The Daylily Place: genus Hemerocallis

The following information has been contributed by members of the Daylily E-Mail Round Robin for your enjoyment.
The genus Hemerocallis has over the years occupied many slots in the family trees of the lily-like flowers. Often lumped with everything else into the old family Liliaceae, it has been variously a subfamily in the daffodil/amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae), or in the family Phormiaceae.

In the most recent work (Meerow et al., 1999), Hemerocallis is included in a family all its own, Hemerocallidaceae, a gondwanan family many of whose living members are found only in Australia. Hemerocallis is native to eastern and southeastern Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan.

The older usage of the family Liliaceae was an all-inclusive collection of plants that are considered in most recent classifications to belong to many families in at least two orders, Asparagales and Liliales. The genus Hemerocallis and the family Hemerocallidaceae are now considered part of the Asparagales.

James E. Shields

M.W. Chase et al. (1995), "Molecular Phylogenetics of Lilianae" in MONOCOTYLEDONS: SYSTEMATICS AND EVOLUTION, Rudall, Cribb, Cutler & Humphries, editors, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, pp. 109-137. More recently, Meerow et al., American J. of Botany, vol. 86, pp. 1325-1345 (1999).

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Last revised: 11 March 2001

© Copyright 2001 by James E. Shields. All rights reserved.