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LILIUM

Image of Lilium

Felder Rushing

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

LILIUM

Plant Common Name

Lily

General Description

Diverse, and full of wonderful ornamentals, the genus Lilium is comprised of over 100 species and thousands of cultivars, most are herbaceous. These exist in north temperate regions around the globe and are commonly found in meadows, woodlands or mountainous areas.

All lilies are perennial and born from scaled bulbs that sometimes spread via underground stems. They all have large, showy flowers comprised of six petals/tepals, which are usually in shades of yellow, red, orange, white, pink or purple. These often have prominent stigmas and colorful anthers rich with pollen. Bloom time is variable and depends on the given plant.

In general, lilies are easy to grow. They prefer full sun to shade, depending in the species/cultivar, and appreciate fertile to average soil with good drainage. Hardiness is cultivar/species dependent, but most lilies require a chilling period to bloom.

Lilies fall under nine separate classes that distinguish plants by floral form and parentage. These classes are:

(I) Asiatic Hybrids; early-flowering Asiatic Hybrids with upright, outward facing single or umbelled flowers (Parentage: Lilium lancifolium, L. cernuum, L. davidii, L. leichtlinii, L. x maculatum, L. x hollandicum, L. amabile, L. pumilum, L. concolor, and/or L. bulbiferum)

(II) Martagon Hybrids; hybrids with pendant flowers (Parentage: one parent having been a form of Lilium martagon or L. hansonii)

(III) Candidum Hybrids; hybrids of all European species except Lilium martagon (Parentage: Lilium candidum, L. chalcedonicum and other related European species)

(IV) American Hybrids; hybrids of American Lilium species

(V) Longiflorum Hybrids; hybrids derived from Lilium longiflorum and L. formosanum

(VI) Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrids; hybrid trumpet lilies and Aurelian hybrid lilies from Asiatic species including Lilium henryi but excluding L. auratum, L. japonicum, L. rubellum and L. speciosum

(VII) Oriental Hybrids; hybrids of the Far Eastern species Lilium auratum, L. japonicum, L. rubellum and L. speciosum

(VIII) All Lilium hybrids that fall outside all other categories

(IX) All putative wild forms

Subdivisions:

a/ Upward-facing flowers

b/ Outward-facing flowers

c/ Downward-facing flowers

/a Trumpet-shaped flowers

/b Bowl-shaped flowers

/c Recurved flowers

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    1'-10' / 0.3m - 3.0m

  • Width

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Red, Green, Purple, Gold, Pink, Rose, Peach, Burgundy, Bronze

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow Green, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes