The culinary garden: The Turkish Day Lily

The Turkish day lily brings together many of the day lily species and is mainly used as an edible plant. It is a one metre perennial herb that flowers in July and August, the flowers open in the morning and wither at sunset. This species is native to southern Europe. The flowers are eaten just before opening, one or two days before flowering, when they are biggest. The Chinese collect the cocoons and sell them dried when they take on a delicious aroma of mushrooms or asparagus. Before eating, they are soaked in hot water overnight and are eaten whole or in half, and the buds are particularly enjoyed with steamed chicken. The new leaves and shoots are eaten raw or cooked, and the flowers can also be eaten raw, the petals are crisp and aromatic, while the fleshy roots can be eaten raw or cooked, with a flavor reminiscent of hazelnuts.

The Japanese particularly appreciate the leaves of the Hemerocallis fulva ‘Yabu-Kanso’, a variety with double flowers (see photo).

The Turkish Lily lives well in all types of soil: clay, sandy or loamy and it is indifferent to soil acidity. It can be planted in soils both fresh / wet and dry and adapt to a sunny or partial shade. The plant withstands cold to -15 ° C.

François-Luc Gauthier, aromaticultor.
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