Daylily Terms

  • COLOR - weather and growing conditions may influence color. You may hear terms for color, such as clear, smooth, brilliant, mellow, vibrant, dull, streaked.
  • Commonly used terms are:
    • SELF - petals and sepals are the same color (stamens and throat may be different colors)
    • BICOLOR - petals one color (darker than the sepals), sepals another color (lighter than the petals)
    • BITONE - differ in color shade and intensity, with petals being darker (e.g., dark rose pink petals and lighter pink sepals)
    • BLEND - the flower segments are a blending of two colors; the petals and sepals are the same blending of color
    • EDGE - refers to the edge of the petals and sepals; may be tailored, ruffled, crimped pleated, pie-crusted, scalloped, knobby, serrated, etc.
    • EYED/BANDED - a band of different or darker color at the juncture of the segments and the throat. If the darker color occurs on the petals only, itís a Band; if itís on petals and sepals, itís an Eye. If it is faint or lightly visible, itís a Halo. If itís a wide strip of lighter color where the segment color meets the throat, itís a Watermark.
    • PICOTEED - contrasting color(s) at edges of tepals
    • POLYCHROME - an intermingling of many colors, melon, pink, lavender, and yellow


  • DIPLOID -these plants have two identical sets of chromosomes in each cell. See also TETRAPLOID.
  • DOUBLE - refers to a flower which has more than 6 segments; may be "peony" or "hose-in-hose". The number of extra segments varies from variety to variety.
  • FAN - A single plant, whose leaves spread out from the crown in a "fan" shape. It consists of an underground thickened stem, roots, and rhizomes and, aboveground, leaves and flowering scapes. A fan may multiply and form a "clump". Clumps should be divided occasionally or reduced flowering may result.
  • FORM - Shape of flower; may be circular, triangular, star, informal, flat, flaring, recurved, trumpet, double, and/or ruffled.
  • HYBRIDIZER - the person who makes the cross to form seeds and grows the seeds to maturity, then registers the plant with AHS.
  • POD - The seed capsule that is green while in growth and brown at maturity; contains the little black seeds that you plant to make new varieties.
  • REGISTERED VARIETIES - those plants which have had a name approved by the AHS by sending in the registration papers. Registration papers are obtained from the AHS by writing to the AHS Registrar, Mr. Binion Amerson, 13339 Castleton Circle, Dallas, TX 75234-5111 or from the AHS web page at www.daylilies.org/daylilies.html.
  • SCAPE - the stem which supports the flowers, buds, and seed pods.


  • SIZE - This refers to the characteristics of a particular variety. The hybridizer of the variety is the one who determines what the registered size of the flower will be. The divisions of daylilies by size are as follows:
    • MINIATURES -under 3" in width
    • SMALL - between 3" and 4 1/2" in width
    • LARGE - 4 1/2" and greater.
    • SPIDER - the petals and sepals are longer in proportion to their width; petal length to width ratio must be at least 5.0:1. SPIDER VARIANT refers to one whose ratio is greater than 4.0:1 but less than 5.0:1.
  • SUBSTANCE - This is the thickness of the petal; the firmness, fineness, or evenness of petals or sepals.
  • TETRAPLOID ("TETS") - These plants have twice as many chromosomes as the diploid plants, i.e., 4 sets instead of 2 sets. In catalogs, plants of this type are often indicated with an asterisk (*) or with a "T" next to the plantís name.
  • TEXTURE - This refers to the surface of the flower, the smoothness or roughness. Terms used in defining texture are waxy, diamond-dusted, corduroy, seersucker, etc.