Lilium neilgherrense

John Grimshaw
Fri, 02 Dec 2011 01:30:52 PST
There is a very interesting account of the introduction and cultivation of 
Lilium neilgherrense in H.J. Elwes's magnificent 'Monograph of the Genus 
Lilium' (1880), which is fortunately* available to the world through the 
kind offices of The text for L. neilgherrense can be found 

[* An internet search indicates that a copy of the 1880 volume is available 
from Arader Galleries for £4778.00 and one could get the Supplements 1-9 
from Old Imprints for a further £3784, but in this set Supplements 8 and 9 
are the usual copies with printed colour plates (about 40 of each were 
issued with hand-coloured plates). For a little bit extra, Antiquariaat Junk 
has both volumes for £14,579, but this includes a double set of plates in 
the Supplements.]

The rather plate was made by W.H. Fitch from a plant that bloomed here at 
Colesbourne in 1876. At that point Elwes, in his bumptious youth, thought it 
would be an easy plant to grow, but in his posthumous autobiography (he died 
1922, it was published 1935) he reflects 'like many other species of lily it 
has not proved as easy to keep as it was to introduce.'

John Grimshaw

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Tel. 01242 870567

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