Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Daylily

The brief season of the daylilies is rapidly coming to an end. Outside our favorite inner space, our sunroom facing the back yard, visible through its generous bay window, quite a flock of them come—and then all too rapidly go again—this time of year. Ours both start and end early, possibly because ours get a lot of sun. By my count we have two days left to go. So many of our stalks have already finished, I bring an illustration of this flower from Wikipedia (here). Ours are very similar but slightly more orange in color.

Daylilies signal their behavior in the Greek name of the genus, Hemerocallis, where the front comes from hemera meaning “day” and the back from kalos meaning “beautiful.” Each stalk bears six stamens on average. Only one is flowering at any time. The flower opens in the morning and then closes and dies during the night—to be replaced by the next flowering stamen. What with some of the plants starting their serial blooming early and others at later date, the daylilies last a couple of weeks or so, perhaps even three—and invariably, every year, remind me of the glories, the impermanence, and the persistent return of the glories of nature…next year.

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