My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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Wild Edible Day Lilly

"Here's a plant you can't miss if you see it. But is it edible?"

Answer: Day Lilly, yes

Facts: Here's some good info from Wildman Steve Brill

"This delicious Asian "show" flower, especially common on the east coast, has been planted throughout America. It gets its name because each flower lives only 1 day.

Use the shoots in early spring, and the flower buds, flowers, and wilted flowers in late spring and early summer.

Caution: Daylilies, especially the raw shoots, cause digestive distress in about 1 out of 50 people, and in rare circumstances (I've never seen this happen), the compounds that cause this are concentrated enough to make anyone sick.

The sword-like leaves with parallel veins arise in late winter and early spring, growing in dense stands. Rhizomes (underground stems) ending in thickened tubers distinguishes this wild edible plant from poisonous lilies.

Use raw the shoots raw in salads, or sautÚ, steam, stir-fry, deep-fry, bake, simmer in soups, or pickle.

Growing in dense stands makes the shoots easy to collect in quantity before most other edibles even appear.

Cook the unopened buds like string beans.

Use the orange (some cultivars are yellow), 6-petaled flowers raw in salads, in hot-and-sour soup, or deep-fried.

Note the 6 orange petals and protruding stamens. Discard the flower's acrid, green base."

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