ALL PURPOSE DAYLILIES
 
     For centuries daylilies have been a source of food for people in the Orient. Chinese food shops throughout North America sell dried daylily blossoms. All parts of the daylily are edible. The new roots, the shoots from the crown, the buds and the blossoms are all used in Chinese cooking. If one accepts the daylily as a vegetable, the beauty of the plant can be complemented by its nutritional value. The buds of daylilies provide more vitamin C than either asparagus or string beans, while, also, boasting a much higher percentage of protein than either of these two well known western vegetables.
 
     In the Orient daylilies have been considered a source for medicines. The roots of daylilies have long been believed to own pain killing properties. They have been used to treat a range of illnesses in the East, including jaundice, fevers and some tumors. As Eastern natural medicines gain closer study in the West, the daylily may one day be valued and grown for its pharmacological benefits.
 
     In the American Far West swaths of daylilies for mile after mile have been planted across some Californian hills as firebreaks. Since daylilies consist mostly of water and can suffer benign neglect in terms of maintenance, they are ideal for use in this novel way.
 
     So the daylily is not just "a pretty face" but a plant with many uses, some, perhaps, yet to be discovered. Yet introduction to its wide scope of applications in the garden, the place where it earns the greatest admiration, can only bring joy to those not fully acquainted with its horticultural virtues.