Man, I'm having a serious case of the Baader-Meinhof's1 with this lovely flower:
I saw this guy last Friday on the Potomac Heritage Trail. And after snapping a few photos and thinking just how exotic it looked, I started seeing his cousins all over the place. During a weekend run I caught glimpses of these guys everywhere; from front yards to medians to everywhere in between.
My hunch, based almost exclusively on the delightful and powerful poem The Lion and Lily by Elizabeth Spires, was that this was a lily I was photographing. And a quick Google Search showed I was mostly right: I was looking at a Daylily, which apparently is unrelated to the true lily.
Daylily's have an awful going for them: they are, as the photo above suggests, gorgeous. They're also quite robust surving both drought and frost conditions. If that weren't enough, they're also fully edible, with reports of being quite tasty.
Alas, the plant isn't without some controversy: first, the thousands of variations that have been created have led to some doubt as to whether daylily's should be eaten. Second, the plant is so robust that it can pop up where folks don't want it, leading some to classify it as "weedy" or invasive. I should be so lucky to have such weeds in my yard!
All I know is that next time I pass a wild daylily, I'm going to have to snack on a few of the flowers. That is after I get a few photos. Now there's a plant that provides!
1From this page: "Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one happens upon some obscure piece of information--often an unfamiliar word or name--and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly." I've always heard of this referred to as selective perception.