Each individual flower lasts only one day - hence the name Day Lily – but the large exotic looking flowers of hemerocallis just keep on coming throughout the summer months. It should be compulsory for every garden to have at least one of these wonderful plants. Calico Jack has large vivid yellow flowers with petals edged maroon with more maroon in the centre and a green throat. Full sun. Any reasonable soil. 2 ½ feet. 3 litre pot.


There are a bewildering number of varieties of hemerocallis, and some pretty bewildering names for them too. Calico Jack is one of the more sensible ones (see below), and he dates back to 1998 with the breeder being Trimmer (one of either Dan or Jane, who are Florida-based hybridisers) as a cross between parents Fooled Me and Pirate’s Patch. This is a tetraploid daylily, meaning that it possesses four sets of chromosomes. Hemerocallis are for the most part classified as diploid (2 sets of chromosomes) and tetraploid (4 sets). If you think this might make the latter twice as good as their diploid relations, you wouldn’t be completely wrong. See here for details of what all this means.

As for that name, Calico Jack was the name given to English pirate John Rackham who carried out his business in the waters of the Caribbean in the early years of the 18th century and is widely credited as being the originator of the jolly roger flag so associated with pirates. If that kind of thing interests you, you can find out more about him here.

Calico Jack is one of the evergreen varities of hemerocallis and so retains his imposing fans of foliage throughout the year. Just remove any browned leaves as necessary and cut back old flowering stems once they have exhausted their potential to produce new buds.

Hemerocallis Calico Jack is a hardy perennial plant with strappy leaves and large yellow flowers with maroon edges and centre in summer suitable for full sun.

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