Along the Grapevine

Lily Buds

50 Comments

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Earlier in the year, I started experimenting with the prolific wild day lily (hemerocallis fulva), using at that time the tubers and the shoots which I described in this post. Now they are in full flower, but before I use the-full blown flowers, I decided to prepare something with the unopened blossoms. Coincidentally I received a post today on this very plant from Edible Wild Food – a site I often use to help me identify unfamiliar weeds and such – which gives a good description of what is called around here the ‘ditch lily’. If you’re not sure what this plant is or want to learn more about it, I recommend this post. If you have any gardening questions of the wild kind, this is a great source.

My recipe is not really a recipe – just an illustration that these pods can be eaten and are very tasty. The last few days I have been cooking, but not so much my own recipes as several of the super dishes presented at last week’s Fiesta Friday #24, so all I have to bring this week to Fiesta Friday #25 is this simple but delicious dish of vegetables with lily buds. I will be co-hosting again this week, this time with my fellow-Canadian Chef Julianna from Foodie on Board.

It should be noted that some people (some sources say 2%, others 5%) suffer digestive upsets from this plant, so go easy at first if you haven’t tried them before just to be on the safe side as with any new food.

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To prepare them as a side dish, I lightly fried some green beans in a mixture of olive oil and butter, added chopped garlic, herbs (in this case fresh tarragon) and seasoning. Then I added the lily buds and fried just a minute or two longer until they looked slightly toasted.

The flavour is sweet, a little fruity and not at all bitter or sour. If you haven’t tried cooking with wild flowers before, hemerocallis fulva is a great one to start with.

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And to all the guests at this week’s fiesta, a big welcome. I look forward to seeing what treats are in store for us this time. If you would like to join in the fun, check out how and where here.

 

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

50 thoughts on “Lily Buds

  1. Wow ! So interesting! We have a lily plant next to our loquat tree that I’ve thought was a giant weed for the last six months, until it sprouted a lone lily yesterday. Alas, there is not enough going on to forage or cook with . . . but fun to know that it is possible.

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  2. If there is one, there will be more some day.

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  3. Wow! All my day lilies are in bloom. So beautiful! This looks great!

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    • Thanks Lisa. Just be sure just to use the edible ones. I am not too educated on the subject yet, so I just stick to the ones I know for sure are ok, i.e. the ditch lilies. And also no one is going to miss a few buds of this plant, whereas my other lilies, I would not touch even if they were/are edible.

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  4. I never knew you could eat these …interesting and good to know. Thanks for co-hosting and happy fiesta Friday!!🙂

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    • Thanks Arlene. It was a first for me too, but now I am regretting having eradicated so many of these plants. Like most wild food, so much easier to grow than vegetables!

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  5. Thank you SO MUCH for the links, Hilda. I did not even know that lily buds are edible; so happy to learn about this tip🙂 Thank you SO MUCH for sharing🙂

    P.S. Thank you for your kind words on FF #24🙂

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  6. I’ve never eaten a flower before, but I have been hearing a lot about this sort of thing recently. I can imagine the lovely taste they add! So fun! And thanks for co hosting again Hilda!

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  7. I’d like to come over and learn all the amazing think you know about plants! You are great!

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    • Thank you. I am really just learning, and trying to share as I go along, but it is true once you start considering these wild things, you start to observe much more closely what is happening in the ditches and hedgerows.

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  8. Okay Hilda, I don’t have lilies but I just picked some borage for a salad. Flowers and leaves are edible, right? What about all those soft little spines, just eat em? Signed, the nervous forager (aka Sheri😉

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    • Lucky you to have borage. It is a great pollinator for the garden. I haven’t any experience with it but I do know that flowers (very pretty) and leaves are edible, although if they are spiny they might be too mature to enjoy. This site here might be of interest and help to you: http://gardening.about.com/od/herbsspecificplants1/p/Borage.htm
      If it’s too late for this year, you can always watch for them next year. That is often how it is with these plants. Hope you share any recipe you come up with.

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      • Ah that makes sense. They are a few months old. Maybe some new growth is edible. I’ll read that post and see what they say. They’re really pretty anyway. I grew them as tomato companions – had no idea they grow so big! Thx Hilda🙂

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  9. I’m intrigued, never heard of this one before!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

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  10. Wow, you live and learn something new each day eh! Thanks for sharing that with FF

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  11. Wow wonderful Hilda, never heard of this earlier and the benefits are also pleasing….thanx for sharing this …..happy fiesta Friday…..

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  12. Thanks, Chitra, You too.

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  13. Hi Hilda! I think that I could just sit and read your posts forever and learn something new in every one! Can you eat the pods of all lilies? I have Casablanca and Stargazers coming in. The pods are quite big right now and I have a hankering to go and pick one or two and fry them up and take a bite. Good party, huh? I’m glad we’re co-hosting together again!😀

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  14. Pingback: The Burger that “Loafs” About | 10 Legs in the Kitchen

  15. Hi Julianna. Since I am really bad at learning the names of all the different lilies, I haven’t really determined which ones are edible and which not. I won’t even say which ones I think are in case I mislead you. So I just stick to the common, weedy ones because there are so many of them here, and who wants to pick those beautiful ones in the garden anyway? And yes, the party is coming along nicely – I have already chosen a few recipes to try out. I am still waiting to be called to make the three hour drive, but things are happening slowly, so I will likely be around tomorrow a.m. after all.

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  16. Darling Hilda, I learn something every time I visit you. I never knew!🙂

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  17. Wow its a visual treat.. Beautifully captured

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  18. Hey Hilda,

    Never knew that Lily buds were edible! It should not come as a surprise though as we love to eat fried pumpkin buds. They are delicious! So I am thinking Lily buds should taste good too..

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  19. Posts like yours make me want to go out there and start foraging right away! The lily buds sound pretty tasty and also a bit different from the usual veggies in the shops? Beautiful photos too.🙂

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  20. I had no idea Lily buds were edible Hilda! You are such a treasure trove of information!

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  21. I’ve grown up around these plants my entire life, and had no idea they were edible! WOW!!! I’ve got to pass this along to my mom who’s grown these forever! What a unique and amazing looking green bean dish!

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  22. I hope your mother likes them. As long as you just use this variety, you are OK.

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  23. So interesting, Hilda! Great that you can cook these lily buds. I would have never though to use them. Thank you also for the link!

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  24. I wish I lived closer, Hilda!! I’d be there!

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  25. I love your unusual recipes and I learn new things every time🙂
    I will remember to plant lilies next year and try them! Great! x

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  26. Wow, Hilda! You surprise me with every your post! I’m even little bit shocked, that those buds are edible😀

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  27. Your blog is indeed a never-ending source of wild food’s inspiration, Hilda🙂. Those lilly buds sound like something that I can get my hands on as well – it’s the buds of “normal” lilly flowers, isn’t it?

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    • Thanks, Claudia. I hesitate to confirm such a non-scientific term, but yes these lilies are pretty ‘normal’ and wild throughout the world, so you should be able to identify them easily.

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  28. Hi! Love your site and wonderful cooking ideas! I nominated you for a Liebster Award!
    http://misswukitchen.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/liebster-award/

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  29. Hilda, I shared your post today on twitter on the seedchat. We were talking about daylilies:)

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  30. Pingback: Spuds ‘n’ Buds Salad and Crepes with Wild Berries | Along the Grapevine

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