Offered for sale from Autumn through winter, Lilium Bulbs or lilies are available in a number of cultivars or varieties as well as species.
Some are early flowering other late so lilium season can last a while if you buy the right selection
Buying Lilium Bulbs
When buying look for good firm bulbs early in the season, late season offerings may be cheap, however bulbs may not be as healthy.
Many growers will 'sell out' by a certain time, they put the leftover ones back in the ground as they know they should.
So really spring planting should be carried out by the end of May at the latest.
Liliums generally flower from early summer to late summer. Different varieties will flower at different times. Over the years a classification system has developed to allow liliums to be grouped, the 9 groups are :
- Asiatic Hybrids
These are the first to flower and are easy to grow. Popular for the large colour range, however they are not fragrant.
- Martagon Hybrids
Another early flowering group often classified as woodlander.
- Candidium Hybrids
Only a few recognised examples
- American Hybrids
This is a group that has been developed from plants from the region. Often very attractive, speckled flowers in a range of colours, however growing conditions will vary.
- Longiflorum Hybrids
These are the large white trumpets.
- Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrids
Flowering mid season, very fragrant, good colour range from white to gold, pink and green.
- Oriental Hybrids
These are the fragrant mid to late season liliums. Usually in whites to pinks.
- Miscellaneous Hybrids
This group includes LA and OT hybrids, (Orienpets) many are crosses between Orientals and Trumpet or Aurelians.
- Lilium species
These are the many species, they include a wonderful range of liliums as they are found in nature. without these we do not have any of the others.
Where to buy Liliums
Online is wonderful, you will see more varieties and can compare prices. Look for specialist growers for some wonderful selections.
Plant Fairs are also great, here you can talk to to the growers in many instances and get a little first hand advice on what is best planted where in your area.
Retail Nurseries and Garden centres, not always the widest selection however some real bargains if you know what you are looking for. One problem with buying bulbs from some retail outlets is storage, they tend not to be to fussy about light and temperature.
One you have received your bulbs you should plant them immediately if that is not possible store them in a cool dark spot. So if you are in a colder region, and are in the grip of a freeze, you may need to store them.
How much do bulbs cost ?
It depends on the variety, you can mixed pack of 10 plants for ¬£5, even cheaper in spring. Named varieties are more expensive and can be ¬£5 each. As for the species, this will depend on how rare they are.
Lilium bulbs will flower early to mid summer depending on species and growing conditions. We are generally looking at three types of lilies in this section, species liliums, Asiatic Lilies and Oriental lilies.
The species are the originals, many with specific forms and colorings, Asiatics and Orientals are the large flowering hybrids we see widely sold as cut flowers. With all types bulbs need to be planted in autumn to early spring once the soil has warmed up.
Liliums are a widely grown bulb in the UK with species such as white flowering Lilium Longifolium and Lilium Candidum being very popular and hardy.
- A favorite white flowering lily is the species lilium longifolium (picture right)
The Lilium Flower
- Liliums or Lilies as we like to call them are a bulb, however the actual bulbs are made up of scales. It is the flowers where a few terms become useful.
- Shape is generally described as trumpet , turk's cap or bowl and they are made up of the stamens the pistil and tepals.
- The stamens are the long filaments that protrude with the pollen on the tips, the dark tips are called the antlers.
- The pistil is the centre bit (the female part that receives the pollen)
- The tepals (petals if you like) of many lilies have a 'groove' in them called the nectary, often coloured.
Lilium bulbs are available for sale from the following suppliers
MOUNT FOLLY NURSERIES - Phone : 01329 832294
Southwick Road North Boarhunt Near Wickham Hants PO17 6JH
Young plants specialists. Growing Fuchsias, Geraniums, Patio Plants and Plug Plants. Best selection in the UK direct from the grower!
HIMALAYAN GARDENS Ltd
28 Marywell Brae, Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland DD8 4BP, UK.
Rare and unusual Plants. Temperate and tropical flower bulbs and plants from around the world.
Bishops Hull Taunton TA4 1AE - Phone: 01823 286231 Fax:01823 323646
Includes:Lilium martagon, Lilium candidum and regale. Mail order bulb specialists Tulips, Crocus, Narcissus, Iris, Colchicum, Lilium, Scilla and many more.......
OTHER FLOWERING BULB RESOURCES