10×14 watercolor on Arches rough finish (cold press) watercolor paper. Original unavailable.
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Daylilies comprise the small genus Hemerocallis of flowering plants in the family Hemerocallidaceae. They are not true lilies which are Lilium in Liliaceae.
Description The name Hemerocallis comes from the Greek words ἡμέρα (hēmera) “day” and καλός (kalos) “beautiful”. The flowers of most species open at sunrise and wither at sunset, possibly replaced by another one on the same stem the next day. Some species are night-blooming. Daylilies are not commonly used as cut flowers for formal flower arranging, yet they make good cut flowers otherwise as new flowers continue to open on cut stems over several days.
Originally native from Europe to China, Korea, and Japan, their large showy flowers have made them popular worldwide. There are over 60,000 registered cultivars. Only a few cultivars are scented. Some cultivars rebloom later in the season, particularly if their developing seedpods are removed.
Some daylilies show elongated widenings along the roots, made by the plant mostly for water storage and an indication of good health.
Daylilies can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 1 through 11, making them some of the most adaptable landscape plants. Most of the cultivars have been developed within the last 100 years. The large-flowered clear yellow ‘Hyperion’, introduced in the 1920s, heralded a return to gardens of the once-dismissed daylily, and is still widely available. Daylily breeding has been a specialty in the United States, where their heat- and drought-resistance made them garden standbys during the later 20th century. New cultivars have sold for thousands of dollars, but sturdy and prolific introductions soon reach reasonable prices.
Hemerocallis is one of the most hybridized of all garden plants, with registrations of new hybrids being made in the thousands each year in the search for new traits. Hybridizers have extended the plant’s color range from the yellow, orange, and pale pink of the species, to vibrant reds, purples, lavenders, greenish tones, near-black, near-white, and more. However, a blue daylily is a milestone yet to be reached.
Other flower traits that hybridizers develop include height, scent, ruffled edges, contrasting “eyes” in the center of the bloom, and an illusion of glitter or “diamond dust.” Sought-after improvements in foliage include color, variegation, disease resistance, the ability to form large, neat clumps and being evergreen or semi-evergreen instead of herbaceous (also known as “dormant” — the foliage dies back during the winter.) (info from Wikipedia)