See also: Herbaceous Perennials
Stella de Oro daylily (Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro) was ubiquitous in American gardens for a decade or so. You could argue it still is, but the rampant overuse of Stella de Oro has calmed a bit.
In recent years Knock Out roses seem to have overtaken Stella de Oro's place as the landscaper plant of choice in every shopping mall and public space in America.
I'm not suggesting Stella de Oro is not still widely planted. However the days of it being planted as the fail-safe flower of every landscaping company in America are behind us. Now that I do not see Stella de Oro in every garden I can again appreciate this beautiful and reliable daylily.
It didn't happen overnight, the popularity of Stella de Oro. Hybridized in 1975 by Walter Jablonski, Stella de Oro didn't hit its peak until sometime in the 1990's. Jablonski named Stella de Oro in two languages: Italian (Stella: Star) and Spanish (de Oro: Gold). Star of Gold. Stella de Oro is often found online and sold as Stella d'Oro, which is a completely italian version of the name and translates to 'Gold Star'.
What separates Stella de Oro from virtually every other daylily is that it is relatively low-growing and blooms from May until almost September.
There are a number of daylily cultivars that bloom over a long period. Generally speaking however, prime flowering season for casual daylily gardeners may be as short as three weeks or so. Advanced or committed daylily lovers will plant early-, mid-, and late-season cultivars to extend the season. Each daylily flower lasts for a day (thus the origin of the common name).
Hemerocallis send up scapes with multiple flower buds. One of the unfortunate qualities of daylilies is there are always the slimy and rapidly drying carcusses of yesterday's flowers dangling from the scapes. If you only grow a few daylilies you can deadhead the old flowers as you wander by every day or so.
Stella de Oro only grows a foot tall with a similar spread. The flowers are a warm golden color. I am not a fan of daylily leaves, as I find them coarse in the garden, but Stella de Oro has particularly attractive foliage, elegantly thin and consistently healthy.
Daylilies strong prefer full sun, and when grown in shade they will refuse to flower. Plenty of other sun-loving perennials may get leggy with too much shade, but they will at least throw up a begrudging flower every once in a while. Still, Stella de Oro is better than most daylilies when it comes to flowering in less than desirable light conditions.
I would question why a gardener who did not have optimal conditions for growing Hemerocallis would bother planting Stella de Oro or any other daylily cultivar.
Daylilies are tough, an ideal beginner's plant in some ways. They can handle a wide range of soil conditions and are surprisingly drought tolerant. In addition, if you give them a halfway fighting chance, daylilies can compete successfully with weeds.
The good news is that Stella de Oro does not send out aggressive runners such as the highly invasive Hemerocallis fulva (tawny or fulvous daylily).
Stella de Oro is hardy zones 3-10. For more information about growing daylilies or learning about other cultivars, you might want to visit the American Hemerocallis Society website. Many gardeners do not realize daylilies have a passionate and committed following rivaling even the most active rose societies.