Daylily (kanzoo) - Lilies (yuri)


Daylily, daylilies (kanzoo)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late Summer
***** Category: Plant


flowers of the daylily, kanzoo no hana 
萱草の花 (かんぞうのはな)

yabukanzoo 薮萱草 (やぶかんぞう)
Hemerocallis fulva var. kwanso

wild daylilies, nokanzoo 野萱草(のかんぞう)
Hemerocallis longituba / ヘメロカリス

This flower is often grown in old temple compounds and already the subject of poetry in the Manyoshu collection.


yuusuge, yuu suge 夕菅 (ゆうすげ) Thunberg's Daylily
lit. "evening Suge"
kisuge, ki suge 黄菅(きすげ) "yellow Suge"
Hemerocallis thunbergii. tall daylily, with yellow flowers

Nikkoo kisuge 日光黄菅 (にっこうきすげ) Amur Dailily
lit. "yellow Suge from Nikko"
zenteika 禅庭花(ぜんていか)"Zen garden flower"
setteika せっていか
Hemerocallis middendorffii


. kinshinsai 金針菜 kind of day lily bud .


comprise the small genus Hemerocallis of flowering plants in the family Hemerocallidaceae. They are not true lilies which are Lilium in Liliaceae. The name Hemerocallis comes from Greek words for day and beauty. The flowers of most species open at sunrise and wither at sunset, possibly replaced by another one on the same stem the next day (some species are night-blooming). Daylilies are not commonly used as cut flowers for formal flower arranging, yet they make good cut flowers otherwise as new flowers continue to open on cut stems over several days.

Originally native from Europe to China, Korea, and Japan, their large showy flowers have made them popular worldwide. There are over 60,000 registered cultivars. Only a few cultivars are scented; some will rebloom later in the season, particularly if their developing seedpods are removed.

More is here

© PHOTOS Gabi Greve


There are many other types of lilies in Japan and worldwide.

Worldwide use


The one perfect thing for a girl of the remote Gobi was the flower- iris. I ran among iris on the steppe, swinging my skirt and chose the biggest virgin bloom of iris, blew my lips to get the sound “zen zen”.
White clouds of the blue iris flower, tried not lose their color, but my little fingers became white.
My mother told me that if you cut the tender spring iris blossoms the weather will turn dreary or rain will come.
I believed her because it rained when we cut them.
This is how I feel nature – mountains, clouds.

she blows on an iris -
clouds gather angrily
to the sound of 'zen zen'

Zaya Nergui

Mongolian people use iris flower in the treatment for gastric ulcer.

. WKD : Mongolia Saijiki .

Things found on the way


I gravitate to
Haiku for its brevity--

Michael R. Collings, USA


Related words

***** Lily, yuri 百合 (ゆり)
kigo for early summer

mountain lily, yamayuri 山百合(やまゆり) Lilium auratum
golden-rayed [-banded] lily

tiger lily, "demon lily" oniyuri 鬼百合(おにゆり)
tengai yuri 天蓋百合(てんがいゆり)
ko oniyuri 小鬼百合(こおにゆり)Lilium leichtlinii
sugeyuri 菅百合(すげゆり)
star lily, "princess lily" himeyuri 姫百合(ひめゆり)
yellow princess lily, ki himeyuri

"bamby lily", shika no ko yuri 鹿の子百合(かのこゆり) Lilium speciosum

"waterfall lily" takiyuri 滝百合(たきゆり)

sasayuri 笹百合(ささゆり)、sayuri さゆり bamboo lily
Lilium japonicum

sukashi yuri 透百合(すかしゆり)

Easter lily, teppoo yuri 鉄砲百合(てっぽうゆり)
Lilium longiflorum
sakuyuri さく百合(さくゆり) Lilium platyphyllum
kurumayuri 車百合(くるまゆり) Lilium medeoloides
Takeshimayuri 竹島百合(たけしまゆり)Lilium hansonii

white lily, shirayuri 白百合(しらゆり)
red lily, beniyuri 紅百合(べにゆり)

fragrance of the lily, yuri no ka 百合の香(ゆりのか)

kigo for late summer

kuroyuri, kuro yuri 黒百合 (くろゆり) "black lily"
Fritillaria camschatcensis


The genus Lilium are herbaceous flowering plants normally growing from bulbs, comprising a genus of about 110 species in the lily family, Liliaceae. They are important as large showy flowering garden plants, and in literature. Some of the bulbs have been consumed by people. The species in this genus are the true lilies, while other plants with lily in the common name are related to other groups of plants.
... more in the WIKIPEDIA

shin-shin to yuri no saki keri naku hibari

quietly the lilies
have bloomed...
a skylark sings

Tr. Lanoue

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .


yuri saku ya oo-bone otte hibari naku

a skylark
among blooming lilies
sings its heart out

Tr. Chris Drake

This summer hokku is from the 4th month (May) of 1810, when Issa was traveling around in the area just east of Edo. A lark is singing as strongly as it can, and Issa is impressed by its sound. With a touch of humor Issa says the small-boned lark is "breaking a big bone," a metaphorical idiom that means to make a great effort or to do one's best for someone else. By using the idiom for a small bird, Issa draws attention to its literal meaning, and the vowels and two b's help suggest how big and resounding the lark's song is and how unreservedly it wants to do its best for the lilies.

Perhaps the shape of the lilies suggests they are listening intently to the lark.
The hokku before this one in Issa's diary also suggests this:

kyoo kara no nembutsu kiki-kiki yuri no hana

listen, listen, lilies
to all the Buddha names
from today on

The lilies seem to be growing near a temple. Summer retreats (ge) begin in the middle of the 4th month, and for the next three months the lilies in the area will hear the name of Amida Buddha chanted many times with great devotion. Issa asks them to listen carefully and respectfully day after day and learn from each chanted name about Amida and the Pure Land. Issa obviously believes the Pure Land is open to the lilies as well. Since the hokku about the skylark follows this one, Issa may be assuming that the passionate bird is singing Amida Buddha's name in its own lark language.

Chris Drake

shin-shin to yuri no saki keri naku hibari

in deep silence
lilies blooming --
a skylark sings

Tr. Chris Drake

This summer hokku was written in the 4th month of 1810, when Issa was traveling in the area east of Edo. It's written in the objective Edo manner, a style whose influence helps keep Issa's later autobiographical style objectively subjective and thereby increases its power. The word shin-shin, written phonetically by Issa, is often written 深々, with characters meaning 'deep, deep,' and it suggests a hushed, profound silence and stillness. The funnel-like exfoliating shape of the lilies perhaps seems to Issa to be a visible analog of the deep silence and stillness in what seems to be a secluded spot on the edge of a field or a wood. The silence makes the sudden clear, sharp cadences of the skylark even more piercing.

The next, very interesting hokku in Issa's diary reverberates with the above hokku:

neru ushi wa yuri no kokoro ni kanaubeshi

how it delights
the hearts of the lilies --
a sleeping cow

The word translated as cow is written by Issa with 午, the character for the Chinese zodiacal horse (not the character used for physical horses), but various editors are in agreement that this represents a small slip of the brush for 牛, cow. The lilies seem to sense a profound silence, peacefulness, and stillness in the cow sleeping nearby. They clearly seem to feel something, according to Issa, that attracts and delights them (kokoro ni kanau) and makes them feel the sleeping cow is a kindred spirit. It is not strange or unusual for Issa to attribute kokoro or hearts/minds to the lilies, since in Japanese Buddhism it was commonly assumed that plants and trees had some sort of consciousness and could achieve buddhahood, an assumption that still remains today to a certain extent. Hearts/minds has no number in Japanese, but I use the plural since the lilies are plural. If one believes all beings share a single heart/mind, then the singular might be appropriate.

Chris Drake

. Onomatopoetic Words used in Haiku .


Kannon-Lily -
raindrops sparkling
in the night

© Gabi Greve, 2004
With more photos !
Stargazer Lilies


yuri matsuri 百合祭(ゆりまつり) lily festival
. Saikusa matsuri 三枝祭 Saikusa Festival
at shrine Saigawa in Nara, June 17
with Lilium japonicum, sasayuri ささゆり (笹百合)
bamboo lily
nanaotome yuri 七媛女百合, nana otome yuri


***** Licorice, liquorice, kanzoo 甘草 (かんぞう)
kigo for early summer

"forget-it-plant" wasuregusa 忘草 / 忘れ草 (わすれぐさ)(also used for the daylily)
"sweet plant", amaki あまき、amakusa あまくさ
fam. Glycyrrhiza

Often used in traditional Chinese medicine.

wasuregusa nameshi ni tsuman toshi no kure
. Food haiku by Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 .
Basho had a weak stomach and often used herbal medicine.

candy corn
and licorice for children
in costumes . . .

(traditional colors for Halloween: orange and black)

- Shared by Elaine Andre -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013


kigo for mid-spring

baimo no hana 貝母の花 (ばいものはな)
flower of the Amigasa lily

amigasa yuri 編笠百合(あみがさゆり)
haruyuri, haru yuri 春百合(はるゆり)spring lily
hatsu yuri 初百合(はつゆり)first lily
hahakuri 母栗(ははくり)"mother chestnut"
Fritillaria verticillata

Originated in China.


kunshiran 君子蘭 (くんしらん) scarlet Kaffir lily
lit. "gentleman"s orchid"
oobana kunshiran 大花君子蘭(おおばなくんしらん)Kaffir lily with large blossoms
fam. Clivia


kanoko yuri 鹿の子百合 Japanese lily

doyoo yuri 土用百合 "lily on the dog day in summer"
tanabata yuri 七夕百合 lili during the star festival
Lilium speciosum
a lily native to Japan. It grows up to around 1.5 m in height. The flowers are white to pink in colour, and strongly scented. It is later flowering than most other species.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


yuuyami ya kanoko madara no yuri no hana

at dusk
these dappled

Kobayashi Issa 一茶

Comment by Chris Drake :

Issa isn't watching a fawn. "Fawn-spotted" means dappled or mottled. In a famous example, the ancient poet Narihira wrote the following waka about Mt. Fuji being "fawn-spotted" by snow in summer in Ise Tales 9 (Shinkokinshuu no. 1616):

Fuji, a mountain
knowing no seasons --
what time does it think
it is now, with its
patches of fallen snow?

"Patches" here is literally "fawn-spotted." Likewise Japanese tie-dyeing is literally "fawn- spotted shibori."

As an adjective, "fawn-spotted" doesn't refer only to white spots but to any dappling in which the background and spots are of clearly different colors or of different shades of the same color. In Issa's hokku, the lilies could be of any color, though white, magenta, orange (tiger lilies), and yellow seem to be the most common colors in Japan. Since there isn't much available light, Issa may be evoking the flowers as "floating" above the ground, which is already almost dark. The spots dappling the lilies perhaps make them seem porous and liminal, halfway between this world and another. This hokku resembles Issa's hokku about the lotus flowers at dusk below a willow tree and his hokku about the rapeseed flowers on a rainy night, although this hokku is less explicitly spiritual. Still, it has a border-light spiritual power of its own.

Issa is referring to spotted lilies in general (kanoko-madara no), not just to kanoko-yuri. There are many different kinds of spotted lilies that grow in Japan. You can see various kinds in old Edo books or with Japanese Google at
鹿の子まだらのユリ .
Kanoko-yuri are found only on Shikoku and Kyushu. Therefore it would be impossible for Issa in eastern Honshu to be looking at that variety of spotted lily.


. Plants in Spring - SAIJIKI .


Amaryllis (amaririsu)



Anonymous said...

crescent moon passing--
the daylily in water
closes by itself

George Hawkins


anonymous said...

Lilies of the Field

Lilies of the Field (novel) by William Edmund Barrett
Lilies of the Field (1963 film), a film adaption of the novel produced and directed by Ralph Nelson
Look to the Lilies a musical stage adaption
Lilies of the Field (1924 film), a silent American meldodrama directed by John Francis Dillon
Lilies of the Field (1930 film), an American meldodrama directed by Alexander Korda
Lilies of the Field (1934 film), a British romantic comedy film directed by Norman Walker


anonymous said...

Matthew 6:28

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin:
The World English Bible translates the passage as:

Why are you anxious about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.
They don’t toil, neither do they spin,

Many varieties of flowers grow wildly and abundantly in Galilee. The translation of lilies is traditional, but far from certain. Modern scholars have proposed a number of different flowers that Jesus could be here referring to, according to Fowler these include the autumn crocus, scarlet poppy, Turk's cap lily, anemone coronaria, the narcissus, the gladiolus, and the iris.

France notes that flowers were less specifically defined in that era, and lily could be a word referring to any showy variety.

The verse could also just mean flowers in general, rather than a specific variety. "In the field" implies that these are the wildflowers growing in the fields, rather than the cultivated ones growing in gardens. Harrington notes that some have read this verse as originally referring to beasts rather than flowers.


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

biwayootoo 枇杷葉湯 (びわようとう) biwa yootoo, biwa yoto
drink from dried loquat leaves

biwa yootoo uri 枇杷葉湯売り
vendor of loquat leaves medicine

Gabi Greve said...

oniyuri ya hotarubi tobosu toodaiki

tiger lily -
a candlestick demon glows
like a firefly

. Kitamura Kigin 北村季吟 . (1625 - 1705)

- On a summer evening, the tiger lilies in the late sunshine glow almost like candlestick demons.