The American Hemerocallis Society, the national organization of daylily growers and enthusiasts, sponsors the Harris Olson Spider Award each year for the outstanding spider daylily. The AHS defines "spider" as a plant with petals four times as long as they are wide. Star-shaped spider daylilies are curved, multicolored, pinched, ruffled, oversize or reblooming. The flowers each last only one day, but a reblooming variety will blossom several times throughout its growing season.
Velvet Ribbons — 2010
The 2010 Harris Olson Award for outstanding spider lily went to Velvet Ribbons, a great big, dark rebloomer that begins flowering early to midseason. Velvet Ribbons has a green throat and black-violet petals that face out and are wide open. The petals and sepals twist and curl at the ends and the scapes branch in six directions, producing 35 to 40 buds, notes Abundant Daylilies. The flowers are noticeably fragrant and the plant is an evergreen that will not wither and brown over the winter.
Bali Watercolor — 2009
Bali Watercolor is a big lilac spider that won the 2009 Harris Olson Spider Award. Its open flowers measure 9 to 12 inches across, and the lavender petals have a silver watermark, a paler area between the petal edge and the center of the bloom. The flower’s throat is bright yellow-green. Bali Watercolor is a rebloomer that sends out branches with buds, and eventual flowers, in seven directions, according to Abundant Daylilies. It produces as many as 35 to 40 buds at a time, so it fills a corner of the garden with its unusually intricate pattern, and pale tropical colors.
Sergeant Major — 2008
The 2008 Olson Harris Spider Award co-winner, Sergeant Major, produces flowers that are 11 inches wide. The scarlet petals and sepals end in a green throat, so the vivid blooms are a standout in a flowerbed. The plant is 44 inches tall and is an early-to-midseason rebloomer, according to Water Mill Gardens. The foliage continues to grow beyond the summer growing season, as Sergeant Major is a semi-evergreen daylily. The imposing greenery and the reblooming flowers make Sergeant Major a good choice to anchor the back of a mixed bed, behind short, annual plants that may need replacing throughout the summer.
Memories of Oz — 2008
Memories of Oz tied for Olson Harris Spider Award first place in 2008 and is a slightly smaller bloom than the Sergeant Major, with unusual coloring. The plant grows to 40 inches tall and the flowers are 9 inches wide, according to Herrington Daylily Garden. It’s a midseason, reblooming spider with an open face. The petals and sepals are pink and have a darker pink "eye," a distinctive color shading on some daylilies, between the petal edge and the green throat.