lilium ID L formosanum etc

Kenneth Hixson
Tue, 31 Jan 2006 13:45:20 PST
Terry, I don't know the difference between L formosanum and
L. phillipinense, and I'm not sure anyone else does either.  The
characters of L. phillippinense are supposed to be a very long,
narrow trumpet, pure white, with a three lobed bluish stigma.
Well, some plants do have some bluish tinge between the lobes
of the stigma, but some don't.  Flower size is not a veery specific trait,
as it varies in any population.
	L. formosanum is very variable.  There is the high alpine
form, L. f. pricei, which may be less than a foot tall and flower in
July (Northern Hemisphere).  Then there is the "tall, late strain"
which may get ten feet tall and flower in late September/October.
There are all variations in between.  Many flowers are white with
a dark reverse, but that varies also.  A description of L. f. pricei
flowers would not fit the description of the flowers of the "tall, late
strain", and so on.
	Where does L. longiflorum, the easter lily fit?  It could well
be a relic population of either of the above, growing on an isolated
island in the south Japan seas.  Remember that the L. longiflorum
commonly seen has been highly selected for the florist industry,
who want a short, pure white, early flowering pot plant.

	Wilson believed that L. phillippinense was a form of L. formosanum.

	Then add in L. brownii, forms of L. nepalense, and perhaps a
couple other species.  What you end up with is a highly variable
population of lilies, with continuous intergrades, and no place to specify
which is which.  We may eventually get enough wild material to define
what is what, but don't bet on it.


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