Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - January 10, 2012

From: Trussville, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Questions about lilies from Trussville AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How can I tell what kind of lily I have? Or better yet,what is the difference between Asiatic lily and a daylily? I also noticed someone asked about Cahaba lily. Just want to let you know I grow Cahaba Or Spider lily in our shade garden. They come back every year with no prompting from me. But I have found the place they do best is in my fish pond. And, yes, they come back every year. That lady was asking about the seed pods, I have tried getting plants from them but it has never produced,we just throw ours away. Thank You.

ANSWER:

We did find the Previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer which asked about the Cahaba Lily, which will bring you up to speed on that. Since we are not a forum, we can't guarantee original visitor will ever see your comment, but will leave it in so she will get the information if she searches Mr. Smarty Plants.

Now, on to your question about the difference between Asiatic lily and daylillies. This article from the American Hemerocallis Society has a database on which you could search for information. The daylilies are all now part of the genus Hemerocallis, none of which are native to North America, but rather to Eurasia, including China, Korea, and Japan.

There are members of the Liliaceae family which are native to North America, but the name "Asiatic" is a clue that native lilies are not what you are talking about. Try this website from the North American Lily Society to see if you can get any help there.

Native North American lilies belong to the genus Hymenocallis, in the family Liliaceae. Searching on Hymenocallis we found 6 members of the species, which includes Hymenocallis liriosme (Spider lily). Searching on Lialiaceae there were 268 members of that family listed. So, when you ask us how you can tell what kind of lily you have, frankly, we don't know. We suggest, again, that you look at the two societies listed above and see if they can help you. 

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center deals only with plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they are being grown.

 

From the Image Gallery


Spring spiderlily
Hymenocallis liriosme

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of non-native Grape Hyacinth
April 13, 2013 - Mr Smarty Plants, can you tell me please, what is the name of the flower in the attached link? I see numerous references to it as blue bells or bluebells, but when I check the USDA Plants database, no...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 20, 2010 - Need to identify multi branched plant, feathery appearance, approx 6' tall stalks, grows in clusters. Tiny whitish/pink flowers at top of stems. Very similar in appearance to milfoil, only these grow...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Cercis canadensis or Cornus florida
July 03, 2007 - I have what I think is a dogwood tree of some sort but I'm not sure. I wondered if I sent you a picture you could identify it. So far no one has. It's different because of its branches. They are red...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a flower, perhaps a yarrow
April 27, 2008 - There is a a flower blooming now on the roadside and in fields here in Waco. It really looks like Yarrow, but I don't want to harvest any and make a mistake. Can I send a pic to you guys and see if...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Ephrata PA
May 04, 2010 - I've come across a low plant with bright green leaves and a distinct burgundy on the leaf. I've been told it's called Throw Me Over The Fence, but I believe it must be called something else. I be...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.