Hemerocallis citrina can reach a height of 90–120 centimetres (35–47 in). It has bright green, linear arching leaves about 40 cm long. Flowers are lemon yellow, trumpet-shaped, showy and very fragrant, about 15 centimetres (5.9 in) in diameter. They bloom from June to July. Long yellow day lily is cultivated in Asia for its edible flowers.
This species is native to eastern Asia and China. It grows in forest margins, grassy fields and slopes, at an elevation of 0–2,000 metres (0–6,562 ft) above sea level.
The tubers, inflorescences, buds and flowers can all be cooked and eaten. Dried or fresh flowers are used in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese cooking, and are known as "golden needles".