I am well aware that the old-fashioned ditch lily, hemerocallis fulva, is an invasive species. One need only look at Ohio roadsides for confirmation. (In fact, the classic summer combination of orange tawny daylily, blue chicory, and white Queen Anne's lace is composed of three plants from the national invasive species database. Sigh. I love them all, but then I, too, am a member of what is arguably the most invasive species of them all.)
But daylilies are not all bad, for all that they are Asian invaders brought here by 17th-century Europeans who loved their flagrant beauty too much to do without them. For one, they are hummingbird magnets, and any plant that attracts hummingbirds has at least that redeeming quality. For another, they attract butterflies, also a good quality. Daylilies are also hard to kill, a positive for negligent gardeners, and they grow fast and are easy to propagate, although their toughness contributes to the invasive qualities of the straight species. To control the population, one could always eat them, although I have never sampled the plants myself.
No, I grow daylilies for their utter gorgeousness and indestructibility. The current favorite in my yard is a heavily-scented once-bloomer finally identified as "Chance Encounter."
But the daylily walk at the Toledo Botanical Gardens has inspired serious plant lust. Here are a few that would greatly benefit the Second Street collection: