Gardening: Cuttings: Consider daylilies

SOME gardeners are sniffy about hemerocallis (daylilies) which are most commonly orange. But American breeders have been busy expanding the range of colours. You can now get excellent sharp lemon yellows, soft apricots and some fine deep peach shades, marked with dark plum at the throat.

They are adaptable plants, for they will happily grow in the shade cast by tall trees and shrubs. The foliage is fresh and disease-free; the spears of green, one of the first things through the ground in early spring. The sharp yellows are particularly good with the deep saturated blues of anchusa or monkshood. The main flowering season is in July and August, but some types flower in late spring.

Hemerocallis by Walter Erhardt (Batsford, pounds 17.99) is translated from a German text, but does not read like it. There is a good practical section on cultivation and an exhaustive list of new hybrids and their characteristics. Mr Erhardt suggests the low-growing Stella d'Oro for a tub. It blooms over an exceptionally long period, with a succession of golden-yellow flowers.

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