plant with toxic components in its roots may likely have those toxins in its other parts. While it *could* be true, it isn't a fair assumption. Consider tomatoes, for instance. All parts of the tomato are toxic except the tomato itself. That doesn't mean that the daylily bud isn't toxic, just that the logic doesn't completely hold up.

I do find fault with the notion of extrapolating that something toxic to cats is toxic to humans, but I do need to read the thread more before I can offer much more comment to that statement; though I will say that even a quick glance at ASPCA's toxic plants lists will show there are many things that harm cats (or dogs) that don't harm us.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Mar 24, 2016 11:28 AM CST
Mayo62 said:

I have no idea! Sad
That is what is says on the nurseries website Shrug!
I have sent them an email a minute ago to ask about it, so perhaps they can answer that question Thumbs up

Mayo






Great! Thank you. Please update us if they respond back! Thumbs up
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Mar 24, 2016 11:32 AM CST
DogsNDaylilies said:
I have to find fault with Maurice's logic


...I should note that this doesn't happen often. I find Maurice to be a very logical and intelligent person, I don't mean to pick on him, but I find his assertion to be imperfect in this case.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Mar 24, 2016 11:38 AM CST
The AHS Daylily Journal had a really good article last year on eating daylilies and it had some recipes, but that is all I remember right now.

I have tasted a few of my daylilies and the lighter colored daylilies taste like lettuce to me. The reds have a more bitter taste. I don't remember most of the ones I tried, but I do remember trying Yellow Ducky and it was good! I usually only eat one or two petals, so have not had any issues with stomach troubles.

Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 24, 2016 12:35 PM CST
DND, Maurice didn't actually say it was likely that the toxin is in other parts than roots, just that in some cases it can't be ruled out. It's the same thing with the cats and daylilies issue. Although it seems quite possible that daylilies have been mistaken for Lilium, but because of variability in plant poisons and differing reactions based on individual consumers, whether animal or human, one can't say for sure that it can't happen to at least some cats, some of the time.

There's an interesting example of stypandrol poisoning in a daylily relative (the same toxin as hemerocallin in daylilies) in goats. The goats are only affected if they eat the plant during the three weeks it is in bloom. With red maple and horses, the leaves are only toxic if they are wilted and so on. It's so complex I don't think anyone would stick their neck out and say some adverse effect couldn't happen. Another example would be the anthelmintics that are given to dogs but cannot be given to certain breeds. Ditto the problem with dogs and grapes or raisins - not all dogs are affected but some are poisoned and so far as I know it still hasn't been established why. A complicated topic, unfortunately.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Mar 24, 2016 2:31 PM CST
This is what I wrote in that older post,
"Although the presence of the poison in the roots of a plant species does not guarantee that the poison is also present in other parts such as the buds or flowers it certainly means that the species may produce the poison in other plant parts under some conditions or sometimes."
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Basically, all the cells of a plant are genetically identical (note, for example, pollen has 1/2 the genes that other cells have, some cells may have a new mutation in a gene, etc.). That means if the plant can make something in one part then it has the ability to make it in any part.

As an example, some daylily cultivars have flowers with anthocyanin pigments. That means those cultivars have the ability to make anthocyanin pigments in any part of the plant. Usually they do not do so. However, there are some of those cultivars that make some anthocyanin pigment in their seed pods under some conditions. There are some of those cultivars that make anthocyanin pigment in the bases of their leaves under some conditions. It is next to impossible to guarantee that no genotype will make a compound in some other plant part under some conditions some time.

Secondly, even if a plant makes something in its roots and makes the same thing in its flowers, we may be able to eat the flowers safely but the roots may or may not be safe. That could be because the amount of the substance normally made in the roots could be high but the amount normally made in the flowers could be very low. The effects a substance has on us depend on how much of it we eat or drink and how quickly (amongst other things). As an example, we eat rhubarb stalks but eating rhubarb leaves is not recommended. They both contain the substance that is considered a problem but the mature leaves contain twice as much as the mature stalks. However, there could be occasions or conditions when the amount in the stalks is higher than normal.

Toxicity can be very complex; these are only some of the factors that could affect the toxicity of daylily roots.

Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Mar 24, 2016 2:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
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cybersix
Mar 24, 2016 2:45 PM CST
I knew about DLs edibility (is this correct?) but I won't eat them. Apart from what I know I give to my plants I strongly doubt about air and soil. We're in a infamous area, too many pollution everywhere. There is Chromium 6 in some water well (still we don't know what the truth is, where it is and really how much it is), nuclear waste... and many others dangerous polluting things here and there. That's one of the reasons because of I want to move far from this place!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Mar 24, 2016 3:27 PM CST
Sorry, but somehow in the midst of a lot of back-buttoning, I apparently reposted my earlier message...
[Last edited by CaliFlowers - Mar 24, 2016 3:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Mar 24, 2016 6:44 PM CST
Mayo62 said:

During the season my preference in DL flowers changed, so I now have some DL's that wil be 'sacrificed' in the kitchen this Summer Whistling

One of the nurseries in the north of my country organises a DL dinner every year Thumbs up



Go attend the dinner! They probably have experience on preparation of daylilies as a consumable food, so it's likely to be good. Might give you ideas on performing sacrifices Big Grin .

Donald
Name: Dick Henley
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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poplarcreek
Mar 24, 2016 9:25 PM CST
All parts of daylily plants are edible. Have you had Hot and Sour soup at your favorite Chinese restaurant? You are eating daylily buds. Enjoy.

A favorite story - a friend of Chinese descent visiting my garden asked my the same question. I asked her if her mother ever made Hot and Sour soup at home. 'Oh my goodness - those are daylily buds'. Grin.
Dick in Ohio
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Mar 25, 2016 8:10 AM CST
Good story, Dick!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Mar 25, 2016 9:10 AM CST
This is a section from one of many research publications on the toxic compound in daylilies and its close relatives.

"The roots of Hemerocallis species (daylilies) ingested by goats, sheep and cattle, and used for the treatment of schistosomiasis (snail fever) in humans, have caused fatalities in the People's Republic of China. H. thunbergii [1], H. esculenta [2], H. altissima, H. lilio-asphodelus and H. minor [3] are toxic. The active principle, originally isolated from the roots of H. thunbergii and named hemercallin [4], is reported to have structure 1."

Note, the fatalities are human deaths. [1], [2], [3], and [4] are references to Chinese research. Another name for the toxin is stypandrol.

Phytochemistry, Vol. 28, No. 7, pp. 1825-1826, 1989

As stated previously, the toxic compound is present at some times of the growing season and perhaps under some growing conditions and possibly not others.
Maurice
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
Region: Europe Cat Lover Daylilies Irises Dog Lover Hellebores
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Mayo62
Mar 25, 2016 3:09 PM CST
needrain said:

Go attend the dinner! They probably have experience on preparation of daylilies as a consumable food, so it's likely to be good. Might give you ideas on performing sacrifices Big Grin .



I've seen worse sacrifices! Rolling on the floor laughing


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a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away

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