Daylilies- In Search of Distinctive Eyes

Daylilies are easy to grow and come in many varieties. Some of the popular ones have a distinctive eye, the multi-colors in the throat of the flower, almost giving the appearance of an eye. These colors give the flower depth and produces quite an impact and produces a great looking daylily. Wikipedia defines them as members of the genus Hemerocallis.

They come in many species, hybrids, and cultivars. Daylilies are easy to breed and they produce thousands of variations in the process. You may be wondering, with all the varieties available how you make a decision when you are looking for extra special plants. To narrow the field try to focus on a specific color or flower form. I like the ones with distinctive eyes, so that is the focus of this article.

American Daylilies & Perennials, have hybridized a “Black Eyed Stella.” It took ten years to get this species to bloom like ‘Stella de ore.’ Varieties with eyes have a great appeal, as do repeat bloomers.

Favorite Varieties

daylily eye yi yi

Eye Yi Yi Daylily

‘Eye Yi Yi’ is a bright orange daylily with a cherry eye. The bloom is about 5 ½” and about 30” tall scapes (the height of the flower stalk). The plant is semi-evergreen in the midwest area. It is an early bloomer that blooms around mid June in the Midwest and repeats its blooms later in the season. This one is very popular.

‘Stella’s Pink Valentine’ is made of up pink petals with a chartreuse throat and centered with a

stella's pink valentine

Stella's Pink Valentine Daylily

red eye. The smaller 3 1/2” blooms appear in late June atop 16-21” scapes. It rests a bit, then will bloom once again.

It forms a full clump quickly for creating a great color display. It was a choice selection of the breeder, not only for its beauty, but for its ability to increase rapidly and is a great performer for all USDA zones 4.10.

“Canadian Border Patrol’ is a bold eyed beauty representing the strong color contrast of black and white. It has 6” pastel

Daylily canadian border patrol

Canadian Border Patrol Daylily

blooms that range from cream-peach to cream-buff, depending on the soil and location. It strongly contrasts the large, dark purple eye that it has. Not consistently, it has a tendency to have a fine line of purple along its edges. This is a nice touch, when it happens to occur. It blooms in late June in the Kansas City area, and reaches a height of 25-26”.

‘Radiant Greeting’ is also a favorite of the breeder’s wife. They have grown this variety for several years, but it still ranks at the top of their list. The large blooms are a rich gold, contrasted by a nearly black eye. The wide petals lay open and flat, allowing the full display of the radiant eye. It blooms in mid season at 30” in height and also repeat blooms. It does very good in mass plantings and is a variety that stands out from a distance (carrying power).

‘Pandora’s Box’ is a smaller variety with a 4” cream-white bloom and a dark purple eye zone. The fragrant flowers appear atop 18 to 20” scapes above a dark green arching foliage. This does well in zones 4-10. It is consistently dependable, a strong grower, and gives a superb garden presentation.

Pure White Daylily

lady elizabeth daylily

Lady Elizabeth Daylily

Their new variety for 2010 is ‘Lady Elizabeth.’ This doesn't  have a distinctive eye, but is well worth introducing. This is a pure white and they are very proud of the results they have received on this one. Whites, typically, are genetically weak, but they have overcome these situations with this variety.

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