My first daylily blooms popped up this week! Yum! Time to snack. Did you know that
“day” lilies are called that because their beautiful blooms only last one day? Like their name Hemerocallis (“beauty for a day”) indicates, the individual daylily flower lasts only one day. But the good news is that in addition to the blossoms being edible, so are the young shoots, buds and even root tubers and will extend your eating time substantially.
I ate my first daylily last year when my natural chef instructor, Brigitte Mars, brought some in to garnish a lovely raw apple carrot soup. Not only was it one of the most beautiful garnishes I’ve laid my eyes on, but it was also one of the most tasty. Sweet, slightly crunchy and delicious, daylilies are actually higher in protein and Vitamin C than most of the vegetables we eat. Some common ways of eating them include adding fresh buds and blossoms to salads, as well as battering and frying them like squash blossoms. Dried daylily petals, called “golden needles” by the Chinese, are an ingredient in many Chinese recipes, including hot-and-sour soup. And you can even dig up the root tubers and eat them like potatoes.
Remember, eating wild plants is exciting but you also want to be careful to know what you are doing. So here are some great identification tips and more background info on the daylily, courtesy of Wild Edibles.
And Front Range Living has put together a nice spread on daylilies including planting tips and recipes like Cilantro-pesto-stuffed Stella D’Oro Blossoms with Grilled Chicken Cilantro Pesto.
If you haven’t tried one yet, perhaps now is a great time to get to know the daylily…in all its miraculous flavors!