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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Tiger Lily (Lilium
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Four or five feet, yellow flowering in July.
Three feet, yellow with black spots.
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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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