Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day Lily Flowers and Day Lily Buds

Oh sweetness! These clearly rank a five. I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying these.

Now you may be thinking, "Day lilies are not wild." Well, yes and no. They are a cultivated plant, but they escape easily and thrive on their own. We count anything not planted as wild. (And, encouragingly, most of our wild food guides and cook books count them too!) The unfortunate thing about day lilies is that they love road sides. We prefer not to collect along the road as petrochemicals, rock salt, and pesticides collect there. But it is where we found all the wild daylilies.

Several weeks ago, Thag and I collected day lily buds. I prepared them in a white wine and butter sauce and they were divine.

This weekend, we collected both the buds and opened flowers. I made the stuffed day lily blossom recipe in Ronna Mogelon's cookbook, Wild In the Kitchen. So rich, and so fantastic. For a main dish, I created a day lily risotto using both the buds and the flowers. Everyone loved it, included baby Yub Yub.

Unfortunately, shortly afterwards I was sick to my stomach and our housemate was ill all night. Both Thag and Yub Yub were fine. We aren't sure what to attribute our illness to. It would seem it was not the day lilies as we all ate them. However, our housemate and I have not seen each other much and these were the only foods we ate in common that day. She and I do not have any other food allergies or sensitivities. Has anyone else had any bad experiences with day lilies? They are a superb food so I'd hate to discount them.


  1. I am always careful not to eat too many Daylilies, especially the shoots. I think I got nauseous once from the shoots. I feel like I'll get sick if I eat too many.

    After reading your post I thought I'd check out what my books say. Steve Brill wrote:

    "Caution: Daylilies, especially raw, don't agree with everyone. About one out of fifty react with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, especially after they pig out."

    Another book said to eat in moderation to avoid a laxative effect. Another book mentioned that they are mildly toxic in large quantities.

  2. Thanks Arena. It is so important to look through multiple sources of information. I was busy reading through wild food cookbooks to get ideas and didn't spend enough time looking through wild food field guides and other sources. Because daylilies are easy to identify and the cookbooks said they were delicious, I got overexcited and clearly had a bad reaction. Such a bummer since they are so yummy.