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April Public Garden Lecture Features Daylilies

By D.K. Wright, Digital Journalist, www.wtrf.com — Daylilies are not true lilies. Their name is made up of two words–hemera which means day and kallos which means beauty. And, daylily fanciers think nothing could be more appropriate. They say each blossom lasts only one day, but they are stunning, rugged, vigorous perennials that produce an abundance of colorful flowers over a long period of time.

Dr. Thomas Hart, professor emeritus from Washington and Jefferson College, taught in the school’s biology department for 30 years. He says daylilies grow anywhere you plant them, from a compost pile to a crack in the sidewalk. They’re edible for humans and also for deer, and says that he’ll address the deer issue in depth in his lecture.

Dr. Hart says at the height of his collecting, he had more than 1200 varieties of daylilies. At this point, he has 200 – 300 varieties. Daylilies started in China and Japan, and from there they went to Europe and are now all over the world. There are now breeders in Australia and daylilies growing in South Africa.

Dr. Hart says most people think of daylilies as being either yellow or orange. But they actually range from nearly white to nearly black, occurring in every color except blue. Their shapes also vary, from round like a bagel to pointed like a spider. Some of the newer varieties have flowers that open in the evening and remain open until the evening of the following day. Many of these night blooming plants are quite fragrant.

The Public Garden Lecture will be presented at 7:00 p.m., Mon., April 30 at the Schrader Center at Oglebay Park. Dr. Hart says he always encourages questions from the audience.

The lectures are always free and open to the public, and include door prizes and refreshments. For more information, call the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855.

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