Our March meeting put us in the mood for Spring! Bill Thompson gave a presentation on Day Lilies. Our hostesses made a lovely Spring table and we welcomed several new and prospective members. At his home Bill have 46 garden beds filled with 1600 variety of lily! He said he first got a few from a friend and then it took off from there.
The first record of lilies is in China in the year 2697 BC. They were used for food & medicine. The first written record of the flower in Europe was in 1576. Immigrants brought the bulbs with them to North America. Hybridizing began in the late 1800s. A Wisconsin man, Orlo Stout, was a famous botanist who furthered day lily colors and varieties. Initially, day lily were yellow or orange. Stout bred the first red day lily in 1934.
Today, many hybridizer's goal is to bred a blue day lily. Day lily varieties now number over 70,000! Day lily are easy to grow and hardy. They can handle sun (preferred) or shade. Dave says to divide them every 3 to 5 years as they will continue to multiple.