Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day Lily

Finally, the rains end. I've had lake shooting sessions two evenings in a row and my photo bank is beginning to gather some substance. The lake was particularly calm last evening.

Here's the Copper Colored Day Lily, Hemerocallis fulva. I have some yellow day lilies, H. flava, in the yard. Last year I noticed the one-day only blossoming--open one morning, withered the next. Truly, this name fits.

From Peter Lawson and his sons:

"Leaves light green, keeled, long, and pointed; apparent petals copper- coloured; root fibrous, perennial; height three to four feet. Native of the Levant; introduced into Britain about the year 1596. This plant was first brought under the notice of agriculturists by the late Mr. J. Ellis, an eminent English gardener. Cattle are extremely fond of the foliage, which is produced in abundance at a very early period of the season; the principal hindrance to its extensive cultivation is its backwardness in producing seed; from which circumstance it can only be propagated by dividing and transplanting the roots."

And from Anton Kerner von Marilaun:

"The Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva) has ephemeral flowers which open in the morning in summer-time between 6 and 7 o'clock, and close between 8 and 9 in the evening. Its flowers.are protogynous for a very short time. For half an hour before the opening of the flower the mature stigma projects from the tip of the perianth. Simultaneously with the folding back of the perianth, the anthers liberate their adhesive pollen. The style being longer than the stamens, its stigma is not automatically pollinated. For pollination insect visits are necessary. Honey is secreted at the base of the tube of the perianth, which is 2 cm. long. The entrance to this honey is so narrow that only a very delicate proboscis can gain access. Beetles, flies, bees, and other short-tongued insects cannot get it, nor would they be of any use for pollination if they could. The whole flower seems adapted for the visits of some large butterfly with a long, thin proboscis, but curiously enough the flowers of Hemerocallis fulva are never visited by butterflies in Europe. As autogamy is excluded, the flowers remain unpollinated, and are sterile. Neither in gardens, where it is much cultivated, nor in its semi-wild state does the Day Lily ever fruit with us. It is more than probable that Hemerocallis is visited, in Northern Asia and Japan, where it is truly indigenous, by some butterfly absent from Europe"

And here's a little bit about Anton himself:

"Kerner was born in Mautern, Lower Austria on 12 November 1831, and studied Medicine in Vienna followed by an education in Natural History, for which he carried out phytosociologic studies in Central Europe. In 1860 Kerner was appointed professor of Natural History at the University of Innsbruck and in 1878 professor of Systematic Botany at the University of Vienna. He was also appointed as a Curator of the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna. Kerner died in 1898 in Vienna at the age of 67."

Lawson, Peter and Sons. Synopsis of the Vegetable Plants of Scotland. Edinburgh, 1852. 121. Web. Google Book Search. Jun 30 2009.

Kerner von Marilaun, Anton. The Natural History of Plants. London, 1895. 402. Web. Google Book Search. Jun 30 2009.

"Anton Kerner von Marilaun." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 12 Mar 2009, 14:04 UTC. 30 Jun 2009 <>.

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