Part of Plant Used

Petals, flowers, stamen


Whole fresh or dried 



Dried lily buds are yellow-gold in color, with a musky or earthy taste. Two dishes featuring lily buds are Muchu Pork, a stir-fried dish, and Hot and Sour Soup.The unopened flower buds of orange and yellow day lillies. At certain times of year, you may find fresh lily buds in Asian produce markets, with bright golden petals tightly folded above an emerald green calyx. They are delicious stir-fried with minced pork and flavored with garlic, black pepper and fish sauce. Lily buds are known as 'golden needles' because of their original color, though once dried they fade to a pale brown. Popular with Buddhists and other vegetarians, they add a distinctive, earthy flavor to a dish.

The long, slender dried buds of the day lily are sold in packets and will keep well if stored airtight. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, away from the light. Before adding to a dish, soak in warm water for 20-30 minutes. Trim soaked buds of hard stem tips then either tie each in a knot, shred by tearing, or cut across in halves.

​Dried Lily Buds are buds from the hemerocallis fulva family of lilies, (not Tiger Lily.)

They are picked before they open, when they are 3 to 5 inches (7 1/2 to 12 1/2 cm)
long.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.

Dried Lily Buds are often used in hot and sour soup.

Cooking Tips
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.

NutritionAs 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

Storage Hints
​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.

Tiger Lily Flowers - China

​​Lilium tigrinum