Daylily Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Uses You Should Know

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The daylilies are not the same as the lilies you think these are! Although both show mesmerizing beauty and distinct floral resemblance, the two actually belong to different families! 

In the language of flowers, the daylilies also behold an amazing flower meaning and symbolism. Take a closer look at how these flowers bloom and it will give you a hint to the reason behind its name!

The flowers are popularly used as an ornamental plant, a culinary garnish, and a traditional medicine. Each color has its own unique meaning and symbolism. A white or yellow daylily means success and healing. Meanwhile, a red and orange one symbolizes pride and dedication. Lastly, a pink daylily represents playfulness.

History of Daylily Flowers

The daylily or day lily were defined in 1597 as a cluster of lavish bell-shaped flowers with long stems. The plant is a perennial herb native to most parts of Central Europe and Eastern Asia. It is composed of six petals, three petals, and three sepals when in full bloom. 

The old-fashioned flowers were originally cultivated in East Asia and made their way to North America through European traders and voyagers. For a fact, day lilies are not true lilies. 

The flowers belong to the genus Hemerocallis of the Hemerocallidaceae family or the Liliaceae family. It only consists of 15 species with edible flowers and delectable floral buds! The genus is derived from the Greek words hemera meaning day and kallos meaning unique beauty. 

Some of the most favorable daylily varieties have bold colors that are a spectacular sight to see! A few of these favorites include the Orange daylily (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus), the Yellow daylily (Hemerocallis citrina), Tawny daylily (Hemerocallis Fulva) and the Stella de Oro daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’). It requires the right place to grow such as full to partial shade areas and adequate watering.

Symbolism of Daylily Blossoms

In Chinese cultures, the daylilies symbolized long and bountiful life. This symbolism is associated with the flower being food for a deer. In many Chinese beliefs, the deer is an icon for the longevity of life. 

The flowers were called the Xuan Cao meaning to forget or Wang You Cao meaning the grass to forget worries. These names come from the Chinese belief that the daylilies are herbs of forgetfulness.

A day lily is a flower that stays in bloom for only one day. According to some, most daylilies are a symbol of flirtatious behavior because the flower only stays in bloom for a single day. It can also be symbolic of the filial devotion a mother and child share with one another. 

yellow daylily

Meaning of Daylily Florets

The true daylily flower meaning lies during their intimate time of bloom – though there are factors behind its many other meanings. While gazing at the marvel of these flowers, you would realize that their blooms are so short-lived during the day! You thought right! The daylilies’ infamous name literally means it is a flower only beautiful for a day! These flowers are an everyday show of splendor in the morning. 

Another interesting daylily flower meaning has something to do with Mother’s day. Giving this flower to your mother on this special day is a great way to represent your love for her – and that’s all according to Chinese sayings! 

Flower colors are also responsible for the meaning behind daylilies. Here are a few of those floral colors and each of its meanings.

What does a White Daylily Flower Mean?

White Daylilies send the message of success and wealth. Apart from this, it can also mean fertility and bounty.

What does a Red Daylily Blossom Symbolize?

A red-petaled Hemerocallis flower is symbolic of pride. Red daylilies do not symbolize boastful pride, but honorable pride.

What does a Pink Daylily Floret Indicate?

Coquetry and playfulness are indicated by a pink Hemerocallis blossom. Just like a feisty young woman or a jolly toddler, pink daylilies also embody their youth.

What does a Yellow Daylily Bloom Represent?

Hemerocallis florets with bright yellow petals represent forgetfulness and healing. Just like in Chinese traditional belief, yellow daylilies also mean moving forward and carrying on. 

What does an Orange Daylily Flower Symbolize?

Tenacity and dedication are what you can associate orange daylilies with. These orange lilies are also symbolic of the determination to achieve a goal or dream. 

What is the Cultural Significance of a Daylily Blossom?

The cultural significance of the daylilies reaches as far and wide around the globe! The Chinese dub these flowers as the bringer of sons. The flowers were also called “Wong Yu” which translates to “forgetting worries” indicating the flowers’ cheerful position.

In ancient Chinese culture, these flowers are symbolic of fertility and fruitfulness, especially to mothers. The ancients believed that the flower would bring good luck to mothers who wish to bear sons. Children were also believed to have prayed to these flowers during festive events!

Meanwhile, a whole different symbolic belief is popularized by the Western world! Since these flowers are dainty in size and vibrant in color, it is said to be an icon of flirtation! 

What is the Mythology behind a Daylily Flower? 

There is an ancient Greek mythology of how the daylily came to be. According to the tale, the flowers were dedicated to and were created by the goddess Hera, the wife of Zeus. Zeus had a son named Hercules with a mortal woman Alceme. Because Hercules was half mortal, Zeus fed him with Hera’s milk while she slept. When Hera awoke, the milk fell from her breast which created the Milky way and the universe.

It was said that the milk that fell onto earth bloomed into the first lily flower. It was aptly named lily because of its rich beauty representing Hera.

What is the Spiritual Influence of a Daylily Floret?

The Daylilies along with its look-alike, the Lily, have a spiritual influence on mind and body. Not only that, but it also influences the environment surrounding you. For those who are on the path to pursuing careers, these flowers can help guide you in planning major changes in your work. Besides this, it also guides you in any major changes in your life. 

These blossoms also serve as a reminder of the delight in every simple moment of everyday life. Did you know that these flowers also possess other spiritual abilities? It brings together and heals traumas and familial relationships in enlightening ways. And not only that, but it is also a charm in homes for dispelling grief and bad luck.

What is the Biblical Meaning of Daylilies? 

In Northern European art interpretations, the Hemerocallis flowers are symbolic of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary by the announcement Archangel Gabriel. Besides this, the folks believe that the flowers and their intimacy embody the life of Christ on Earth. 

What does a Daylily Floral Tattoo Symbolize?

Just like the Chinese symbolism for this flower, a Daylily flower tattoo is symbolic of feminine beauty and grace. Especially those women who are mothers with sons (and daughters!) this flower represents her strength and undying love and devotion to her children.

Uses of Daylilies

The Daylilies are a crowd favorite in gardens for their amazing blossoms and vigorous growth. Surprisingly, the flowers and their young floral buds can also be consumed. In the Far East, the petals are very sweet and a popular source of nectar and iron. 

Flower buds were also consumed as a staple food and are rich in vitamin A and proteins. For traditional Buddhists, the flowers are dried and cooked into a delicious vegetarian dish called the Buddha’s delight. 

Sturdy fibrous materials can also be obtained from this plant. Tough and dried leaves of the Hemerocallis are plaited into cord and used to make footwear!

Chinese culture and early Elizabethan era claims that daylilies have medicinal properties. In Chinese traditional medicine, eating young shoots or floral petals provided relaxation and relief during stressed situations. Dried flowers were also used in other traditional medicine and anti aging creams. 

The Vietnamese also use these flowers to treat nosebleeds. Some believe that when a pregnant woman uses this flower, she can expect a male child. A word of caution that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.

~ image source: depositphotos/[email protected]

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