Heirloom Daylilies

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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Order these spring-planted bulbs NOW for delivery this APRIL.

ARE DAYLILIES BULBS? Not really, but bulb catalogs in the past offered their thick, fleshy roots, and today many antique daylilies are at risk, so we’ve added them to our Ark. Modern daylilies can be amazing, but older ones blend better into most gardens. They’re not huge or gaudy, and their classic, lily-like forms are full of grace.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Daylilies are one of the easiest of all perennials. See what you’ll get: freshly dug, bare-root plants with 1-4 fans (growing points). Plant in full sun to light shade, and learn more here.

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With cottage-garden grace and surprising diversity, antique daylilies are waiting to be rediscovered by modern gardeners. Sample their old-fashioned charms with 3 of our favorites, all different, labeled, and great for your area. (Several possibilities are pictured.) For zones 4a-8b(9aWC).

For more of each variety, order additional samplers. Daylily care.


BLACK FRIAR, 1951Web-Only & It’s Back!

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. 32-38”, mid-to-late, deciduous, 2 fans, zones 4a-8b(10aWC), from Michigan & Missouri. Chart and care.

Almost gone! Limit 5.

CABALLERO, 1941It’s Back!

‘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, 2 large fans, zones 4a-8b(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart and care.

Limit 10, please.

CHALLENGER, 1949Web-Only & It’s Back!

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, 3-4 fans, zones 4a-8b(10bWC), from from Missouri. Chart, care, and learn more.

Limit 10, please.

CIRCE, 1937Web-Only & It’s Back!

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, 32-36”, mid-summer blooming, deciduous, 2 fans, zones 4a-8b(9bWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart and care.

Limit 10, please.

EVELYN CLAAR, 1949It’s Back!

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, 3-4 fans, zones 4a-8b(10aWC), from Missouri. Chart and care.


MIKADO, 1929Web-Only & It’s Back!

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, 2 fans, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Chart and care.


PRINCESS IRENE, 1952Web-Only & It’s Back!

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, 2 fans, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Chart and care.

Limit 10, please.

ROSALIND, 1941Rarest & New

One of the most famous daylilies of all, this wild beauty was the best of the three reddish forms of Hemerocallis fulva sent to A.B. Stout from China in 1924 – and which Stout used to breed the very first of the thousands of pink, red, and purple daylilies that have graced gardens ever since then. Rusty red with a darker eye-zone, 38-42”, late-mid, dormant, 2 large fans, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor farm. Chart and care.


Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, LEMON LILY, 1570Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! 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. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HM-03 1/$16.50 3/$47 5/$74 10/$140 25/$330 SOLD OUT

LIBBY FINCH, 1949Rarest & Web-Only

New! The “rich, lustrous, velvety black cherry color” of this old daylily (in the words of the 1949 Schreiner’s catalog) would be great no matter what, but it’s the creamy white line down the center of each petal that makes it so striking and unforgettable. You’ll find yourself drawn to it from across the garden – and looking forward to it every summer. 34-36”, mid-season, dormant, 2 fans, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farm. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HM-40 1/$11.50 3/$33 5/$51.50 10/$97.50 25/$230 SOLD OUT

LUTEOLA, 1900Rarest

One of the oldest daylilies of all, and very hard to find today. This lightly fragrant beauty came from a clump growing in OHG founder Scott’s front yard – until we dug it up to share with you. (No problem!) It was bred by R. Wallace and Co., importers of some of the first daylilies from China, and praised in the June 1900 Country Life as “a Day Lily of great beauty, vigorous and handsome.” 28-32”, early-mid, deciduous, 2 fans, zones 5a-8a(10aWC), grown by us here in Ann Arbor. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HM-34 1/$9 3/$25.50 5/$40.50 10/$76.50 25/$180 SOLD OUT

MELONEE, 1959It’s Back!

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 30” tall, mid-summer blooming, deciduous, 3-4 fans, zones 5a-8b(10aWC), from Missouri. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HM-20 1/$8.50 3/$24 5/$38 10/$72 25/$170 SOLD OUT

NEYRON ROSE, 1950Web-Only & New

We’re thrilled to finally offer this dramatic beauty, after years of building up stock. It’s a deep raspberry-rose highlighted by an orange throat and ivory midrib lines that really make it pop. And its name? Artists may recognize it as the name of the color of the celebrated old rose ‘Paul Neyron’ of 1869. RHS AGM, 30-32”, mid, 2 fans, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor farm. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HM-39 1/$12.50 3/$35.50 5/$56 10/$106 25/$250 SOLD OUT

DAYLILY ARCHIVES — For customer tips and raves, history, news, and more, see our Daylillies Newsletter Archives.

PLANTING & CARE — Plant these bare-root perennials as soon as possible in the spring. They’re eager to grow, can take light frost, and need water and sunlight to stay healthy. If necessary, store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a few days or “heel in” briefly in moist sand or soil in a shady spot.

Daylilies like lots of sun but most bloom well in light shade, too, and often prefer it in the South. Loamy, well-drained soil suits them best, but they’re adaptable and should do fine in any soil that’s not too wet or dry.

Plant 18-24 inches apart (to leave growing room for future years) with the crown (where the foliage meets the roots) no more than one inch below the soil surface. Dig a hole big enough to fit the roots comfortably, mound soil in the center, set the plant on top, and spread the roots out down the sides of the mound. Fill in and firm soil around roots, making sure the crown ends up no more than one inch deep. Water well.

Water regularly, especially the first year and from spring till flowering in future years. First-year plants usually bloom sparsely — if at all — concentrating instead on developing a strong root system. Deadhead (remove) spent blooms daily for a neater look and, to increase bloom the following year, remove any seedpods that may form.

After bloom, normal senescence (aging) may cause foliage to subside, yellow, or turn brown at the tips. If this bothers you, feel free to trim it a bit or even cut the foliage to the ground completely — though not the first year! With good care, fresh new foliage will emerge.

Daylilies are hardy perennials and winter protection is rarely needed. In spring, remove dead foliage, fertilize if indicated by a soil test, and resume watering.

For more information, including tips on the few pests and diseases that occasionally trouble daylilies, see the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the excellent American Hemerocallis Society website.

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