There are over 38,000 types of registered daylilies and they come in a rainbow of colors from reds, yellows, oranges, purples and almost black to the lovely pastels. Some have more than one color with interesting markings and patterns. Flower forms vary as much as the colors from round, star-shaped, spiders, ruffled petals and double flowers. Daylilies can be separated into categories in many different ways but they are most commonly described by their growing habit of dormant, evergreen and semi-evergreen.
Dormant daylilies are most common in areas that go below freezing in winter. They begin to grow once the temperature reaches about 65 or 70 degrees Fahrenheit and go dormant when the temperature gets near freezing. The whole plant dies back to stay cozy just under the surface of the soil until warmth returns. Dormant types do not do well in warm climates and seem to need that cold resting period. Barbara Mitchell is a cultivar with pink petals and a green throat. It reblooms all season long and grows to about 20 inches tall. Hyperion is a yellow daylily and is extremely fragrant. It grows to about 20 inches tall as well.
Evergreen daylilies are more suited to warm climates, but many do survive cold winters. The foliage on an evergreen daylily stays green all year round. Leaves may yellow in cold weather but will return to green after the temperatures stay warm for a month or so. The flowers do not bloom in cold temperatures. Joan Senior is a cream color with yellow evergreen daylily that has delicate ruffled petals. It reblooms in warm temperatures and grows to 25 inches tall. Jolyene Nichols is another evergreen that reblooms. It is a rose color with green throat and reaches 14 inches. Lunar Max has been proven to survive very low winter temperatures and come back in summer. It is gold with plumb and a green throat.
Semi-Evergreen daylilies are a cross between the other two types. They do not totally go dormant and die down in the winter, but they do stop growing and flowering. Semi-evergreen daylilies do best in warm climates but they can withstand cold winter temperatures. Dragon’s Eye is pink with red and reblooms prolifically. It reaches about 24 inches in height. Wedding Band is a white daylily and has a gold edge all around the petals. It reblooms all season and grows to 26 inches high.