L. pitkinense and L. pardalinum

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Wed, 02 Jul 2003 09:20:55 PDT
I am no lily expert, but I had the privilege of assisting one, Edward 
McRae, in the preparation of his recent book "Lilies," and here is what he 
has to say about L. pardalinum 'Giganteum':

"'Red Giant', the Sunset lily, was formerly known as Lilium harrisianum 
Beane & Vollmer. It has been treated either as a giant form of L. 
pardalinum or as a hybrid between that species and L. humboldtii. Beane and 
Vollmer described it from a wild population on the banks of Van Duzen Creek 
in northern California. ... This extraordinarily magnificent lily, usually 
5-7 feet tall, bears large flowers, 3-4 inches wide, ... gleaming 
carmine-red inside from the tip to the midpoint, and chrome yellow from the 
middle to the base, tinged in the throat with green, with large spots, 
typically gold-ringed in chocolate brown."

Regarding L. pitkinense, McRae writes, "Seedling populations of this 
species...showed enormous variation in height, flower size. color, and 
flowering season. They resembled a hybrid population more than a true 
species. This observation, coupled with the species' singular wild 
occurrence, suggests that L. pitkinense in fact represents a natural hybrid 
population. The plants were all strong and easy to grow, much like smaller 
forms of L. pardalinum."

I grew 'Red Giant' for many years, having bought it from Russell Graham's 
nursery in the 1980s and planted it in moist woodland conditions. It can 
indeed get very large and has the long scaly rhizome Diana described. (L. 
pitkinense is also stoloniferous.)

This discussion has stimulated me to make a trip to Eddie's nursery on the 
east side of Mt. Hood this summer and take some photos of these and other 
lily species for the wiki.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

More information about the pbs mailing list