Lily of the Ditch

This time of year, the ditches in my area are filled with a certain lily.

Common Tiger Lily

Orange daylilies or tawny daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) are either loved or despised depending on who you talk to.

I have some in my flower bed.  I don’t remember planting them there but they appeared and multiplied with great enthusiasm.  I’ve dug them up, gave many away and thrown some in the ditch by the county road expecting them to wither and die.


Common Tiger Lily

As a matter of fact, they thrived.  They bloomed.  They multiplied with great enthusiasm. Which is how they earned their common name of ditch lily.

I’ve always thought of these flowers as a native, old fashioned,  pass-along plant handed down from generation to generation.

Common Tiger LIly

Not so.

Turns out Hemerocallis fulva  is an invasive species from Asia.  The tawny daylily escaped someone’s garden way back in time and has been seen multiplying all over the U. S of A.

I, for one, am on the fence about this one.  On one hand, they are virtually impossible to kill.  They have a pretty orange flower and get tall enough to be a good plant for the back of the border.

Common Tiger Lily Common Tiger Lily

On the other hand, the root system is so intense it can hardly be divided without leaving a trace of a root behind.

And that’s all they need to multiply with great enthusiasm again.

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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7 Responses to Lily of the Ditch

  1. Nikki G says:

    Great post! I always wondered about these lilies, I figured they came from an old homestead long gone and the road crews spread them when dealing with the roads. I to have some mixed in a bed. They aren’t as showy as the hybrids, but I appreciate that they bloom longer into the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tammy says:

    I love any flower. Especially a flower that you can’t kill.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my faves. However, a non-native invasive would bother me, if I knew about it. I’m going to pretend I never read this. 😀


  4. I love driving around and seeing these beauties growing along the roadsides.


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