In spite of their name, daylilies are not true lilies. Their genus name, Hemerocallis, comes from the Greek words "hemera" (day) and "kallos" (beauty). Daylily blossoms last for one day but each plant has a multitude of stems that produce many flower buds over the blooming season. The wide-range of colors available in today’s hybrid daylilies are the results of breeding efforts with wild plants that were mostly yellow, orange and reddish-yellow.
Yellow and gold daylilies can be found ranging from a pale lemon to bright golds and yellows. Orange, the most common color of daylily found in the wild, falls within this color category. This group of colors also offers the most varieties of daylilies, with heights ranging from 14 to 72 inches. The flowers in this color range typically have the same color throughout the blossom. Examples of this type of daylily are Stella de Oro, Early Oxford and Lemon Lollypop.
From blossoms as red as a tomato to scarlet , maroon and colors so deep red they almost look black, daylilies in this color group range from about 24 inches tall to 72 inches tall. Offering the second largest choice of varieties, this color range includes common varieties, heirloom varieties and new plants registered as recently as October 2010. While some red and wine varieties have the same color throughout the blossom, many have yellow or orange accents. Examples of daylilies with the same color throughout are Red Bud and Chicago Apache. Jungle Beauty has yellow in the center and while Carol Sing has a center of orange and an orange strip along the petal.
Pink and rose daylilies are typically shorter. They range in height from about 18 to only 40 inches. They color range is from a very pale pink to a deep rose-red. Pink and rose daylilies can be found with accent colors ranging from yellow to a deep wine-red. Fall Fancy is a pink daylily with yellow in the center, while Strawberry Candy has a yellow center rimmed in red.
Purple and lavender daylilies range in height from about 18-inches to 52-inches. Colors range from a very pale lavender, to lilac to a very deep violet. The majority of purple and lavender daylilies have accent colors ranging from a pale yellow to a deep lavender. Siloam Tee Tiny is a variety whose small pale lavender blossom has a deep wine center while Oneonta Grape is purple with a yellow center.
Ranging from 20 to 38 inches in height, there are very few daylilies that fall within this color category. The blossoms on these varieties typically have an accent, ranging from peach to rose. Two varieties of melon daylilies are Chippewa Bride and Autumn Wood.
While it is possible to find daylilies called apricot, peach and white, the American Hemerocallis Society does not list these colors. According to the Society, there are no true white or true blue daylilies. Current whites are considered to be blossoms with the very palest of hint of melon, yellow, pink or lavender. Apricot, peach and while are considered variations of yellow and pink. Jolly White Giant is has a yellow center and Peach Mandelynne has a color befitting its name.