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Flower Types


When most people hear the word daylily, they probably think of the old fashioned orange "ditch lily," or the very common gold "Stella de Oro."   Unknown to most, daylilies come in a wide range of flower colors.  Daylilies have been hybridized to display more colors than any other group of plants grown in our gardens.  Varying shades of pink, red, yellow, purple, lavender, gold, and nearly everything between, can be found (if you look long enough).  The only colors yet to be produced are pure white and true blue.  Some very near whites are available on the market, but upon closer examination are actually very light pink or have a slight infusion of yellow.   The color blue has been elusive and is not yet represented in the daylily flower.  Many hybridizers have produced cultivars with blue hues in their flowers, but at this time no flower can claim to be true blue.   The goal of producing daylilies with blue flowers is a major goal in many hybridizing programs today.

The following are flower color variations that are recognized by the American Hemerocallis Society.


A flower that has all parts being the same color,
without variance. 


 Bitone flowers have petals that are of a different color or shade than the sepals.  A reverse bitone has flowers that have darker sepals than petals.


The flower color is a blend that cannot be differentiated easily.

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Diamond Dusting

Small shiny pigmentation in the flower that appear to glitter.

Throat Color...

The throat color of daylilies varies greatly from green to yellow to orange or to no difference in color at all.  Green throats, oddly enough, provide a excellent aesthetically pleasing affect to the flower!

Yellow Throat

A yellow throat with a green base.

Green Throat

A small green throat.

Green Throat

A large green throat.

Color Patterns...

Many daylily cultivars produce flowers that express beautiful and interesting patterns.  Patterns may be subtle or dramatic depending on the cultivar.  Some cultivars produce flowers with a single pattern, while others combine two or more patterns.  Some flowers have patterns only on their petals, others on sepals, yet others will show the pattern on both petals and sepals.


A variance in color (usually on the petals) that forms a subtle change in color, as if water has left a mark.


  An eye in a daylily flower is much like a watermark, but is distinctly darker-begins in throat and carries out onto petals (sometimes on to sepals). 


Daylily cultivars that have narrow darker colored eyezones that are interrupted by another color before meeting the throat are said to have a band of color.  Multiple bands are sometimes called layers.

Penciled Eye Zone

Another type of banding is the penciled eyezone or etched eyezone.  Penciled eyezones are very narrow and appear as though a color pencil was used to draw it on the flower. 

Color Overlay

Cultivars that exhibit a color that appears to be brushed or washed on top of a another base color are called 'color overlayed.' or 'washed'.

Colored MIdribs

Cultivar flowers that exhibit a line of color that bisects the petals are known as midribs (these are usually white or cream in color).  

Edges and Ruffling...

Modern daylily cultivars are continually being introduced with larger and more extravagant edges and ruffling.  The variation and refinement of these features is astounding and one can only imagine what future generations of hybrids will bring to gardeners in the areas of edges and ruffling!

Picottee Edge

Picottees are a band of color that follows the edge of the petals and sometimes the sepals.  A picottee will usually match the color of the eyezone on cultivars with these characteristics.  Few cultivars exist with picottees and no eye.

Wire Edge

 A fine color band that may be found on the very edge of the flower segments (usually the petals) is known as a wire edge.  Gold edges are quite common in tetraploid daylilies and may be wide bands on segment edges with varying degrees of ruffles.  Ruffled gold edges may take on forms of that have been given many creative names (chicken fat, bubbles, hooks, knobbies, teeth, spines, loops, crunchies, crinkles, crust and piecrust).  The many descriptors are slang that does seem to add identity and, perhaps, an entertaining quality to the flower edges of these daylilies.

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Ruffling refers to the varying degrees of contour the edges of a cultivar's flowers exhibit. Many forms of ruffling exist and many gardeners feel it adds a great deal of character or elegance to the appearance of the flower.

Flower Textures...

Each cultivar has a distinct texture to the flower segments that can add aesthetic value and performance qualities.  Heavy substance (wax-like) flowers typically have a shiny appearance and often stand up to wind and rain better than other textures.  Typically very thin textured, creped flowers perform well in hot sun, but are easily damaged by rain and wind.  Creping adds a 'puffy' or inflated look that usually withstands strong sunlight well.  Flowers that have thickened or raised areas within the flower are referred to as sculpted. 

Daylily Types...

Daylily flowers come in many shapes and sizes and may be fragrant. For more information visit the AHS FAQ page)


Daylilies with flowers less than three inches are classifed as miniatures. They can be on  dwarf, medium or tall scapes. Miniatures with a high bud count can be quite spectacular. 

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Daylilies with flowers greater than 3 inches but less than 4.5 inches are classified as small- flowered. 

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Daylilies with flowers 4.5 or greater are classified as large-flowered. Some modern cultivars have measured 10 inches or more. Many hybridizers are continually working on increasing the size of daylilies' flowers.

Unusual Form

Daylilies with flowers that have a distinctive petal or sepal shapes on all three petals or all three sepals are classified as unusual form. It includes three basic forms: crispate, cascade and spatulate. Visit AHS Unusual Form Definition page for futher details. 


Daylilies whose petal length is four times the petal’s width or more, a ratio of 4.0:1 or greater are classified as spiders.


Daylilies with flowers that have more than two layers may be considered a double. Visit AHS Double Definition page for details on the various types of doubles.

Daylily Bloom Season...

Daylily bloom season is divided into early early, early, mid-season,, late, and very late. By including cultivars from every season, daylilies will be blooming from mid June to Mid a garden. 

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