The ubiquitous orange daylily. Seen in almost every farm house's yard where I grew up. They lined the old railroad tracks where I played as a kid; we called them tiger lilies though I don't know why and stomped over them on our quest for black caps. They seemed to be everywhere except my own back yard. That is, until this year.
After discovering last summer through Hank Shaw's blog that these common daylilies are edible, I had to give them a try. I found a patch of plants and cooked up a few buds and tubers and declared them delicious. Color me surprised! I figured they'd make a fine addition to our summer menu so I begged a patch of them off of my in-laws to plant in my own yard. They were more than happy to let me dig up a load of them because as anyone who has these knows, they grow (and spread) like weeds.
Our lily patch is pretty small this year but we've been able to get a few harvests of buds so far. In a year or two I should have enough that I can start thinning them out and then I'll be able to harvest the root tubers, which taste like fingerling potatoes. For now we're enjoying our buds sauteed in butter with a little salt.
For me they taste a bit like a cross between a green bean and asparagus. Cooked just briefly they have a nice texture too. Seriously, did I mention, oh yum?
I recently read that you can pickle the buds, and I suppose they'd be good deep fried, (because like, what isn't?), or tossed in stir fry. The whole plant is edible actually and I've already promised to deep fry the flowers for my son who loves, and has been deprived of this year, squash blossoms.
I love having useful plants in the yard. How about you?
per the Peterson Field Guide - Edible Wild Plants:
On identifying the edible day-lily "Note the unspotted tawny blossoms (open 1 day only) facing upward from the top of a leafless flowerstalk. Basal leaves light green, long, swordlike. Root a tangle of small elongated tubers."