Hemerocallis fulva (Day Lily)

Plant Info
Also known as: Orange Daylily
Family:Liliaceae (Lily)
Life cycle:perennial
  • Invasive - ERADICATE!
Habitat:part shade, sun; fields, along roads and streams
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:2 to 5 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: UPL NCNE: UPL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 6-petals Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flowers] A panicle of 5 to 9 showy flowers, 3 to 4 inches across, made up of 3 petals and 3 petal-like sepals; the outer sepals are slightly narrower than the inner petals. All are orange with red streaks and turn to yellow at the throat. The petal edges are usually a bit crinkly or curled. 6 long stamens, curved near the tips, and a long straight style emerge from the center. Each flower lasts only 1 day, hence the name.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Many sword-like leaves, 1 to 3 feet long and to 1¼ inches wide, surround the base of the plant, usually flopping over. The flowering stem is stout and naked except for a few widely spaced scale-like leaves. A plant may have multiple flowering stems.


Day Lily is one of those plants that was known to be invasive farther east but that was ignored. Left alone, it readily spreads and easily escapes garden settings. It can be found along roadsides in many more counties than the distribution map suggests, though it is more a problem plant in the Metro and southeast counties than farther north. As pest management goes, common dandelion spray can be quite effective if applied early in the season. Plants can then be dug up later in the season without too much difficulty, but all of the tubers must be removed or the plant will return the next year.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Whitewater WMA, and in Hennepin County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Debbie - St. Louis Park
on: 2010-08-27 21:29:38

Much to my chagrin, SLP allows residents to plant this invasive plant (that has taken over their own yards) along a road that runs along a marshy section of Minnehaha Creek where we have been removing buckthorn! :(

Posted by: Tina - Carlton County
on: 2011-03-01 10:05:15

I noticed a patch of day lily growing behind the Raiter Clinic parking lot in Cloquet, MN. I thought it was a leftover patch from an old garden; however, it appears to be growing all along the trails behind Cloquet hospital. My children and I noticed patches of it while we would take walks last year. Wild columbine and geraniums also appear to be growing.

Posted by: Russel - Lake County, Two Harbors
on: 2011-07-16 21:22:30

Spotted a single plant in the woods off of East Alger Grade. Here is a link to google map location. http://maps.google.com/maps?msid=209762878540973422042.0004a83a872caa5b19c22&msa=0&ll=47.18,-91.600914&spn=0.020594,0.05403&z=15

Posted by: Victoria - Shakopee, Scott County, Minnesota
on: 2011-08-02 07:25:56

"Wild" day lilies growing in Prior Lake, Scott County near Spring Lake Regional Park / Howard Lake and Credit River Township, Scott County near CR 21 and 27.

Posted by: Jason - Mankato, Blue Earth County
on: 2013-07-28 22:29:55

Along roadways and ravines throughout the city.

Posted by: Tim - brainerd
on: 2014-07-12 18:06:12

Marsh areas and around lake

Posted by: Douglas - Marsh Lake Swift County
on: 2014-07-27 13:30:58

Found a small patch at the northeast public access on Marsh Lake in Lac qui Parle WMA. Five or six plants with one blooming. Never seen this plant here before even though I come here quite often.

Posted by: Nora - Longville, MN
on: 2014-08-01 10:02:05

I have never seen this plant before, but last week I took a walk along the edge of the woods and the meadow near my house and found just two of these flowers in bloom! Beautiful!

Posted by: Starr - Minneapolis
on: 2015-04-19 11:47:02

I had no idea these were a bad plant! My grandmother planted a patch in the yard and I still have them. They bloom each year in the same spot and have never moved past it. It there a look alike that's non-invasive?

Posted by: Andrea - Pine County
on: 2015-04-27 21:59:02

These lilies drive me bonkers! I managed to dig many of them up around our house there but it was a lot of digging because their tubers just never end! We had a lot to dig out to finally feel like we got them all.. but it was very rewarding when we didn't see them come up again. We threw all the plant parts and every last tuber in a fire. Even leaving one or two sets of tubers in the ground will have these things return! Now I am trying to eradicate them in my new yard here in Pine City. The only way to truly rid them from your yard seems to be to dig them up completely.. but keep digging to ensure you get every last tuber. They seem to multiply like rats. I would love to know an easier way without dangerous chemicals-we have pets. Do not simply throw the tubers in another spot.. put them in the trash or burn them!!

Posted by: Ella Mae - Mankato
on: 2016-07-06 22:08:21

If you look around older neighborhoods in Mankato ( houses built late 1800-early 1900's) you will notice many houses have these. I've tried researching when and why they were so popular. 1920's? What it a fad? Father in law remembers having them in his yard when he was a kid in the 40's but they were already there so possibly much earlier?

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