Notholirion thomsonianum puts on a show
Sun, 22 Apr 2012 18:51:24 PDT

Wow.  Could anything like this exist in zone 5 now zone 6 missouri?
-----Original Message-----
From: "Jane McGary" <>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 9:05pm
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Subject: [pbs] Notholirion thomsonianum puts on a show

One of the biggest surprises in my new bulb house, where the bulbs 
are no longer contained in pots or mesh baskets, is Notholirion 
thomsonianum, a Himalayan lily relative with a monocarpic (but freely 
offsetting) bulb. Two clusters of bulbs set free on the moist side of 
the bulb house have matured their bulbs very fast, so that each 
cluster is producing six to eight flowering stems as tall as 3 feet 
(nearly 1 metre). The larger cluster has produced, from its central 
(largest and oldest) bulb, a fasciated stem. This oddity, also known 
in Lilium, is characterized by a scape that is flattened in its upper 
part and that carries many more than the usual number of flower buds. 
I haven't counted them, but there are more than forty. (A normal 
scape has 10 to 20.) I always felt that this plant needed a dry 
resting period to flower, but obviously it has no objection to plenty 
of water during its growth period.

I sold quite a few of these through my surplus bulb list in past 
years, and I strongly encourage those who have them to free them from 
their pots and give them a deep root run with plenty of moisture in 
winter and spring. I have never before seen both the central bulb and 
its younger offsets flower in the same year. I'm assuming there are 
many small offsets left to carry on.

For those who haven't seen this unusual plant, the flowers look like 
small trumpet lilies and are an unusual lavender-buff color, and they 
are fragrant. It is hardy outdoors to at least 15 degrees F. given 
good drainage.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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