Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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


Texas spiderlily
Hymenocallis liriosme

More Non-Natives Questions

Removing bermudagrass from buffalograss in Smithville TX
May 01, 2013 - I have a lawn created two years ago with buffalo grass sod in Smithville, TX. Recently several areas of bermudagrass have started to flourish in the buffalo grass lawn. Can you recommend a herbicide...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming climbing rose in Conroe, TX
October 09, 2009 - I have a climbing rose and it has never bloomed and has no thorns, it was a cutting from another rose bush. I have given it water and fertilize and have mulch around it also.
view the full question and answer

Aggressive Plants in Pleasant Valley NY
September 01, 2014 - Are there any native plants that can out compete Japanese knotweed?
view the full question and answer

Distribution of Non-Native Royal Empress Tree
August 23, 2007 - I was wondering if you could give me the statistics for the Royal Empress Tree in the Long Island area. I have two and have read numerous articles online regarding them being invasive through the root...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of non-native lesser celandine in Oswego NY
May 11, 2011 - Help! We have lesser celandine on approx. an acre of our property right on Lake Ontario, it's in my gardens and in our yard, and in the woods, I have dug it out of my gardens, but I'm not able to g...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.