Dry summer lilies

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Tue, 07 Apr 2015 16:52:24 PDT
I would be very wary of any early twentieth century claims that the western North American lilies were being successfully grown as garden plants. Why? Because Carl Purdy ran a brisk trade in collected plants. A lot of the gardeners I know seem to think that "easily grown" means the same thing as " readily replaced". The typical bulb catalog is filled with plants which many gardeners mistakenly regard as "easily grown" when what they mean is "easily replaced". Just look at what happened to bulb culture here in the United States during the quarantine years early in the twentieth century.There was one very successful exception: David Griffiths' hybridization of lilies which purportedly were derived ultimately from L. humboldtii x L. pardalinum. Those plants existed by the thousands (maybe tens of thousands) at the peak of Griffiths' program. And they disappeared shortly after Griffiths' death except for certain selected clones, some of which survived for a few more decades. 
Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where spring is quickly approaching its most beguiling.   
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