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Plants Online - Lilium

Plants for sale - Lilium

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Lilium – Lily
Hardy Bulb.
Height from one foot to seven feet.
Flowers of several colours, July to September.

The Lily tribe contains about fifty varieties known to English gardens, which may be classed under four main headings:
1. The Auratum and Speciosum kinds.
2. The Turk’s Caps and Martagons.
3. The Candidum or Queen Lilies and their relations.
4. The Orange Lilies and their kind.

There is yet another classification to be made, a simple and an important one – the lilies which will grow almost anywhere and of themselves; and the lilies which want knowledge and care, and then will often refuse to live.
All lilies have a bulbous root consisting of fleshy scales, from the base of which proceed the root-fibres and from the centre of the top the flowering stem.
For the plant to thrive, a new bulb or bulbs, at least as large and vigorous as the old exhausted one, must be formed every year to take its place. The time at which the bulbs make their growth or are dormant differs considerably in various species; and knowledge of these peculiarities goes some way towards successful culture.

The white Queen or Madonna Lily, for instance, makes a fresh growth of ground-leaves in August, immediately after the flower-stalk is dead, and its bulbs are scarcely at any time inactive. The importation of dry bulbs from the East, upsetting their natural seasons of growth and rest, accounts for a good deal of the difficulty in growing certain sorts.
It will be best to divide garden lilies on the simple difference of the easy and the hard ones to grow. But at the outset must be mentioned a trouble which may make the very easiest wholly impossible.
There is a special blight of a fungoid nature which has increased woefully during the last few years and threatens to make healthy lilies as rare as clean hollyhocks. The first symptoms are a flagging and browning of the bottom leaves of the stem, generally in June; leaf by leaf the plague creeps up the plant, and finally destroys the blooms; or if these manage to open before they are involved, they display themselves on the top of stems hung with black and shrivelled rags.
The disease does not appear to damage the roots materially; a clump will continue year after year to send apparently healthy shoots, which sooner or later succumb to the inevitable fungus.
There seems to be no cure; syringing with chemical washes has little effect. Destruction of the infected plants, and the planting of clean stock from fresh ground, in a position as far as possible from the diseased quarters, are the only remedies to be tried; and in gardens where the fungus is established they give but little hope. In some neighbourhoods the Queen Lily is already to all intents and purposes almost extinct.
Premising that the garden shows a clean bill of health, or at least that the gardener determines to try what can be done, we will take in order the hardiest and most accommodating Lilies.

The Orange Lily (Lilium croceum).
About three feet high, erect clusters of flowers in June; brownish orange with black spots, one of the earliest to bloom, and perhaps the most disease-proof. Should be planted in good-sized clumps of six to a dozen bulbs in mixed or herbaceous borders, five inches deep.
As with almost all lilies, it is much better, if possible, to get clumps fresh lifted from the ground than single dried specimens from the florists’ drawers.

Put out plants “from ground” or dry bulbs any time between September and January. It likes good ordinary garden soil.

The White Lily, Queen Lily, Madonna Lily (Lilium candidum).
In purity of colour and scent and in its free-flowering habit perhaps the best of all. It will grow to a height of five or six feet, and endures partial shade. The gold dust on the anthers of the flowers in wet weather smutches the petals with a yellow stain, and therefore some tasteful people – including the race of professional florists – snip off the anthers as soon as they are visible.
The lily-blight is perhaps a suitable reward for such meddling.
In the present prevalence of the disease, the best way to procure plants is to make note during the summer of gardens where they flower clean of infection, and then, just before the ground-leaves appear in August, secure for yourself by means of coin, or your personal charm, or any other legal means, as many clumps as you can get or require; divide the clustered bulbs carefully, and plant five inches deep in sound, loamy garden soil, not likely to suffer from drought or standing water.
When established, the roots should be taken up and divided every fourth or fifth year. Unless they are drawn up by shade, no lilies should ever require any sticks or tying. They should, of course, get their share of the annual top-dressing.

The Tiger Lily (Lilium Tigrinum).
Three to four feet; handsome recurved flowers of a soft buff-orange, boldly spotted with black, in August and September. A very handsome, late-flowering kind, strong and hardy in all tolerable soils. Plant in good clumps, four or five inches deep, from November to March, and treat in other respects as Lilium Candidum.

Lilium Testaceum.
Five to seven feet; flowers much recurred, rather small, in fine clusters, their colour a pale apricot or fawn yellow. This is perhaps the finest of the Turk’s Cap section.
When established, and free from the dread disease, it forms large clumps, and sends up tall elastic stems, crowned with most distinctive flowers.
The bulbs should be planted about November, five inches deep; the soil should be well drained, and the site open.
The character of these has a great effect upon the vigour and consequent stature of the stems.

The Scarlet Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium Chalcedonicum).
This is two to four feet high; the leaves are narrow, and thickly set on the stem; the flowers, which open in July, are much recurved, and of a vivid “sealing wax” scarlet. Plant in October, and leave the bulbs undisturbed for several years.

The Martagon Lily (Lilium Dalmaticum).
Two to three feet high; the leaves are set on the stem in whorls, and the flowers, dark purple and very small, form a spire or spike above them.
This lily is hardy, and will stand some shade. The variety Dalmaticum album is of a beautiful creamy white; it is somewhat rare and expensive.

Lilium Umbellatum or Davuricum.
Two or three feet, the flowers erect, orange in colour, in clusters, much like those of Lilium croceum.
It flowers in June.
Besides the orange “type” there are variants in different shades and combinations of red and yellow. Plant in good garden soil, six or seven inches deep, and leave to Nature.

Lilium Canadense.
Four or five feet, yellow flowering in July.

Lilium Pyrenaicum.
Three feet, yellow with black spots.

Lilium Pardalinum.
Five feet, orange, spotted, July, are also lilies of the manageable class.

The second order, the lilies that will not thrive in the open ground without a good deal of care and management, comprises the following kinds.

Lilium Auratum. The great Japanese gold-rayed lily.
This is usually grown in pots, and repays the attention of being flowered under glass.
In light, kindly soils it may be grown very well for a year, or sometimes two.
Something may be done in a heavy staple by digging in plenty of leaf-mould and road-grit, and in particular turfy peat – if it can be obtained.

For planting in the open, medium sized bulbs should be bought and planted six inches deep in February or early March. There are several varieties of the Auratum Lily, of which the best are Platyphyllum, a very free-flowering, with broad foliage, and Rugrovittatum, with a crimson band down the centre of each petal, in place of the yellow one of the “type”.

Lilium Lancifolium (sometimes called Speciosum) is much like Auratum, but on a smaller scale.

The stem is stiff, with sword-like leaves, and carries a head of several flowers, in the shape of an expanded cup, with crinkled edges to the petals and dark chocolate-coloured anthers.
The flowers are white; in lancifolium album the colour is pure; Lilium Kraetzeri has a greenish band down each petal; Lilium roseum and Lilium rubum are spotted and flushed with a lighter and deeper crimson respectively.
Lilium lancifolium is somewhat hardier than Lilium auratum, and in kindly soils may thrive and increase for several years.
Plant five or six inches deep, mixing with the soil compost of a lightening quality; if English grown roots from the open ground can be obtained, plant in open weather early in the year; the dried imported bulbs as soon as practicable after they are purchased.

Lilium Japonicum Browni.
It has long trumpet-shaped flowers, white inside, purplish outside.

Lilium Thunbergianum
A dwarf species, with a large variety of colours, orange, crimson, yellow with dark spots, and buff.

Both of these, if planted in good deep soil with proper drainage, may be expected to flower well for at least on season.

Lilium Giganteum
A very tall grower, reaching a height of ten feet.
The leaves are broad and plantain-like, and form a massive ground-clump; the flowers, eight or more in a spike, are long trumpets, and droop from the stem.
The ground for this lily must be deeply dug and heavily dressed with old vegetable manure, including peat and leaf-mould.
It is not quite hardy in severe winters.

See also : Trumpet Lily , Golden Rayed Lily , Turks Cap and Tiger Lily, Candlestick Lily

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