Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hemerocallis invasive species!!?? This time even I have to vote against the protectors of the environment

For God's sake, it's a sterile triploid. You do see them by roadsides everywhere, but it's not as though they take over whole fields. Can a plant truly be invasive if it is incapable of reproducing by seed? I suppose Hedera helix, Lonicera Japonica, surely Kudzu can do damage without seeding, but H. fulva??? It's almost endearing in its ability to persist. Hiking the Appalachian Trail, I've encountered it in the middle of the wilderness and known immediately that I had entered what had once been a homesite. It lives forever, marking these places where once families lived. And passed without leaving a trace, save the daylilies. Sometimes Lilacs are there, but they can and do die. Apples last decades, maybe more than a century, eventually succumbing to disease or old age, but Daylilies persist and I admire them for it.

Hemerocallis fulva is a runner. Almost all of the modern cultivars we admire and grow in our gardens are clumpers. And it isn't a great garden plant. The flowers are beautiful, but they don't self-clean and the plants have already begun to look mangy even as the flowers are reaching their peak. Still, there's something about it. One of the gardens that Karen and the boys maintain has a row of these plants right down the middle. It's a wonderful garden, a splendid half-acre exactingly conceived and meticulously maintained in a part of the city where 1/4 acre is a huge garden. And they don't favor reds or yellows, certainly not oranges, yet there's a place for 50 feet of these daylilies.

Francesca Huxley had a row of them beside her driveway in Chevy Chase. I've found room for a clump in my garden though mine pales beside Marions's. The plant in the picture is part of a colony that lives more or less under the Acer griseum above the GCA circle where the path intersects the road. If you look at the picture you will se a small branch of the maple with its distinctive exfoliating red bark. We just killed  back a large part of this colony, but decided to leave a small clump and I think we did the right thing.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Love the new design. You have a misspelling in your blog subtitle though...