Cooking Orange Daylilies

 Several ways I enjoy eating, and serving, Missouri's orange "ditch" lilies.

Several ways I enjoy eating, and serving, Missouri's orange "ditch" lilies.

All Daylily Parts Are Edible

Jan Phillips in her book "Wild Edibles of Missouri" calls orange daylilies "another one of mother nature's grocery stores." Phillips says the whole plant is edible, from the young flower stalks in spring that taste like asparagus to the tiny, white root bulbs reminiscent of radishes.

Different Ways to Eat Daylilies

Over the years, I have used orange and yellow daylilies for salads and stuffed fare. Salmon and tuna salad inside the washed flowers with stamens removed are a lovely presentation, and the entire dish is edible. 

I also like the flower buds fresh. They are a nice addition to a salad or served on their own as a side dish. Remove the green stems before adding to a dish. They taste like green beans with a hint of onion.

Another way to enjoy the buds is to steam them. It only takes a couple of minutes to make the buds wilt so keep a close eye on them so they are not overcooked.

Wash in cool water, then allow to dry. When I wash mine, I keep them on their stems in a flower vase with water until I use them. The flowers only last a day so pick them right before you plan to use.

Make Sure Chemical Free

If you are going to eat daylilies, make sure you are picking them from a chemical-free area.

 Charlotte