If allowed to bloom, the flowers would only last one day anyway.
The buds are dried. When dried but fresh, they should be light-brown, and flexible. Don’t buy ones that are dark brown, or crumbly — they are past it.
They have a very faint earthy, sweetish taste with a bit of tartness. They are used more for their aroma, which is halfway between fruity and flowery.
They are sold in 4 to 8 oz (115 to 225 g) cellophane bags. The cost shouldn’t be more than 1 to 2 dollars US (2005 prices) a bag.
Dried Lily Buds are often used in hot and sour soup.
Soak Dried Lily Buds in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse. Cut off and discard tips (the stem ends) which will be tough. Cut the buds in half, then use as is or pull into shreds.
They will have a chewy texture, slightly crunchy. You only need a little at a time.
As with many foods, the Chinese ascribe medicinal qualities to Dried Lily Buds. In Chinese folk medicine, they are thought to help with insomnia and to help settle a cough.
1/2 oz dried lily buds = 1/2 cup = 30 dried lily buds
Store Dried Lily Buds indefinitely in a sealed container at room temperature in the dark, but discard when stale as they aren’t worth using.
Dried Lily buds were introduced to North America in the late 1800s as a garden ornamental. It has so naturalized itself various American government departments class it as an “Ecologically Invasive” species.
Dried Lily Buds come from the lily whose scientific name is Hemerocallis fulva. Some English names for the plant are orange day lily, tawny daylily, and common daylily.
They don’t come from Tiger Lilies, despite one of the English synonyms.
“Fulva” means “orange-yellow” in Latin.