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"Stella de Oro Daylily" or "Stella d'Oro Day Lily": A Gold Star, Either Way

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Picture of

Picture of "Stella de Oro" daylily.

Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

Taxonomy of Stella de Oro Daylily:

Plant taxonomy classifies "Stella de Oro" daylilies under the daylily genus, Hemerocallis, which derives from the Greek, hemera, "day," plus kallos, "beauty" -- a reference to the ephemeral but beautiful nature of its individual blooms (but see below under Care). The cultivar is "Stella de Oro."

Plant Type:

Stella de Oro daylilies are herbaceous root plants. Daylilies are indigenous to Asia. Stella de Oro daylilies are hybrid plants.

Planting Zones for Stella de Oro Daylily:

Grow Stella de Oro daylily in zones 3-9.

Characteristics of Stella de Oro Daylily:

Stella de Oro daylily is valued as a compact plant and early bloomer, reaching a height of just 12" with a similar spread. It blooms from May-July. In fact, its ability to re-bloom over a long period, along with its adaptability to a wide range of planting zones and conditions, makes it perhaps the most popular of the daylilies. The fragrant flowers are golden and trumpet-shaped. The foliage is also attractive, forming a dense clump that can function as a groundcover.

Sun and Soil Requirements for Stella de Oro Daylily:

Stella de Oro daylily will bloom most profusely if grown in full sun, however it will tolerate light shade, thus giving landscapers flexibility. It is also drought-tolerant. Grow Stella de Oro daylily in a well-drained soil. Although not fussy, it will perform better in a soil with plenty of humus.

Uses for Stella de Oro Daylily:

Stella de Oro daylilies are often planted in lines to form borders but also look good massed together in a planting bed. Still others use them in container gardening. Their tolerance for shade and dry conditions make them a popular choice for areas of the landscape plagued by those two conditions. As a deer-resistant perennial, Stella de Oro daylily is also a potential solution for another plague: deer damage. As if all that weren't enough, Stella de Oro daylily makes for a good cut flower.

Care for Stella de Oro Daylily:

Its individual blooms last just 1 day, but Stella de Oro daylily will re-bloom. It will do so more profusely if the spent flowers are deadheaded: remove stem and all. Also remove any brown foliage in late fall. But Stella de Oro daylily is a reasonably low-maintenance perennial, as it does not have to be divided for several years. When the plants seem crowded and to be waning in vigor, perform division of Stella de Oro daylilies by simply splitting them apart-- in fall or early spring.

Confusion Over the Name, "Stella de Oro Daylily":

Stella de Oro daylily is a nightmare for linguistic purists, whether we're talking in terms of common names or scientific names of plants. The confusion begins with the word, "daylily" itself, which has a second legitimate spelling: "day lily."

But matters get worse when we discuss the plant's scientific name. Technically, it's Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro.' I say, "technically," because that's the name given it by its original hybridizer. The original hybridizer of a hybrid enjoys the honor of naming it. In this case, the honor fell to one Walter Jablonski, who proceeded (whether intentionally or not) to carry this "hybrid" thing a bit too far....

You see, "Stella de Oro" literally translates, "star of gold." Superficially, it looks either Spanish or Italian. Problem is, it's neither one -- not in its entirety, at least. "Stella" is "star" in Italian, and "de oro" is "of gold" in Spanish -- but not vice versa. So what we have here, essentially, is a hybridization of language to describe a hybrid plant. It's "Spitalian!"

Not surprisingly, then, this name is commonly mangled in every imaginable way, including as:

  • "Stella d'Oro daylily"
  • "Stella Doro daylily"
  • "Stella d Oro daylily"

"Stella d'Oro daylily" has, in fact, become such a common misspelling that it has virtually taken over as the preferred spelling for the plant. In part, what seems to be happening here is that people are correcting Jablonski's flawed formation. They are rendering the plant name in proper Italian, where "star of gold" would, indeed, be written as stella d'oro.



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