Over the last half-decade I have used this blog to record horticultural markers for the seasons, and the arrival of the first tiger lily of 2011 sent me back into my blog archives. The first tiger lily emerged on June 9 in 2010, June 21 in 2009, on June 18 in 2008, and on June 17 in 2007. Tiger lilies, which have the scientific name of Hemerocallis fulva, first bloomed in my yard on June 17 in 2006.
Thus, this year's flowers arrived somewhat near the end of the scale, as today is June 18. With the heavy rains of this past May (23 rainy days) I expected that the tiger lilies would arrive early, but this is not the case. Perhaps they need warmth more than moisture to kick into gear, as this spring was a bit cooler than average.
Still, though many gardeners scoff at the common Hemerocallis fulva (also known as "ditch lily" to even more scornful gardeners, for whom the tiger lily is considered invasive) I look forward to these orange flowers the way I do old friends. They provide strong colors, they are easy to maintain, and they grow in almost any soils and conditions. I have some in shady areas, dry areas, full sun areas, and even in a rock-strewn patch behind the garage where the former owner dumped motor oil.