Miniature Daylilies

There are numerous daylilies, Hemerocallis sp. growing in the Fairegarden. Too many. The very best effort has been put forth to keep track of who is planted where and when they bloom. There are lists and maps galore in the thick zipper notebook of garden notes and journals kept and added to over many years. To be blunt, I am losing the zeal to know it all. Incredible, isn’t it? The above is most likely H. ‘Tiny Temptress’, but there is no guarantee anymore.

This much is known, there is a collection of the daylilies with smaller flowers, less than three inches across, that has been grouped together at the base of the Black Garden, close to the pathway for easier viewing of these tiny gems. Above is most likely H. ‘Lullaby Baby’.

When buying from reputable daylily dealers, we are lucky to have several within a short driving distance here, buying in bloom to make sure what the flower looks like, there can still be mix-ups. Passalongs are a whole other ball of tangled twine, with the giftor maybe not knowing for sure the name. Above is a fine example, a passlong from daughter Semi, who shares in the addiction of daylilies with her mother. The bare root box at the big box store said this was H. ‘Ribbon Candy’. It is not that, but research has led us to believe it might be H. ‘Siloam Baby Doll’. Why not call it that, they all need names anyway.

Some passalongs are easier to identify, even when passed along from two different gardeners, as is the case with H. ‘Little Grapette’, from Semi and fellow blogger MMD, Mr. McGregor’s Daughter. Thanks, dears! The small purplish blooms are unmistakeable on this floriferous cultivar.

This is the time of year when it is always feared that the camera is broken. The light is so intense and harsh, no matter the time of day photography is attempted, the results are often unsatisfactory. Now we know better, it is not the camera, thank goodness, but the angle of the sun. Recently there was an experiment to see if there could be a capture of the brilliant light being given by the creamy Royal Fantasy lilies in the pre-dawn. Failure, but a random shot of H. ‘Jason Salter’ showed true colors shining through.

Early morning finds the gardener playing the drag the hoses around game here, due to scorching heat and no precipitation. H. ‘Siloam Jim Cooper’ has caught the liquid in its petals, creating a fairy sized swimming pool, complete with diving board.

It takes strong, saturated color to be able to resist the washed-out effects of a nearly summer sum. H. ‘Cosmopolitan’ is up to the task.

Lighting plays such an important role in the appearance of the daylilies, each flower open for but one day. The hues can and do often change as the flower ages by the hour, with darkening occurring in some, bleaching out occurring in others. Sun and shade affect as well, as shown in this image of the exact same flower as the previous photo, taken seconds apart, the second one uses my hand to shade the bloom. Yes, it is something of a contortion to do so, but art requires suffering.

Names including the words, little or tiny leave no doubt as to the size of these miniature beauties. The foliage is full sized, however. H. ‘Little Fantastic’ was the first purchase for the area dedicated to the mini daylilies. Shopping was done among the existing varieties for the smaller bloom sized plants that get lost and unnoticed when planted with their larger brethren. It has been better to appreciate the charms of each petite petal with them grouped together and close to the walkway. While most breeding is being done now for ever larger blooms, these wee ones are too sweet to sweep under the jungle mat passing as a garden here now.

Plants We Grow-Daylilies is a page on the sidebar showing all of the daylilies identified to the best of our ability. If the tags would hold the ink and we would quit moving them around, well, never mind. Neither is going to happen. There is only one thing to say about that: Onward.


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13 Responses to Miniature Daylilies

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    The little ones are beginning to bloom in my garden too. I have some older varieties. I don’t know what they are called. I do have little grapette though. I know which one it is. This summer is going to be a scorcher. Do we say this every year now??

    Hi Lisa, I am glad to hear you hae some of the little ones, too. When I asked one local grower if he had any miniatures, he snorted derisively that no one wanted them! Well, you do and I do. So there. Yes, we do say it every year, and it doesn’t seem to make any difference, does it?

  2. You said two things in your post today that struck a ringing chord. “To be blunt, I am losing the zeal to know it all,” and “art requires suffering.” The first, my job requires me to know the Latin names and pronunciation of the plants I use, identify and suggest. But as time moves along, I find I care less and less. Not that I don’t know the varieties, but that they grow where I put them and work off their neighbors harmoniously and artistically is all I give a hoot about anymore. To find a really true white daylily is way cooler than knowing ‘Joan Senior’ is pretty darn close. I find I don’t care what it is called, that it just is what I need.

    The other quote is literal pain and emotional ‘pain’. How many times are you laying on the ground with the camera millimeters above say a puddle to frame a nice shot? Then try and get back up, ouch, ouch, ouch. Plus artists are born with inner pain I think. Without internal struggle of some sort, expressing art seems to have little meaning. You must feel what you create. Hey, I guess your post brought out a lot today, but I should mention your photos are better than most I see in the trade magazines. Much preferred to make my selection from your post and garden than many of the catalogs with their highly saturated or desaturated (Joan as an example) images.

    Gosh Donna, what a wonderful comment, thank you! Your words are too kind, but have made my day much more pleasant this early AM. I appreciate you ver much. As for those Latin names, I want to get them right, to help educate people with the blog. If it weren’t for the blog postings, I would probably not bother, but it is good to be able to tell one plant from the other one. Now if those taxonomists would stop changing perfectly fine names, such as aster or sedum. Maybe we should say art = ouch.

  3. Frances, I am a great fan of daylilies in every garden, they are the backbone of my garden. If plotted out correctly, daylilies can be blooming from spring through fall.


    Hi Eileen, I agree. There are so many to chose from, something for everyone. Knowing the timing of bloom, color and height help us site them for the optimum garden enjoyment.

  4. Sheila Read says:

    How is it possible to have too many daylilies? Never! I appreciated your comments on the effect of the harsh summer sun on photography. I took a camera with me on a walk in the woods the other day and found it almost impossible to get the exposure right …

    Hi Sheila, thanks for visiting. Too many daylilies, like too many plants…it boggles the mind! HA That sun, it gets us every year. Adjusting the timing of my morning forays with the camera is still frustrating.

  5. Nell Jean says:

    Considering there are tens of thousands of registered Hemerocallis, isn’t it interesting how many of us have Little Grapette and Lullabye Baby? I sometimes give mine garden names. ‘Siloam Ury Winniford’ becomes ‘Miss Winnie.’

    Hi Nell Jean, that is food for thought! Those are both really good ones. Miss Winnie grows here, and that name is offputting, from now on it will be referred to as Miss Winnie.

  6. Leslie says:

    I found a little one blooming in the front yard under some shastas last night. I don’t remember ever planting any near there…

    Hi Leslie, cool! They do seed about sometimes. Also, when you dig them up to move them, it is difficult to get every bit of root and they will regrow and regrow…

  7. VW says:

    I hear you about trying to photograph short-lived daylily blooms in the mid-summer – so challenging. Perhaps an umbrella (in white or black, so as not to add a color tint) would be helpful? But this from me who can’t ever remember to bring her tripod outside, let along other props. Ha!

    Hey, VW, thanks for that good idea! Now all I need is a white umbrella. I know the pros use such things. Maybe I can get the Financier to hold it just right while I snap the shutter.

  8. Lola says:

    Great post Frances. I do appreciate your knowledge of your beautiful plants. It does help me. But I can relate to the ouch situation. I can only plant mine where I think they look best & where I can see them. Memory seems to be an issue with me also, not being as acute as it use to.

    Thanks so much, Lola, I appreciate your readership! Being able to see the little ones is important, if not, why even bother? I write stuff down in journals, but if I forget to write down one of the many moves, it will be a surprise. At least I can always tell a daylily…

  9. Barbarapc says:

    The daylilies are beautiful & you’re extremely kind to go to the trouble of labelling them for us. I too have those moments, when I just think, “Well, there it is – a nice orange flower.” As for the light – a girl could go nuts, it is indeed madness to try to get a good shot. For the next little while I’m going to present my best Black Velvet replica photo of the day. We’re getting brighter light than ever before – apparently (and according to our esteemed Canada Environment weather expert) there was some sort of high cloud cover during the winter that has changed the sun’s brightness this year – more problems days of sun exposure for skin and for us poor photographers.

    Thanks for visiting, Barbara. I like to know the names, even if some are incorrect. When out of bloom, they might as well all be the same one, though. Black Velvet, love it! HA So the sun’s brightness has been changed, eh? What is the world coming to?

  10. I so prefer the smaller flowered day lilies, they don’t look as messy if you miss deadheading for a day. I agree with you about the colors of day lilly blooms. Even when not faded, I had trouble matching them up to the RHS color chips, because there are so many colors in each bloom and they are so complex. Thanks for the link love. I totally forgot I sent you ‘Little Grapette’. I really like your ‘Jason Salter’, it would look good next to ‘Little Grapette’ for the color echo.

    Hi MMD, I am glad you like the little guys, too. I am not good about deadheading, unless I am trying to take a photo and often forget even then, having the ack moment when loading the shots onto the computer. All the Littles look very good together, a good blend of reds, pinks, purples and oranges.

  11. commonweeder says:

    Your daylilies are just beautiful – and beautifully photographed. I know there is importance in knowing names, at least enough of a name so that someone could find that plant if they wished, but it can be hard. In the case of my daylilies they are growing on a daylily only bank so even the named daylilies that went there are harder and harder to identify definitely. I do what i can.

    Hi Pat, thanks so much. It is nice to know the names, especially for blogging purposes. So many are similar, if you have some unknowns, it is best to just enjoy them. Perhaps a made up name just to help you keep them straight. We have several like that, including my personal fave, Free Orange.

  12. david goldin says:

    I hope this is the proper place to ask a very important question for me. First a little background. I fellow in love with day lillies about twenty years ago and have been enjoying them, and hostas ever since. The flowers get good East, South and some Western light and they thrive. I am moving to a 55 and older home with limited East and Western exposure. Obviously I am planning on moving a quantity of them. The BIG question is: will they thrive. If not,side from hostas what other shade loving plants can I use.


    Hi David, yes, this is the way to contact me. You don’t say where you are gardening, so I am not too sure how to answer. Daylilies need sun to bloom well and thrive, the more the better. I have some in afternoon shade as trees have grown larger and there are not as many blooms, sad to say. Hostas are great for shade. I would suggest you google shade loving plants for your locale to get the best information. Good luck with your move!

  13. david goldin says:


    Thanks for the speedy reply. I live and garden on Long Island,New York State zone 6b. I will google shade loving plants. I should have thought of that. See, two heads ARE better than one.

    Thanks again


    Glad to help, David.

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