Give Stella de Oro Daylily a Gold Star

The Gold Standard in Low-Maintenance, Length of Blooming Period

Stella de Oro daylily flower.
David Beaulieu

Some gardeners feel that Stella de Oro daylily is overused, but, as is usually the case when the "overuse" charge is leveled against a plant, there are valid reasons for why it's so widely grown. Learn what those reasons are, as well as how to grow this fixture of the spring and summertime garden.

Botany of Stella de Oro Daylily

Plant taxonomy classifies Stella de Oro daylilies under the daylily genus, Hemerocallis. This scientific name comes from the Greek, hemera, "day," plus kallos, "beauty" (a reference to the ephemeral but beautiful nature of the individual blooms). Stella de Oro is the cultivar name.

Stella de Oro daylilies are herbaceous root plants. Daylilies are indigenous to Asia. The Stella de Oro type is a hybrid plant. The Hemerocallis genus belongs to the Xanthorrhoeaceae family of plants, as do, for example, Aloe vera and red hot poker plant (Kniphofia).

Facts About Stella de Oro Daylily

This daylily is valued as a compact plant and early bloomer, reaching a height of just 12 inches, with a similar spread. It blooms from May to July. In fact, its ability to rebloom over a long period and its adaptability to a wide range of planting zones and conditions make it perhaps the most popular of the daylilies. The golden-yellow flowers are fragrant and trumpet-shaped. The foliage is also attractive, forming a dense clump that can function as a ground cover.

Planting Zones, Sun and Soil Needs for Stella de Oro Daylily

Grow Stella de Oro in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.

Stella de Oro daylily will bloom best if grown in full sun, however, it will tolerate light shade, thus giving landscapers flexibility. It is also drought-tolerant. Grow this flower in a well-drained soil. Although not fussy, it will perform better in a soil with plenty of compost.

Uses for Stella de Oro Daylily

These plants are often grown in lines to form flower borders but also look good massed together in a planting bed. Still others use them in container gardening. Their tolerance for shade and dry conditions make them a popular choice for areas of the landscape plagued by those two conditions. As a rabbit-proof and a deer-resistant perennial, Stella de Oro daylily is also a potential solution to pest damage. As if all of that weren't enough, it also makes for a good cut flower and attracts butterflies.

Plant Care Tips

Its individual blooms last just a day, but Stella de Oro daylily will rebloom. It will bloom even more if the spent flowers are deadheaded: Remove the stem and all. Also, remove any brown foliage in late fall. But this is quite a low-maintenance perennial, as it does not have to be divided for several years. When the plants seem crowded and to be waning in vigor, perform division of Stella de Oro daylilies by simply splitting them apart in fall or early spring.

Confusion Over the Name

Stella de Oro daylily is a nightmare for linguistic purists. Hemerocallis Stella de Oro is the name given it by its original hybridizer. The original hybridizer of a hybrid enjoys the honor of naming it. In this case, the honor fell to one Walter Jablonski, who proceeded (whether intentionally or not) to carry this "hybrid" thing a bit too far.

"Stella de Oro" literally translates as "star of gold." Superficially, it looks either Spanish or Italian. Problem is, it's neither one (not in its entirety, at least). "Stella" is "star" in Italian, and "de oro" is "of gold" in Spanish. The result is a hybridization of language to describe a hybrid plant. 

Not surprisingly, then, this name is commonly mangled in every imaginable way, including as:

  • Stella d'Oro daylily
  • Stella Doro daylily
  • Stella d Oro daylily

"Stella d'Oro daylily" has, in fact, become such a common misspelling that it has virtually taken over as the preferred spelling for the plant. In part, what seems to be happening here is that people are correcting Jablonski's flawed formation. They are rendering the plant name in proper Italian, where "star of gold" would, indeed, be written as stella d'oro.