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Species Lilies

This is a discussion on Species Lilies within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Since we are entering lily season, I thought this might be a good time to ...

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  1. #1
    TundraKev's Avatar
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    Default Species Lilies

    Since we are entering lily season, I thought this might be a good time to talk a bit about these.

    I love lilies. They probably rank right up there with orchids as some of my favorite plants. I’ve been collecting them for years. The only thing preventing me from going totally bonkers with these is lack of space in my garden. Right now I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 varieties.

    I’ve only started to grow some of the species. The vast majority of the ones I have are the Asiatic hybrids. These are great lilies, very hardy and multiply like rabbits. For me, one of the big problems with the Asiatics is that fact that every year tons of new ones come on the market, more beautiful than the ones offered last year. You just can’t keep up. The other annoying thing about them is how fast they multiply. Sounds good, but unless you divide them every 3-4 years at most the plants go into decline and flower production suffers. It becomes a real chore to do every fall. I have to keep track of all my lilies and what year they were last divided. I already know what is on the schedule for dividing his fall.

    Anyway, those are a couple of reasons why I decided to start trying the species. I think some of the other reasons for growing these would be the same as to why orchid growers often switch to species. There’s just a charm and grace about them that sometimes is lost in all the hybrids.

    I couldn’t begin to cover the huge number of these available, so I’m going to stick with some of the ones I’ve grown or have thought about trying. As with all plants, some of these are much easier to grow than others. Because some require very, very specific conditions, it is best to do a bit of homework before purchasing any of these. There are a huge number though that can be grown in the average home garden.

    Lilium auratum (Golden-rayed Lily of Japan)
    It’s hard to believe this is a species since it looks so much like the Oriental hybrids most people grow. Actually, the majority of the bulbs available on the market today are many generations removed from the original wild populations. That makes them much easier to grow. Just planted this one last fall.


    Lilium cernuum
    Native to Russian and very hardy from zones 2-6. This has been used in breeding many of the modern hybrids. This one is so sweet.



    Lilium davidii
    One I’ve had for years and very hardy and easy.



    Lilium nepalense
    This one I haven’t tried, but would like to. Since it is only hardy in zones 7-8, I would have to over winter this indoors. Native to Nepal and needs cool, acidic soil in partial shade. I think this may be one of the more difficult species to grow since it seems to require kind of exact conditions to thrive. In the lily world, this is one of the plants people lust after.




    Once again, this was just a teaser of some of the varieties available. Luckily, most are very easy to come by and if you are adventurous and a bit patient you can even grow many of these from seed. Many lilies flower 2-3 years from sowing. I have a few started last year from seed that look like they just make bloom this summer.

  2. #2
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    That Lilium cernuum looks decidedly un-lily-like to me, but I like it a lot. These are really neat, Kev.

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    RSJ
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    Default


    Lilium nepalense
    Native to Nepal and needs cool, acidic soil in partial shade. In the lily world, this is one of the plants people lust after.
    Hm. Sounds like a perfect companion plant to my rhododendrons...now that you've found my last elusive "must have", where d'ya suppose I can find these? Off to hunt...

    Oh, btw, Kev, my Mom ordered some huge "fragrant" amarylis a couple months ago and I scored one of her bulbs. Looks like the Peppermint one you posted a bit ago, and smells like it too...I love it.

    RSJ

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    In the past, McClure & Zimmerman has carried this lily in their fall catalog. Might be a good place to look. I know you also like species tulips and they have a huge selection of these too.

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    I'm jealous... I have a few clumps of Asiatic Lilies that have attracted the dreaded "red lily beetle" for the past couple of years, and they'll eat the entire plants (leaves and flowers). Even picking them off daily and throwing them into a jar of soapy water, they eventually prevail, leaving nothing but a dead looking stick where each plant was. I read that the best chance to beat them is to go out every day and handwash each plant PLUS removing any additional beetles you see. *looks for a whiney crying smilie to put here* Luckily for people in other parts of the country, I think they're only in this area.

    No fair... I want to grow the types of lilies you posted pics of.... waaaahhhhhhh

    maybe if I start paying the kids a nickel for each dead beetle they produce... ests:

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    Those really are lovely flowers. In addition to a some oriental lilies, I have quite a few Amaryllis plants, I get to pick up new and unusual ones when I am in the Netherlands on business (and yes, they are approved for import). The nice thing is that they grow outside year round here in So Cal. In fact, several just finished blooming. And the bulbs you get over in Europe are so big, I mean huge. I have to put them in 12" clay pots or larger to keep them from tipping over when the leaves and stalks come out. My favorite one is a Salmon color with Red veining. I'll have to see if I can find a photo and name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justlearning!!
    I'm jealous... I have a few clumps of Asiatic Lilies that have attracted the dreaded "red lily beetle" for the past couple of years, and they'll eat the entire plants (leaves and flowers). Even picking them off daily and throwing them into a jar of soapy water, they eventually prevail, leaving nothing but a dead looking stick where each plant was. I read that the best chance to beat them is to go out every day and handwash each plant PLUS removing any additional beetles you see. *looks for a whiney crying smilie to put here* Luckily for people in other parts of the country, I think they're only in this area.

    No fair... I want to grow the types of lilies you posted pics of.... waaaahhhhhhh

    maybe if I start paying the kids a nickel for each dead beetle they produce... ests:
    I really feel for you. We have escaped those critters so far. I've heard that they are one of the worst beetles to try to control and the damage they do is just terrible. I sure hope they don't move into this area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsuprock
    I have quite a few Amaryllis plants, I get to pick up new and unusual ones when I am in the Netherlands on business (and yes, they are approved for import). The nice thing is that they grow outside year round here in So Cal. In fact, several just finished blooming. And the bulbs you get over in Europe are so big, I mean huge. I have to put them in 12" clay pots or larger to keep them from tipping over when the leaves and stalks come out. My favorite one is a Salmon color with Red veining. I'll have to see if I can find a photo and name.
    Diane - please do post a picture if you can find it. I had no idea you could bring back plants like that. I know that with amaryllis, size does make a world of difference. Many years ago, I gave my parents a huge amaryllis bulb. It was expensive, but well worth it. Even with their irregular care, it has continued to produce 3-4 flower stalks every year.

    I've been kind of disappointed in the past with the quality of amaryllis bulbs I've purchased even from some of the better nurseries, so I really haven't bought any for many years. I do like them though.

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    I'll start digging around for a picture. You normally can bring back bulbs from the Netherlands that have a certificate from the grower. Certain growers have certified greenhouses that the USDA inspects and approves. If you ever go to the Netherlands you must go to the Bloomenmarket in Amsterdam. You can get bulbs of every type and they are soooo big and happy looking.

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    :lemmetell Actually, a little benign neglect seems to be just what they like! At least that is what they get from me!

    [QUOTE=TundraKev] Even with their irregular care, it has continued to produce 3-4 flower stalks every year.

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