Hemerocallis fulva (common day lily, ditch lily, outhouse lily, roadside lily)

description: herbaceous perennial

place of origin: Asia

urban habitat: commonly found along roadsides and abandoned building sites.

ecological function: once established can thrive by contracting its roots or elongating its shoots depending upon conditions; thrives in full sun and can tolerate dry or very wet conditions; food for wildlife.

history: Hemerocallis fulva was introduced into North America via Europe in the 1800s as a popular ornamental plant. Horticulturalists developed thousands of cultivars of the plant man of which are commonly sold today in nurseries. In China, its flowers are used to relieve pain for women in childbirth are purportedly useful as a sedative, blood purifier, and anti-nausea medication. Its rhizome is used in Korea to treat jaundice, constipation, and pneumonia, and the juice of its root has been used as an antidote in cases of arsenic poisoning. Its root also has a history of use in the treatment of cancer and a tea made from boiled roots used as a diruretic. Its leaves and young shoots are edible when cooked and used as an asparagus substitute, although consuming large quantities of the leaves can produce hallucinogenic effects. Its flower petals can be eaten raw and are rich in vitamin A. A yellow-green dye can be produced from its flowers.