John Scarpa/The Post Mayor Toby Barker accepts a framed certificate from Debbie Smith, regional vice president of Region 14, AHS,

Hattiesburg receives nation's first Daylily City honor

 On Sunday, The City of Hattiesburg received a special designation from the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS), the national daylily organization.

A Daylily City designation was made to Hattiesburg by the AHS. This is the first such award in the nation made by AHS.

In a letter of notification to the Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society (HADS) announcing the designation, AHS president Nikki Schmith wrote:  “It is with great honor that we present to you this certificate recognizing Hattiesburg as an official AHS “Gold Level” Daylily City.”  The award was unanimously supported by the Board of Directors at the summer 2017 Annual Board Meeting.”

Debbie Smith, regional vice president of Region 14, AHS, which includes Mississippi and Alabama, presented the award to Mayor Toby Barker. Also honoring Hattiesburg was Terese Goodson, Regional President, AHS Region 14.

The certificate designating the award noted:  “Because of their efforts to create and maintain an awareness of the benefits of daylilies for landscape use in public locations and increasing the awareness of the beauty of daylilies through educational and promotional events within the city.”

 “The HADS Club is so excited about the Daylily City designation from AHS,” said Vonda Martin, president of HADS. “We always knew Hattiesburg was THE daylily city, but now, it is official! ”

“Recognition of Hattiesburg and the Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society is long overdue,”said AHS President Niiki Schmith, who was unable to attend the designation event, but sent her well wishes. “HADS members and the community should be applauded for having done a phenomenal job promoting the daylily to the general public for 25 years and they are a model to other clubs and communities”

The Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society meets at 2 p.m. third Sunday of each month, January through June, except November, in the Extension Service Conference Room at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center on Hwy. 49 South.

Programs for meetings feature a noted daylily grower who explains growing and hybridizing techniques with slide illustrations of their daylily gardens and latest daylily introductions. 

 In addition to the program, meetings include refreshments, a plant auction, and door prizes. Refreshments are served prior to the beginning of the meeting. Visitors and new members are always welcome.

The Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society engages in public planting projects throughout the area.  Some of the plantings include the Flag Plaza at the Lake Terrace Convention Center, the Hattiesburg Zoo,and the Petal Civic Center.

Annual projects include the Daylily Show, one of the largest in the nation, held the first Saturday in June.  Additionally an open gardens program is held annually when members open the gardens to the public. This event is held on Memorial Day each year.  At least 15 gardens or more of HADS growers are open throughout the Pine Belt, including Stone County and Picayune.

Additional information about the Society, the upcoming meetings and future events may be obtained by visiting the web site at