Many plants can be used as ingredients for cooking, but not every plant’s flower is suitable for consumption. Even edible flowers are not necessarily something that can be eaten immediately after being picked.

Fresh daylilies are flowers that are usually harvested before they bloom, and some people use them as fresh vegetables for cooking. It is worth noting that the roots and petals of fresh daylilies contain colchicine - an alkaloid. If fresh daylilies that have not been soaked and cooked thoroughly are eaten, their colchicine can be oxidised into a toxic metabolite known as oxydicolchicine in the human body. Oxydicolchicine can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal discomfort, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. In the past, local suspected food poisoning cases were reported after the consumption of fresh daylilies.

To consume daylilies safely, it is advised to choose dried daylilies or daylilies that have been processed, as colchicine can be destroyed during cooking or processing. If fresh daylilies must be used, make sure that they have been soaked in water and cooked thoroughly before eating; only small amounts of fresh daylilies should be consumed.