Daylily Toxic to Cats?

fantasylilies(9 CA)March 19, 2008

Hi everybody! I have a new question - a client of mine was concerned about planting DL's in her garden where cats eat grasses, etc., because she read DL's are toxic if cats eat them??? I always see loads of cats in the pictures of large DL farms - could you all advise? - Thanks!

-Chris in CA

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beaufort-2006

Have 4 cats about 1000 daylilies with no problems the cats love to hide and hunt in the garden as well to sleep

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:11PM
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Jackarias(10 So.Calif.)

This goes back to one cat that died from eating something, the owner was not sure what the cat ate but though it was a lily. The vet reported that lilies possilbly killed the cat and since many don't know the difference between a hemerocallis and a lilium the damage was done.

Daylilies are edible to people, cats, deer, dogs. Trust me, deer thrive on daylilies. I wish daylilies would at least give deer a tummy ache so they would leave mine alone.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:21PM
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bambi_too(5 Ohio)

I read somewhere that the roots should not be eaten, and that some of them can be toxic, and I do mean daylilys, not Lilium.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 8:23AM
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carmen_grower_2007(4/5)

No, even the roots are not toxic. I read a book once about edible foods in the wild and it talked of daylily roots boiled and mashed tasting somewhat like potatoes.

I tried it. I didn't get sick. They were nasty and I prefer potatoes.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 8:48AM
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lynxe

"Regular" lilies (lilium....Easter lilies and their friends) are FATAL to cats. There has been at least one documented report of a cat dying after brushing against pants covered with lily POLLEN and subsequently licking itself.

Daylilies ....from what everyone says, are OK. I do know that one my monsters....er, house cats...will eat daylily seedling foliage and inevitably, always always always pukes. But not til he's on a carpet.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Nancy zone 6

Sometimes early in the season something small, I suspect bunnies, nibble at the new foliage. Could be deer, but they don't bother them when the foliage gets bigger. I've read many times about the roots being edible. Lots of people worry about cats eating their poisonous plants. I grow foxglove, datura, brugmansia & several other plants that are deadly if eaten, never had a cat/kitten/puppy dine on them. I would encourage a certain groundhog I have problems with to have a nice breakfast on my favorite foxglove, but he has no interest. I need to get a trap for that guy this year.
I would keep a close eye on toddlers in my yard, but frankly, if a child is young enough to put those in their mouth, they are young enough to be closely supervised when they are outside.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 9:27AM
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xokientx(z7aOK)

lynxe,
My cat must be related to yours! ;0)
Ed

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 10:35AM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

The Chinese eat daylily a lot, but I found that most Chinese don't realize what they were eating were daylily because they bought the dried ones from Asian grocery stores. They are known as "golden needles," jin zhen (in mandarin), or gum jum (in Cantonese).

So I told my friend once. She was surprised, and since she had some daylilies growing in her garden, she made some daylily omelet and the whole family ate it. This was about 2 years ago. I just recently received an email from her. They are still alive.

But I do not know if all daylilies are edible. I am a botanist, so I don't know if one cultivar is edible, does that mean all are, so you should check before eating your daylilies. :-)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 11:58AM
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mareas(OR Zone 8)

My cats have been eating bites of daylily (hemerocallis) leaves for many years to get my attention
with no immediate or accumalative effects: their liver & kidney values are still normal after all those bites.
Daylilies are not in the veterinary literature as poisonous to pets.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:00PM
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fantasylilies(9 CA)

Thank you all so much for this info. I'm a little worried now about asiatic lilies though (stargazers,etc.), because I love them and have planted many bulbs in order to bring the cut flowers in. I have 3 indoor cats, so I wonder if cutting off the stamens is enough to protect them?

ngraham - do you also have asiatic lilies in your garden??

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:14PM
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Maryl zone 7a

Interesting about the Lily pollen. Lilies don't do well in our climate or my soil, but I do have one oriental Lily that has managed to live for many years. I'll make sure now to keep the pollen away from my cats......And yes, I think all cats join in the carpet/hairball conspiracy.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:17PM
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gonegardening(7 VA)

It seems like this came up not too long ago, but maybe I've forgotten. Anyway, I remember quoting from "An Illustrated Guide to Daylilies" about it. There's a whole section on this, even a couple of recipes. Don't have the time to go hunt mine up now, so I'll just put a link to the AHS website where you can scroll down and purchase this book. Well worth your $10.

Here is a link that might be useful: An Illustrated Guide to Daylilies

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:25PM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

I did some search and Wikipedia says *SOME* species of daylilies are edible.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylily

For anyone interested, here are some recipes for daylilies. They sound tasty! :-)
http://www.poppainc.org/pdfs/Daylily_recipes.pdf

But again, these are for daylilies (hemerocallis) not easter lilies or Asiatic lilies.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:28PM
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lynxe

"I'm a little worried now about asiatic lilies though (stargazers,etc.), because I love them and have planted many bulbs in order to bring the cut flowers in. I have 3 indoor cats, so I wonder if cutting off the stamens is enough to protect them?"

Unfortunately, ALL parts of those lilies are HIGHLY toxic to cats. ALL meaning EVERY PART! EACH ONE! Leaf, petal, whatever. I love them, too, and I'd love to have some in the house. But it is just NOT worth the risk to me! Lilies are one of the plants I will NEVER have in the house, under ANY circumstances. By the time a cat shows symptoms from having eaten ANY PART of bulbous liies, it is too late to do anything about it!

(I know, I know, I'm yelling....but it's important to know. IMHO.)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 2:14PM
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lezro(6b-7)

Having grown many lilys and many cats over many years, without any problems, I would suggest that cats aren't as likely as people to eat stuff that is really bad for them. I do remove the anthers from my cut lilies, but it is because they stain so badly, not for the cat's sake. All he wants is a touch of grass now and them, and ripe tomatoes. Oh, and some popcorn occasionally. Neither the lilies or the hems seem remotely interesting to him, nor to his predecessors. BTW, my cats die of old age, at around 18, usually.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 5:27PM
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