Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lilium lust

The lilies are on their final stretch and there have been many surprises in the last two months.

In our late late summer, the lily show began in July with the opening of one of the tried and true lilies out there. This is 'Tiger Babies' blooming with ornamental grasses in the Soest Perennial Display Garden at the UW Botanic Gardens - Center for Urban Horticulture where I work part time.

Lilum Tiger Babies in Briza media

Then comes two species from China I brought back a few years ago. The first is the elegant and rare Lilium majoense and then the tall, stately Lilium leucanthemum.

Lilium majoense reverse Lilium majoense

Lilium leucanthemum

Soon after, the "Orienpet" lilies put on a show. Here's the gold with crimson and richly scented 'Shocking' and the voluptuous 'Silk Road' at a client's garden.

Lilium Shocking composition

Lilium 'Silk Road'
'Silk Road'/'Northern Carillon'

The new mixed bed I'm developing has the spectacular 'Scheherazade' blooming with mixed perennials and glittery grasses in the background.


My clumps of 'Nymph' have slowly dwindled as I love using them profusely for arrangements just like this one at my sister's house for a little reunion with cousins from out of town a few weeks ago.

Lilium 'Nymph' in an arrangement

Orientals are just starting and my collection has dwindled a bit as I used to grow more. The standout right now is 'Tiger Woods' and the rare 'Midnight Star'.

WHOOPS....that's the REAL Tiger Woods.

Here's the lily:

Orienpets overlap with the Orientals and, man, were there surprises:

From top left clockwise: 'My Precious', a sister seedling to the cultivar 'Pizazz', and a rare double-flowered oriental 'Josef'.

So the double orientals are looking their best EVER and I'm wondering if it's been the mild and relatively cooler summer or my new and special friend who's been helping me water more diligently.

The "classic" variety 'Miss Lucy' is towering at 5 feet with long pedicles and flowers that haven't aborted, but are opening slowly and quite beautifully:

Lilium 'Miss Lucy'

Next to "Lucy" is 'Davyd'. Has done absolutely nothing but abort and look horrendous, but here this year, at least it looks like it's trying. LOL!


'Josef' is definitely a surprise as it has opened up pretty well despite still being in a container.

'Chrys' might be the same or similar to a new intro out right now called 'Polar Star'. It opened very nicely last year in a container, but the one in the ground is slowly doing its thing!

Then there's this HOT MESS of a lily. Interesting? Sure! Looks like throw-up? Uh huh. But fragrant? Of course! Why did you grow this? Shut up. Now, I can't even remember it's name. The interesting thing about this flower are the present anthers with pollen!!

One of my most highly anticipated purchases earlier this spring was a package of 'Magic Star'. It almost looks like a double-flowered 'Tiger Woods' or 'Dizzy' and when you've grown lilies for a long time and you see the photo, your jaws drop and you say, "WOW"! So I purchased two dessicated bulbs from a local nursery, potted them up so they can "recover" and root before planting them out in the garden.

Lilium Magic Star Lilium Magic Star closeup

So's interesting and all and kind of cool looking, but very inconsistent when opening. Could it get better as it matures much like 'Miss Lucy' did? We'll see.

All lily'd out??!! Hhahahahh




  1. Gorgeous!!!!! You crack me up with the Tiger Woods. Love the species from China. -t

  2. Gode billeder.
    Hvor har du mange smukke blomster.
    Tak for kigget.

  3. Oh my god, Riz, I had no idea lilies DID this! I've got to see your garden. And the photos aren't too shabby, either!

  4. Thanks for the comments and the compliments!

    Season's winding down in the garden, but I'll have to have visitors next year when these lilies have had a chance to mature and, hopefully, improve!

  5. that majoense is amazing! great stuff Riz and it was a pleasure to meet you in person.

  6. Drats, I could have totally sent you home with a seedling that was waiting for a home on Sean's porch that night! Next time!!