Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Hemerocallis flava L.

Rhizomatous hardy perennial with dark green, arching leaves, to 60cm long, and lemon-yellow, fragrant, widely trumpet-shaped flowers on branched stems.  To 1m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This Genus has been called Hemerocallis, in English, Day Lily, from the short duration of its blossoms, but these are not quite so fugacious in this species as in the fulva.  It very rarely happens that Linnaeus, in his specific character of a plant, has recourse to colour, he has however in this instance; but this seems to arise from his considering them rather as varieties, than species.  To us they appear to be perfectly distinct, and in addition to several other characters, the flava is distinguished by the fragrance of its blossoms.  This species is an inhabitant of Hungary and Siberia, and consequently bears our climate exceedingly well; it requires a moist soil, and a situation somewhat shady, and is easily propagated by parting its roots in autumn.’  [BM t.19/1787].  Introduced to Britain in 1596.  [JD].  Although once considered a native of eastern Europe, European plants are probably naturalised.

History at Camden Park

Received per ‘Sovereign’ February 1831.  [MP A2948].  Still found in the gardens but the relationship of present plants to the originals is unknown.  Interestingly this hardy and easily grown plant was never listed in the catalogues.


Published Jan 07, 2010 - 01:34 PM | Last updated Jan 07, 2010 - 01:41 PM

Figured is a lance-shaped leaf and lemon-yellow, widely trumpet-shaped flower.  Curtis's botanical Magazine t.19, 1787.

Hemerocallis flava L. | BM t.19/1787 | BHL

Family Hemerocallidaceae
Region of origin

Probably China

Common Name

Yellow day lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Hemerocallis flava single 

Confidence level high