|Daylily Brand New Lover|
|It's pretty easy to find recipes incorporating daylily|
flowers on the net. On the counterpart, you need to
search thoroughly for recipes calling for the plant's
flowering buds or spring shoots.
Even more, make sure the site you are about to harvest from isn't polluted or otherwise contaminated.
Even if you know the plant, for the first time you eat it, it is still recommended that you take only a small quantity to make sure your body reacts well (an allergy or intolerance is still possible). By the way, in general, a raw plant is more likely to cause someone an adverse reaction than a cooked one.
Some sources mention that the daylily's leaves can provoke a "digestive system's distress" (read here diarrhea) in one in fifty people. Personnally, I also think that our body needs adaptation to pretty much anything new, especially if the plant in question is vigorous enough to grow out-of-the-garden, surviving in the less likely places and even reproducing there (like roadside ditches). These plants tend to be more nutritious than a tamed garden vegetable that doesn't have to fend for itself in the wild and so these strong plants are more likely to give our civilized stomaches some trouble.
There's a description of the daylily, lily and iris at the end of this article, to help you identify each if need be.
|These young greens are tender,|
without a doubt, but I'd rather wait
for the whole plant to get out of the
ground before harvesting.
I'm not touching my spring-flowering varieties of daylilies (those that flower in May or June), because it could postpone their flowering, but also because those spring species are not the exact same as H. Fulva. I haven't found so far documentation saying you could eat those. So instead, I focus on the hybrids that bloom in full summer.
Later in summer, I will return to harvest the buds and/or the flowers, as many as I want to eat. Collecting flowers is harmless for the plant and since the daylily flower lasts only a day (much more rarely two, depending on the cultivar), it's not such a big deal to take flowers that won't be there the next day, anyway.
|Next year, I'm seriously considering|
covering my plants with a floating cover until
harvest to reduce the time spent
cleaning the leaves.
|Roadside Tiger daylilies,|
3 weeks after I harvested them.
It's getting back quite well.
Last year, the harvest was small in part because I feared I might damage my plants. But they recovered so fast and took such a beautiful appearance, I realize this fear was unfounded - their flowering wasn't even delayed.
Therefore, this year, I harvested the totality of the shoots once on each plant, so we'll see if it has any indesirable effect on the plants. But I'm not really worried. After all, a hard frost could easily kill the young leaves and it wouldn't affect a healthy plant.
|A simple meal:|
and daylily's young leaves
cooked in the microwave oven, in a steamer, for 60 seconds.
|An omelet made of ham, cheese and daylily young leaves, |
accompagnied with cherry tomatoes and yellow beans,
both coming straight from my windowfarm.
Not bad for a mid-April meal!
|My turbot and scallops chowder with daylily's spring leaves,|
simply accompagnied with a rye bread toast, buttered
and sprinkled with dried thyme on top.
My husband liked this meal so much he swallowed 5 bowls!
Typically the daylily flower is widely opened and presents 3 petals and 3 sepals. There's also some flowers that boast double (or more) the normal sets (apparently these varieties are less odorous and so in result have more trouble attracting pollinators). Each flower lasts a day - this is from where the name comes from - but some cultivars or species can push this to 2 days before the bloom wilts and is eventually replaced by another elsewhere on the stem. The flowering period depends on the cultivar but some last only 2 to 3 weeks while others, like the popular golden Stella de Oro, are in bloom almost all summer.
|Daylily roots form a mass of tubers |
going from the size of a pea to that of a finger.
|The German Iris (aka Garden or Bearded Iris), from which the rhizomes |
are visible on the surface of the earth.
|Iris left, daylily right.|
|Iris down, daylily top.|
|Iris's flowers can be|
simple or double and their
hue varies greatly,
from white to true blue,
yellow, burgundy and black-red,
golden, peach and pinkish.
|Without a doubt my favorite variety, |
Frances Halls, here accompanied
by golden raspberries
and yellow cherry tomatoes,
this is last July's harvest.
It's possible to eat wilted flowers (collect them at the end of the day, when they are closing up, or the next morning). They can be part of a stew, a stir-fry a spaguetti sauce, an omelet or a soup. Bon appétit!