Day Lily

Day Lily Meaning

Uncover Hidden Flowers meanings

The day lily is a flower that symbolizes motherhood. 

Especially in China, this means a mother’s devotion.  Also, it can mean filial devotion to his or her mom.  Basing it on the way the day lily was referred to in Chinese tradition; it can have many other meanings.  For example, if the day lily has a cheerful position, it’s called wong yu.

Probably because the day lily blooms in the sunrise and withers at sunset, that’s why it’s also related to coquetry.  It’s a blossom that doesn’t have a serious intention of staying in the world longer. And as you can imagine, that’s the exact qualities of a flirt.

  • Name:  Day Lily
  • Color:  Day lilies come in many shades of color.  There are lighter versions like pink and yellow and other pastel hues.  There are also darker day lilies of purple and red.  Hybridized versions of this blossom can have contrasting colors and markings too.
  • Shape:  Similar to day lilies’ varied colors, it also has many different shapes.  Some are perfectly round, some are shaped like a star while others look more like spiders – and there are also fluted and trumpet like versions.
  • Fact:  The main reason why it’s called day lily is because its flowers bloom in the day but wither at night.  The name comes from the Greek words hemera (day) and kalles (beauty).
  • Poisonous:  The day lily is a poisonous when eaten.
  • Number of Petals:  The day lily has three petals.  But because this looks just like the sepals, they can easily be confused from one another.  Some people say that the day lily has six petals when the truth is the other three are sepals.
  • Victorian Interpretation:  It represents coquetry and flirtatious behavior.
  • Blossom Time:  Given that day lilies only live for a day, they have different blooming periods depending on the type of plant.  There are day lilies that bloom in spring and others bloom in the seasons after that - summer or fall.
  • In Chinese, the superstition about the day lily relates to birth.  For families wishing for boys, it’s said that the birth of a son is made possible if the pregnant woman wears the day lily in her girdle. 
  • The Shape:  Even if you’re looking at a bunch of day lilies, they wouldn’t have the same shape.  If one blossom looks like a trumpet to you, the other might look like a star.  If another one looks like a bell, another flower can have the shape of a spider.
  • Petals:  When it comes to petals and sepals of the day lily, it’s far safer to refer to them as tepals.  It’s because they look alike.  What look like six petals, it’s actually made up of three petals and three sepals.
  • Numerology:  The number 7 is what comes up for the day lily in numerology.  It’s a number that means knowledge and understanding.
  • Color: Day lilies have a special spectrum of color.  There are light and pastel hues and there are also dark and vibrant colors.


Loss of memory and forgetfulness is associated with the day lily.  Because these properties, people in the past believed that they could use these blossoms to help someone forget sorrow and pain.

Herbalism and Medicine:  

Day lilies are edible flowers.  They can be used as tea or they can be ingredients added to soup and other dishes.  As a tea, it comforts painful and strained muscles.  As a lotion, it can help soothe bruises and sprains.  It can also be used as mouthwash to get rid of mouth infections and bad mouth odor.

By Florance Saul
Aug 20, 2012