I’m pretty sure day lilies are one of those flowers people get excited about breeding purely for the thrill of naming the new varmint. My favorite is the variety “Redneck Woman.” I have no idea what the flower looks like. See what I mean?
I hear they are edible (foliage “said to taste like creamed onions”; flowers in moo shu, crab salad, cheesecake, fritters: here)—but I don’t dare cross the Wisconsin Day Lily Society and dig up the ones at the West Madison experimental garden. And besides, I’ve been wary of the lilies ever since giving the gamest of goes at wild chocolate lilies in Alaska; all the bacon in Juneau couldn’t disguise a distinctly bitter flavor.
Anyway, my orders were to cut them down for the winter, not eat them. Done, but I pruned my finger along with the flowers. It has been bleeding for two days.
The benefit of my bloodletting adventure was that I discovered the lilies had been harboring flocks and flocks of birds’-nest fungi—the charming Nidulariaceae family—in their beds. I’d have shown you, but my dear camera, like the old lady she is, doesn’t see so well up close anymore.
Note to self: schedule lily revenge/experimentation in March.