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Orange Invasion-Orange Day Lilies vs Me

Daylilies growing in a roadside ditch.

Daylilies growing in a roadside ditch.

I love all varieties of flowers. Horticulture was my first area of study in college. I even appreciate the flowers other people call weeds. But there is one plant I don’t particularly care for – the bright orange lily that grows in masses in many rural Midwestern ditches. Up close they are actually kind of pretty and they look fine growing in masses in the ditches. They are not native but escaped from cultivated gardens and there was ample room for them to expand.

I bought a small house that had a clump of these on both sides of the front door. They were ugly and out of their element. I tried everything to get rid of those eyesores. I mowed them over every week thinking they would eventually die out. They didn’t. I tried to dig them up but the roots were too deep. They always grew back.

Then one fall I decided to tear down the small house and build a bigger one. The orange lilies ended up in small pieces in a huge pile of dirt. They didn’t get any sunlight and little water for months, and then they were frozen and buried under snow all winter. I thought I had seen the last of those lilies! But much to my surprise and dismay, after the dirt was smoothed out again and grass seeds were germinating and growing well, up popped those orange lilies – all over the yard! When I thought I had them beat – another one would pop up! It took me years to clear the yard of those pests.

Eventually I won the battle and they were gone forever. But I did gain a new respect for their tenacity for life – as long as they were growing in the ditches and not in my yard!


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Rose Kolowinski (author) on July 17, 2009:

I have never tried an elephant ear! But you are right about flowers vs weeds. I really do enjoy all flowers....but only where they are supposed to live-in my world anyway! Thanks for the comments, Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2009:

Ha! What is one person's flower is another person's weed. Have you ever tried getting rid of elephant ears? About as tough a job as your daylilies.

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