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Daylilies: Lost Forever?

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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Though preservation is our mission, bulbs drop out of our catalog every year.

Sometimes it’s because the harvest was too small. Sometimes it’s because they’re widely available elsewhere and don’t need our help. And sometimes it’s because we’ve lost our only known source due to severe weather (cold, drought, etc.), health problems (a debilitating stroke), or economic woes (small farmers are always at risk).

The good news is that, in time, we’re often able to return these bulbs to our catalog. So here’s a list of many we’ve offered in the past. For an alert the moment they’re available again, subscribe to our free email newsletter. Or to find a similar bulb, try our easy Advanced Bulb Search.


Fall-planted:     Crocus       Daffodils       Hyacinths       Lilies       Peonies       Tulips       Diverse

Spring-planted:     Cannas       Dahlias       Daylilies       Gladiolus       Iris       Diverse


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APRICOT, 1893

Here’s the beginning of daylilies as we know them today. Introduced in 1893 by schoolteacher George Yeld, ‘Apricot’ was the first hybrid daylily and its success opened the door for the 60,000 others that have followed. Spring-blooming (starting in early May here in zone 6a) and often reblooming in the fall, it has vivid little flowers of orange-yellow peeking above a fountain of leaves — making it well worth growing even if it weren’t so historic. 28-34”, early, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2015 and we hope to offer this variety again someday. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


AUTUMN RED, 1941

True stock! Like that energetic rabbit, ‘Autumn Red’ keeps going and going and going, blooming for weeks on end from mid-summer on. Its slender, gracefully curling petals are cherry red with sunny yellow midribs for a look that’s exuberant but never too much. You’ll wish it bloomed even longer! 36-40”, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(9bWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2014. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BLACK FALCON, 1941

Back in the day, ‘Black Falcon’ was celebrated as the darkest daylily of all, and 70 years later it’s still a stunner. A glowing center of molten gold makes its rippled, mahogany-red petals seem even darker. It’s free-flowering, easy-growing, mid-summer blooming, 32-36”, deciduous, for zones 4a-8b(10aWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BLACK FRIAR, 1951

With its velvety, wine-dark petals, chartreuse throat, and graceful, lily-like form, ‘Black Friar’ is one of the best of the mid-century “black” daylilies. Tall and vigorous, it was bred by the first woman to win the AHS’s top award for hybridizing, “Sun-Proof” Mary Lester of Georgia. 38-40”, mid-to-late, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(10aWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2018. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CABALLERO, 1941

‘Caballero’s long, curling petals are gold and an intriguing rusty brown (yes, brown!) that may remind you of saddle-leather and sandstone buttes – which is probably just what Stout had in mind when he named it. Caballeros were the noble “gentlemen-cowboys” of popular movies such as The Bold Caballero of 1936 with its dashing hero, Zorro. 36-40”, early-mid season, evergreen, zones 4a-8b(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2017 and we hope to offer this variety again in 2021. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CHALLENGER, 1949

This dramatically tall, colorful daylily will draw your eye from the farthest reaches of your garden. It gets its height – five feet or more here – from H. altissima, native to the mountains of Nanjing, and with 25-30 buds per stem, its striking red flowers will entertain you from mid-summer into fall. By A.B. Stout, 48-72”, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(10bWC), from from Missouri. Last offered in 2018. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CIRCE, 1937

With charming, not-so-big flowers of a lemon yellow that’s both soft and bright, this rarely offered Depression-era beauty mingles easily with other perennials and adds a cooling note to the mid-summer garden. It was bred by the master A.B. Stout himself who liked it so well that he named it for Odysseus’s enchantress, the “loveliest of all immortals.” Long-blooming, 36-42”, mid-summer blooming, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(9bWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2018. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CRIMSON PIRATE, 1951

With up to 30 buds per stem, this Nebraska-bred classic will brighten your mid-summer garden with six weeks of star-like, jewel-toned blossoms that are as graceful as wildflowers. Named for a hit movie that later inspired Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s another masterpiece from the great Henry Sass whose family introduced so many enduringly popular iris and peonies. 30-32”, mid-season, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


EVELYN CLAAR, 1949

One of the best of the ground-breaking mid-century pinks, ‘Evelyn’ is a warm, peachy-pink highlighted by a glowing, golden throat. Free-flowering and vigorous, it was bred by University of Chicago botany professor Ezra Kraus – who clearly knew what he was doing. 24-30”, early-mid, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(10aWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


GOLD DUST, 1905

Exceptionally early-blooming, this cheery little daylily opens its fragrant, cinnamon-shaded flowers just as spring is turning into summer (and when it’s happy, it often reblooms). It’s also one of the oldest daylilies, by the very first person to breed them, English schoolteacher George Yeld, who crossed the classic lemon lily with the Japanese H. dumortieri to get this enduring charmer. Just 24-26”, very early, deciduous, zones 5a-8b(10bWC), Missouri. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


HYPERION, 1925

Thousands of yellow daylilies have come and gone, but ‘Hyperion’ endures. Its fragrance, carefree vigor, and classic, lily-like flowers make it the only daylily from the early 1900s that’s still widely grown today. Indiana-bred and winner of an RHS AGM, it’s named for the Titan father of the sun god. 4 feet, zones 4a-8b(10bWC), Missouri. Last offered in spring 2009. Widely available elsewhere.


KINDLY LIGHT, 1949

“Did you see that?” everyone asked when this unusual daylily first bloomed here in our trial garden. With its long, thin, curling petals, a clump in bloom may remind you of fireworks bursting in the summer sky. A landmark daylily, it was the first “spider,” a form that’s now in vogue after decades of scorn. 24-36”, mid-summer blooming, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(10bWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


H. fulva ‘Kwanso’, KWANSO DOUBLE, 1860

With three sets of petals tucked neatly inside one another, this opulent daylily is quirky enough to appeal to Victorian gardeners yet “handsome” enough (to quote taste-maker Louise Beebe Wilder in 1916) to earn it a leading role in the sumptuous Red Borders at England’s famous Hidcote Gardens. 36-40”, early summer blooming, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(10bWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2018. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, LEMON LILY, 1570

True stock! Many daylilies are mistakenly called lemon lily, but ours is the true original. For centuries, this and the single orange “ditch lily” were the only daylilies common in gardens. Always the more prized, lemon lily is smaller, much more graceful, and early blooming, with a sweet scent that led one botanist in 1733 to call it the “Yellow Tuberose.” Best in cool climates and moist soils. We ship single fans of this great rarity. Formerly H. flava, 30-34”, deciduous, zones 3a-7a(9aWC), from Vermont and Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


LOUISE RUSSELL, 1959

At just two feet tall, this abundantly blooming, mid-century pink is perfect for small gardens or the front of the border. It’s a soft peachy pink with a lemon yellow throat, as cool and summery as pink lemonade pie. 18-24”, mid to late-mid, deciduous, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2016. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MELONEE, 1959

With a name that’s pure 1950s, this luscious daylily looks like a cool, refreshing cantaloupe and ice cream smoothie. It was bred by Orville Fay of Illinois whose day job was working as a chemist in a candy factory. Just 26” tall, mid-summer blooming, deciduous, zones 5a-8b(10aWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MIKADO, 1929

This striking daylily was one of Stout’s first and favorite introductions. Over the years its bold mango-and-mahogany coloring and graceful star-like form have won it many fans, including the great Elizabeth Lawrence who praised it as one of her “15 Best.” Vigorously multiplying and floriferous, it often reblooms in the fall in warm areas. 30-36”, early-mid season, semi-evergreen, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


OPHIR, 1924

Much more than just another yellow daylily, ‘Ophir’ has unusually long, trumpet-shaped flowers – almost like an Easter lily – making it one of the most graceful and distinctive daylilies we’ve ever seen. It’s also one of the first American-bred daylilies, by Bertrand Farr, and the great Elizabeth Lawrence grew it, writing in 1943 that it was “more beautiful than ever this season, and the only attention it has ever had is a mulch of cow manure each fall.” 38-46”, mid-season, semi-evergreen, zones 4a-8b(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Last offered in 2017. We’re building up stock and plan to offer it again in the future. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PAINTED LADY, 1942

“I may be old-fashioned,” writes daylily connoisseur Sydney Eddison, but this “big handsome daylily with flowers the color of orange marmalade is still a striking plant.” Others call its abundant flowers “bronze orange” or even “cinnamon,” but everyone seems to agree that this vigorous, drought-tolerant, Stout Medal winner is far from ordinary. 36” mid-summer blooming, evergreen in warm zones, zones 5a-8b(10bWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2011. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PORT, 1941

We love how profusely this charming little daylily blooms, and how its small, rusty red flowers glow warmly in the summer sun. Bred by the great A.B. Stout, it was named by globe-trotting “lady botanist” Mary Gibson Henry in memory of her youngest son, Porteous. 30-36”, early-mid to mid, semi-evergreen, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Last offered in 2016. We’re building up stock and plan to offer it again in the future. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


POTENTATE, 1943

With its red-violet undertones, this Stout Medal winner was an exciting color advance for its time, and although no one today would describe it as “pansy purple,” it’s still a striking flower. And potent – it often develops small plantlets called proliferations on its bloom stalks which you can root and grow into new plants! 36-42”, mid to late-mid, deciduous, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Last offered in 2016. We’re building up stock and plan to offer it again in the future. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PRINCESS IRENE, 1952

One of the latest, longest-blooming, and brightest daylilies we grow, ‘Princess Irene’ will draw you from across the garden with its joyful brilliance, from mid-summer well into fall. With its star-like form and almost wriggling petals, it’s the only daylily ever introduced by H. A. Zager of Des Moines – but he sure picked a winner. 28-34”, late-mid to late, deciduous, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Last offered in 2016. We’re building up stock and plan to offer it again in the future. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


ROYAL BEAUTY, 1947

Bred by Ophelia “Bright” Taylor, winner of the AHS’s highest award for hybridizers, this purple-shaded, wine-colored daylily has slender petals curling back gracefully from a vivid yellow throat. It’s been a favorite oldie of our Missouri growers for over 40 years thanks to its “rich color, recurved petals, and beautiful foliage.” 34-36”, mid-season, semi-evergreen, zones 5a-9a(10aWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2019. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SOVEREIGN, 1906

Small-flowered, early blooming, and one of the oldest daylilies of all, this cheery little queen is lemon yellow lightly shaded with chestnut on back. It was bred from the wild lemon lily and H. dumortierii by George Yeld, the founding father of daylilies, and it blooms today – as it has for decades – in the restored garden of Mississippi author Eudora Welty. Yellower and taller than its sibling ‘Gold Dust’, 28-30”, deciduous, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Last offered in 2016. We’re building up stock and plan to offer it again in the future. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


VESPERS, 1941

Unlike most daylilies that wane as night approaches, this pale yellow beauty opens late in the day and then stays fresh and beautiful all evening — when you’re home to enjoy it — and the following day. It was bred by the remarkable Elizabeth Nesmith who hybridized hundreds of daylilies, iris, and other perennials and sold them by mail, in an era when ladies just didn’t do things like that. Often reblooms, 34-38”, early-mid, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Last offered in spring 2015. Due to our very limited growing space, we may not offer it again – but if you’re dying to have it, please email us.


YELLOWSTONE, 1950

What sets this mighty classic apart — and why should you give it a try? It’s more fragrant than its famous parent ‘Hyperion’. Its Chicago breeding makes it extra tough. And its lily-like, moonlight-yellow flowers stay open longer than most, making it especially beautiful in the evening garden — when you’ll be home to enjoy it. 36” mid-summer blooming, deciduous, zones 4a-8b(9aWC), from Missouri. Last offered in 2011. We offer a rotating selection of daylilies. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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