The Lily Species
Below is a brief discussion of lilies belonging to the Oriental section, Candidum section, Dauricum section, and Martagon section. While lilies belonging to the Candidum section are native to Europe and adjoining regions, the others are mostly from various regions of Asia.
L. alexandrae: This Oriental lily comes from Japan and its flowers have a pure white hue and shaped like a trumpet. The flowers may appear on a horizontal or somewhat elevate stalk. Flowers of this lily have a pleasant aroma.
L. auratum: This lily also has its original home in Japan. The flowers of L. auratum are out facing, large, sweetly aromatic and shaped like a flattened bowl. A typical flower measures anything between 25 cm and 30 cm (10 inches and 12 inches) across and it has an ivory-white hue with carmine papillae and spots as well as a golden-yellow band in the middle. The flowers bloom during the period between August and September.
L. brownii: This lily too has its home in the southern regions of China and it bears flowers that are pure creamy-white inside, while on the exterior their color varies from purple to chocolate-brown, occasionally superimposed with a green shade. The flowers bloom during July.
L. japonicum: As the name implies, this lily has its original home in Japan. Each flower stalk of this Lilium species bears one to three flowers, which have a clear pink hue. Occasionally, the flowers also come in white. The flowers open between May and August, subject to the altitude on which they are grown.
L. nobilissimum: This lily is also indigenous to Japan. The plant bears as many as 6 pure white, waxy-textured, trumpet-shaped flowers on a single short erect stalk. The flowers are sweetly scented.
L. rubellum: This lily has originated in Japan too, but is now grown in gardens in several parts of the northern hemisphere. It bears one to three bell-shaped, horizontal trumpet flowers on a single stalk. The aromatic flowers have a delicate pink hue and turn purple-rose as they age. Each flower measures about 4.5 cm (1.5 inches) in length and is 6.5 cm (3 inches) in diameter.
L. speciosum: This lily species is native to a number of countries in Southeast Asia, including Japan, China and Taiwan. The stiff flower stem of this plant bears large, scented flowers having strongly reflexed tepals. The flowers have very undulating margins and their color varies from pink to crimson. The flowers are speckled with carmine papillae and spots. Normally, the flowers bloom during August and September.
L. dauricum: This lily species has its origin in Asia. The flowering stem of the plant is ribbed and grows up to a height of anything between 30 cm and 75 cm (12 inches and 30 inches). The stem bears closely scattered, lance-shaped deep green leaves that appear just underneath the cup-shaped flowers. The flowers are up facing and their color varies from orange-red to scarlet. They are variably spotted appearing in an umbel. Each flower stalk bears as many as 6 flowers.
L. maculatum: This Dauricum lily species has its home in Japan. The flowers of this species are somewhat large and are borne in an umbel comprising anything between 3 and 12 flowers on a single stem, which may grow up to a height of anything between 30 cm and 100 cm (1 feet and 3 feet). The flowers of L. maculatum have a beautiful goblet shape and they are usually orange-red having several scattered dark speckles. When growing on cliffs, the flower stem generally hangs out almost parallel to the ground, bearing erect flowers. The flowers of this lily species bloom during the period between July and August.
L. distichum: This lily has its home in a number of places, including Vladivostok and Amur regions of Siberia as well as the Korea and Manchuria. The flower stem of this plant grows up to a height of 30 cm to 90 cm (1 foot to 3 feet) and bears leaf whorls. In July, the stem produces a packed raceme comprising anything between 3 and 8 flowers having fleshy tepals. The flowers have a light orange-red hue with deep spots.
L. hansonii: This lily has its origin in the Takeshima and Ullung-Do Islands off the Korean coast and in the Negita and Diamond mountains located in mainland Korea. It has also been found growing naturally in Japan and the eastern parts of Siberia. The pendant, scented flowers bloom in June and have a thick, plump, orange-red tepals with brown spots. Each flower stalk bears as many as 4 to 12 flowers.
L. martagon: This lily species has its origin in Eurasia. These plants flourish in limestone hills and at an altitude of up to 2300 meters (7500 feet). It also grows on lime substrates in beech woods along the margins of shrub thickets and woods as well as in waste places that are properly watered and well-drained. Lilium martagon plants grow up to a height of anything between 60 cm and 120 cm (2 feet and 4 feet) in the wild, while they may reach 180 cm (6 feet) when cultivated. The color of the pendant flowers varies greatly. When grown in low-lands the flowers are pale brownish pink, while those growing on higher elevations bear flowers that have a dark, strong, muddy carmine-pink hue. Even the brownish violet spots on the flowers vary greatly.
L. medeoloides: This lily is native to Hokkaido and Honshu in Japan, in the north towards Sakhalin, Cheju Islands off the coasts of southern Korea and Kurile Island off the coast of Kamchatka. The flowers of this lily are small, measuring just about 3.5 cm (1.5 inches). The flowers are pendant and have reflexed tepals whose color varies from orange to apricot. They also have spots whose color also varies from deep red to black. Usually, the flowers of Lilium medeoloides bloom between July and August.
L. tsingtauense: It has its original home in China and Korea. The plant bears anything between 1 and 6 flowers towards the end of July. The flowers are straight, having the form of star-shaped bowls and come in luminous orange-red and reddish spots. However, the spots are not distributed throughout the tepals in an even manner in radials. The flowers of this lily have a somewhat displeasing scent.
L. bulbiferum: Lilium bulbiferum has its origin in Europe. The flowers of this lily appear in a terminal umbel that comprises as many as 20 golden-orange, up facing, bowl shaped flowers. The flowers have a reddish-orange hue at their tips and light spotting.
L. candidum: This lily species has its origin in the eastern regions of the Mediterranean. The flower stalk of this lily appears in spring and normally grows up to a height of anything between 80 cm and 120 cm (2.5 feet and 4 feet). These flower stems bear as many as 5 to 20 pure white flowers in July. The flowers have a wide trumpet shape and a sweet scent.
L. carniolicum: This lily has its original home in the Balkans. The flowers are thick-textured and have turk’s cap shape. They have a rusty red hue, which is not very luminous.
L. chalcedonicum: It has its origin in Greece and Albania. The flowering stem of this lily bears as many as 10 blooms of martagon form between July and August.
L. monadelphum: This Lillium species is indigenous to the northern regions of Caucasus. This lily flowers early in the season and the plant grows to a height of anything between 60 cm and 80 cm (2 feet and 2.5 feet) in the wild, while the plant may attain a height of 120 cm (4 feet) when grown in favourable conditions in a garden. The flower stalk is rather small and bears up to 5 and 20 potently fragrant, pendant, broadly open trumpet-shaped flowers. The blooms have a pure yellow or soft creamy hue with or even without light lilac spots.
L. polyphyllum: This lily species has its origin in the Himalayas in Asia. Usually, it bears anything between 1 and 10 flowers, but some plants may also be found up to 40 flowers. The flowers are scented, nodding and bell-shaped. The tepals’ lower half is strongly rolled under. Inside the trumpet, L. polyphyllum flowers have a greenish yellow hue, while they have a creamy hue on the outside. They have nice lilac spots.
L. pomponium: This Candidum section lily has its original home in France’s Alps-Maritimes. Each flower stalk of this lily bears as many as 10 turk’s cap, nodding flowers having small black spots. The flowers bloom in July and have a disagreeable scent.
L. pyrenaicum: This lily is said to have its origin in a number of places like Europe, the Caucasus and Turkey. The flower stem of Lillium pyrenaicum grows up to a height of 30 cm to 120 cm (1 foot to 4 feet) and produces several leaves whose form varies from linear to lanceolate. Flowers of this lily have a disagreeable scent and they usually open quite early, during the period between May and June. The nodding flowers appear in a raceme in clusters of anything between 1 and 12. The flowers are small, especially when compared to the plant’s lush foliage. The flowers measure just 3.5 cm (1.5 inches) in diameter and have a strongly reflexed turk’s cap form. The color of the flowers is greenish yellow and they have light black spots.