Lilium Divisions, Plant Profiles, William's Web

Contact About Media Ask William Education Home

Home > Education > Moss Picks > Plant Profiles : Lilium Divisions


Lilium Review & Divisions

Summer's Flower

Lilies are some of the most beautiful garden flowers with fairly easily cultural requirements. They are suited to nearly every climate, so no garden should be without lilies! Lilies, like most plants, probably began their association with humans as food and medicine. Many of the bulbs are edible and still grown as crops Asia. However, it didn't take long for civilization to revere this incredible plant. For instance, the Madonna lily (Lilium candidum) was depicted on Egyptian monuments, Assyrian artifacts, and Minoan pottery over 3000 years ago. Monks of the Middle Ages cherished it and associated the plant with the Virgin Mary, which is how it received its common name. Lilium candidum has been chosen by the Roman Catholic Church to as the emblem of St. John the Baptist, St. Francis, and St. Anthony of Padua.

Below ground the bulb is a fleshy, imbricate underground storage organ with basal roots and some also have stem roots. The plant's above ground structure is typically single stemmed with leaves alternating, scattered, or whorled along its length. Heights range from 16" in smallest species to over 8' in the most vigorous species and hybrids. Leaves lanceolate or ovate, and entire. The star, bowl, trumpet, or turk's cap shaped flowers consist of a perianth with 3 sepals and 3 petals that form six similar "tepals" in a symmetrical circle. Stamens: six protruding filaments, anthers loaded with colorful pollen. Pistil: one sticky stigma on a long style divided into 3 carpels. Ovaries superior.

Lilies are currently divided into 9 divisions. As more hybrids are developed, it is almost certain that this number will increase. Check the list below for some of tbe brigntest flowers and strongest fragrances in horticulture. Also, here's a quick glance excel chart.


Click on thumb for larger image





orange asiatic

1.Asiatic Hybrids

Most commonly grown lily. Vigorous, disease-resistant, and easy to grow. Available in wide range of colors. Suitable for containers.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

martagon flower

2. Martagon Hybrids

Martagons dislike disturbance and may take a few seasons to settle in. Disease resistant. Prefers neutral to alkaline soil. Many, small, fragrant flowers on mature plants. Fragrance ranges from spicy to musky.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

madonna lily

3. Candidum Hybrids

Madonna lily cultivars are less difficult than the species but still challenging. Plant shallowly in well-drained, average soil. Seems to thrive best on neglect. Suitable for containers. Prone to diseases. Grow apart from other lilies.

Mild winters. Temperate climates

bellingham hybrid

4. American Hybrids

Turks cap flowers in yellows and oranges. Rhizomatous bulbs prefer loose, acidic soil. More forgiving Bullwood and Bellingham cultivars are becoming available. Spreads by rhizomes to form sizable patches in suitable gardens.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

easter lily

5. Longiflorum Hybrids

Long, fragrant, funnel-shaped flowers are familar to most gardeners as Easter lilies. Vigorous growth in rich soils. Not suited for cold climates.

Mild winters. Subtropical to temperate climates.

african queen lily

6. Trumpet Hybrids

Also called Aurelian hybrids. Vigorous, disease-resistant, and easy to grow. Sweet fragrances. Trumpet lilies have lots of heavy flowers and typically requre staking. Fantastic cutflowers.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

tom pouce lilies

7. Oriental Hybrids

Large, wide, bowl or star-shaped, fragrant flowers. Prefers acidic soil. Prone to diseases. Grow apart from other lilies; or replace diminishing bulbs every four years.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

orange la lily

8. Interdivisional Hybrids

Divisional crosses, including: LA (longiflorum x asiatic), LO (longiflorum x oriental), and Orienpet (oriental x trumpet). Vigorous, disease-resistant, and easy to grow. Deservedly, becoming more popular.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

lilium michiganense

9. Species Lilies

Over a hundred types of lilies from throughout the nothern hemisphere. Most require conditions similar to their native habitats. Some, like regal lily and leopard lily, are quite easy in the garden.

Mostly mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

lilium tigrinum

9. Lilium lancifolium

Naturally occuring tetraploid lily. Vigorous, disease-resistant, and easy to grow. Masses of orange spotted flowers in mid to late summer. Produces scores of bulbils along leaf axils for easy propagation. Do not grow with susceptible Candidum or Oriental lilies.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

wemoss.org 2008, Last Updated August 5, 2008