Lilium is a large genus in the Liliaceae family. More than 100 species are found in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. There are thousands of cultivars as well. The majority of lilies are easy to grow, basic location being heads in the sun and feet in the shade. Good drainage is essential. With the exception of Lilium candidum, they should be planted twice as deep as the height of the bulb. Lilium candidum should be barely covered with soil and is best planted in late summer. The colors of pastel shades are best with a little shade so they do not lose their color in the sun.
Species Lilies was the topic of the week for the PBS List in June 2003. Some of the information below was furnished by John Bryan. His complete Introduction can be found here.
Major reference works devoted to lilies include:
- Synge, Lilies
- Haw, Lilies of China
- Edward McRae, Lilies, 1998
- Woodcock et. al. Lilies of the World, 1950
For details of bulbs see Lilium bulbs. For seeds and propagation see Lilium seeds. For details of flowers see Lilium Flowers. For growing from seed see Lily Germination and Lily Germination By Species.
Iain Brodie of Auchgourish Botanic Garden, Boat of Garten, Scotland who has a mission to conserve the species of Lilium has kindly provided a paper on his successful method of seed germination. You can also find more Lilium information on the website of the North American Lily Society and that of the RHS Lily Group.
Pests and diseases that can be a problem include Lily beetle, Vine weevil and botrytis (see Lilium candidum for picture). Botrytis typically gains a hold if the foliage becomes too wet. In a bad year and with susceptible species, it can lead to the complete collapse of the stem, but usually the bulb will recover the next year. Treatment with systemic fungicide is possible.
Gardeners refer to groups of lily species which form hybrids by names like "Asiatic" which derive from a classification scheme.
Lilium has been divided into the following sections on the PBS wiki - American Section A-M - American Section N-Z - Asiatic Section A-C - Asiatic Section D-K - Asiatic Section L-O - Asiatic Section P-Z - Candidum Section - Dauricum Section - Martagon Section - Oriental Section - Trumpet Section
Lilium Hybrids shows pictures of hybrids. Lilium black hearts is about a type of Aurelian hybrid.
Click on the name in the table below to find more information and/or to see photographs of the named species or cultivar.
For more information about Lilium see Dr. Markus Hohenegger's Lilium site.
American Section A-M - American Section N-Z - Asiatic Section A-C - Asiatic Section D-K - Asiatic Section L-O - Asiatic Section P-Z - Candidum Section - Dauricum Section - Martagon Section - Oriental Section - Trumpet Section - Lilium Hybrids