Avoid awkward hand swishing... | Daylily Haiku Thursday!

posted 2/14/2013 - something red for Valentine's Day!  This is the daylily H. 'Kingdom of Hearts' that was taken in my Illinois garden last summer.  It pouted and sulked for two summers after planting it, but oh, it was worth the wait!

Maybe you are a casual daylily lover.  Maybe you are just falling head-first into an addiction.  You should know that some perennial purists are very particular about the semantics surrounding daylily-dom, and are quick to correct in writing (or in public) about your perceived mistake.  For example, at one of my very first daylily meetings in the early 90's, I was chatting in a small group about the different stem heights of my daylilies.

"Oh,"  the lady raised her hand and swished the air between us, "we don't call them stems, they are scapes."


Here are a few must-remembers to avoid uncomfortable corrections during your next daylily-related conversation:

1.  Scapes. This is the 'legs' of the daylily.  The 'stem structure.'  Or this definition from the AHS Dictionary of Terms.  Used in a sentence, "That daylily has a very tall scape."

2.  Daylilies aren't lilies.  To purists, these words are not interchangeable.  They are not in the same botanic family.  LILIES are one thing and DAYLILIES are another.  Hemerocallis is now placed in family Xanthorrhoeaceae, subfamily Hemerocallidoideae, and formerly was part of Liliaceae (which includes true lilies).  It would be like saying roses and rose of sharon were the same thing because they share the word rose.  

3.  It is one word.  Despite what Webster, the OED or spell check says.

4.  Knowing how to pronounce the word Hemerocallis makes your mouth feel good.  Here is the Talking Dictionary to help you with the correct emphasis. 

I just checked out the Wiki on daylilies.  Interesting.  Here it is.

Now go be awesome.  It's almost spring!



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