Species Lilies--TOW

Angelo Porcelli angelopalm69@inwind.it
Thu, 05 Jun 2003 05:58:26 PDT
Dear Mary Sue,
before to speak, I would clarify that for Mediterranean climate I mean plants left to their own, without any watering in summer or just occasionally, moved to pity ! 
Said this, the Lilium candidum is the more known and best lily for Mediterranean climate. 
With its growing patter, it doesn't need any watering ever. I find it a 'dainty' plant, because it disappers as soon as flowering is ended. It's a very durable plants and always present in countryside gardens.
I believe it is in cultivation since Roman age, as it has been found painted in Pompei frescos ( 79 a.c.)
but I read even Egyptians grew it.
Lilium henry is another heirloom plant and drought tolerant. It doesn't mind our alkaline soils and I see it often in the gardens.
Lilium tigrinum is also quite common, surely spread by its bulbils at leaf bases and I am quite surprise to see it to thrive in my climate. However, this needs a bit of water in summer, because it flowers late.
I have never grown the Italian native species L.martagon and L.bulbiferum croceum nor the Spanish  L.pyrenaicum and the Greek L.chalcedonicum, but, of course, they should be fine.
Among the failures, I mention L.regale and longiflorum. These come up again the following year but smaller and in a couple of seasons they die, leaving some small bulbs that never reach flowering size again. I have also grown several hybrids (Enchantment group) without success, but I am very pleased with 'African Queen' and 'Pink Perfection'.
I am looking from years for L. x testaceum (candidum x chalcedonicum), which should be a good choice, but I have never found any for sale around.

Angelo Porcelli

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