Brecks Catalogue -- 'Lily Trees'

glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)February 23, 2007

I got a Breck's catalogue attached to my Canadian Gardening magazine and they had something in it called a "Lily Tree". Curious, I read the paragraph that followed and it said that they are actually members of the Orienpet family.

Is the name Lily Tree just a marketing ploy? I checked my T&T catalogue and they sell Orienpet lilies too, though they have different varieties available and don't use the term "lily trees".

Also, T&T just states theirs obtain a height of 3 or 4 feet (depends on color) but Brecks makes a point out of saying that their varieties get taller each year. (This is where the marketing ploy comes in), they show pictures of a one year old lily at 3 feet high, a two year old lily about 4 feet high, then a 3 year old lily about six feet high. Plus, they make a point out of saying how sturdy the stems are.

Do all orienpet lilies get taller once established? If I ordered a orienpet from any source would it perform just the same as Brecks tree lilies, or are the 4 types that they list unique?


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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I have some orienpets... Trying to think if they got any taller over the past couple of years and i don't think so - if they did, it was marginal. I'm not sure what to think about the lilies in the Breck's catalogue. I looked at them too - skeptically, i might add! :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 10:40PM
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we have asiatic lilies at work that look like those
"lily trees". Any tall lily should look like that in a few

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 1:54AM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

I saw that in their catalogue too and chuckled. I have had Boogie Woogie for 3 summers now and it hasn't grown any taller than 3'. I know down south some of the lilies can get really tall, like 6' or more, but I can't see that happening in our zones. I'm thinking it's a marketing ploy.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 10:58AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Definitely a ploy, and a pretty clever one at that, in my opinion, and relatively benign. I must agree in your colder zones in Canada, any orientpet won't reach its full potential, if it survives at all. Especially being a hybrid grouping, I would expect hardiness to be all across the board, considering the innumerable parents possible. Of the cultivars listed, some do grow 6 feet(1.8m) and more, even in Minnesota, increasing in height/# of flowers as years go by, to a point. Considering that most "regular" people have never seen a lily above 4 feet, it would seem treelike. Stems are very sturdy, but of course, not woody.

Then again, in another garden forum the same advertising was brought up, and my view . . . ahem, was not prevailing. Advertising aside, my other info was agreed upon.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 10:13AM
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monacda(3b Manitoba)

Glen I tend to think it is a ploy. On another forum I know of some members that have lilies well over 6' (Nova Scotia). I think if the conditions are perfect they will grow to their full potential. Here in Manitoba I'm lucky if they get 4' tall. Mona

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 11:41AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I just went looking through some of my pictures to see how tall the orienpets are. They're taller than the Asiatics (remember my fasciated lilies from last summer?), so i would say mine are close to 4 feet and that was their third summer.

Glen, what varieties do they list? I can't find my catalogue.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 11:57AM
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plantaddict487(Zone 2b MB CDA)

To bee fair to the orienpets, the last few years weather has been a challenge. I grow lots of orienpets both in the home gardens as well as at the university. The ones at the university in a full sun environment reached close to 5 feet last year at only three years old. I doubt they will get more than that. The ones in the home gardens where they get some shade, they have reached 5 feet but then the weather went wonky two years in a row and they are struggling again to make 3 feet. I think they were very stressed and scaled themselves and started over. The best performing OT at home was a two year old Orania that grew to 4 feet last year. I wanted to cut it for the MRLS show but it wouldn't open in time. It was a beauty though. See the link below to view the photo.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 1:55PM
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I stopped by someone's garage sale today and she was talking about her 'tree lilies' that she ordered from Breck's this spring. I chuckled and told her that there is no such thing as a tree lily. They will be a taller lily and will clump up over the years but will not make a tree. She said she ordered 2 and when one did not come up she let Breck's know and they replaced it. The original one has not bloomed yet and is only about 3' tall she said.

Thought I'd post this conversation. :)


    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

Marketing is an interesting thing, isn't it?? I think Breck's is definitely targeting the amateur gardeners on this one!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 12:43PM
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I saw what I thought might have been one of these lilies growing in a garden. It was nearly 6' tall and had lots of flowers. I kept looking at it and thinking I had seen it before. Duh! When I got home I realized I had the same one growing in my garden! It's nice to know that my 'Triumphator' might look like that some day. Mine was only 3' high this year and this is the first year for it. Marg

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 3:14PM
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I'm not sure Glen - I'd certainly love to see a lily tree but at present I'm simply trying to conserve the lilies I have managed to keep from the squirrels! Little beasts.... I have noticed some of the asiatics will flourish if I can manage to keep them alive long enough. But, I suspect it is more the plants actual habit as opposed to the good old marketing ploy....Centerfield (aka Dancing Eyes) comes to mind. The ones I have remaining from a few years ago do seem to become larger year after year. However, this particular sport came out strongly the first year - taller and more vigorous and it does seem to outperform others in my zone 3a garden.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 10:07PM
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My DH came home and asked me whether I knew anything about tree lilies. Strange question from a non gardener. Turns out that one of his friends is looking at buying some 'tree lilies' through a fundraising of some type in the area. He had no idea what 'tree lilies' were and thought that my DH (because of me) might know.

So, now fundraisers are using this name as a ploy...hmmmmmm.....

Well, I just bought some of them. Only they are Oriental-Trumpets (OTs) from the Lily Nook....not 'tree lilies'...

From the Lily Nook...I got these OTs last week...
Boogie Woogie
Garden Pleasure
Red Dutch
Purple King
Holland Beauty
Conca d'Or

They are all planted up and were transferred from the greenhouse back into the sunroom this morning. The flowerbed south of the house should smell like heaven this summer as these bloom.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:06PM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

Brenda, I'm sure you'll just love all your "trees" when they're in bloom!lol
But really, I'm not sure why the growers feel they need to embelish on the names of these liles, because they're amazing plants as it is.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 10:13AM
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Gee, I guess I taken in by Breck!!! When I saw the Lily Trees in Brecks, I ordered as fast as I could before they were all gone-I was so impressed with the year 1-3 pictures! I was born and raised in the Arctic and a first generation gardener so I tend to believe too quickly BUT if they come up this year and next year and the year after, I will post pictures of them. And maybe they'll just keep on getting bigger and bigger but even if they don't, they are very beautiful. I have other lilies that do really well in my zone 2b garden and multiply very well.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:28AM
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I, too, was taken in by the beautiful pictures on Breck's... this even after I ordered a set of four different colors of border lilies, an order they screwed up by forgetting to send 10, mixing white into the yellow, AND shipping it to me IN DECEMBER! I live in NW Pennsylvania, so I was planting these in 38-degree weather. I am absolutely THROUGH with Breck's and sticking to my local (helpful, honest, informative) garden centers.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 12:02AM
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Speaking of the border lilies or pot lilies... someone the other day was mentioning that Breck's now also is selling 'hedge' lilies. I went on their site and yes, they are calling the short asiatic lilies by the term 'hedge'. They carry the 'light pink hedge' and the 'raspberry red hedge'. But, did you see the price? You would have to plant the lilies about 8-10" apart and to make a hedge of any significant length and width you would have to spend hundreds and hundreds of $.

Crodler, that is a lot of bulbs to quickly plant into the ground before freezeup. By the sounds of it though, the bulbs were able to make it through your winter since you saw them bloom. Did you notify them of the mixup and the lack of bulbs?

I do all my purchasing of lilies through the Lily Nook... here is their asiatic pot or border lilies page...


    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 8:06AM
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I have once taken advantage of their $25 off coupon (no matter how much you order), couldn't resist that one! However, I've only ordered about $30 of merchandise in total, so I ended up paying $5 plus shipping. Their prices are so outrageous compared to every other catalogue I receive, that I would never order again.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 9:58PM
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While I can't speak to the technical question of being a tree, and mind that I'm writing from zone 7, I have 5 that are in their third year and I am amazed at how they have grown. This year they have reached 6 to 8 feet and have many flowers (more than 20 on some). They perfume the entire garden.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 12:16AM
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My Mom ordered Breck's 4 lily trees for me (MN). The first year they grew to 3 feet, the second year over 4 feet tall and by the third year they were over 5 feet tall. They were incredibly beautiful, full of blossoms, fragrant and sturdy. And they started to multiply. Unfortunately we had to move and leave them behind, but I didn't feel misled by Breck's advertising at all. I would buy them again without hesitation!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:42PM
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It's not too late to dig some up and plant them in your new place ;)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:26PM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

Oriental Trumpets are amazing bulbs that produce beautiful flowers on a tall stem. My beef with Breck's is that they've incorrectly labelled them as a "tree". A tree has a woody stem and lilies don't. As a knowledgeable gardener I find their marketing ploy extremely insulting. They should be educating new gardeners to the exciting new areas of hybridizing that is going on in the lily world, not making a mockery of it. This is why I would never buy lilies from them, whereas buying from the Lily Nook, where they are involved in the hybridizing of new strains, helps to get more new lilies introduced for all gardeners to enjoy.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 11:54AM
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Sherwood Botsford(3a)

In market speak a 'tree' is something is tall enough to block vision, and tough enough that you can't pinch it off.

remember that there are 3 classes of deceivers:

Liars, Damn Liars, and people who write garden catalogs.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 12:24PM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

"remember that there are 3 classes of deceivers:

Liars, Damn Liars, and people who write garden catalogs."

LOL! If only the people who produce Breck's catalog had as much gardening knowledge as the people here on the Far North Forum!:)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 2:55PM
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Do they also sell tomato trees? To me they lose all credibility when they advertize " LILY TREES". They aren't trees never have been and never will be. Tall does not mean tree. It's tall that's all.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:08PM
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I bought my bulbs five years ago and they range in height from 4 feet to 6 1/2 feet today. Being partly shaded probably accounts for the differences. They are beautiful and very fgagrant when in bloom. Two have sent up additional stalks - one now has two, the other four all currently in bloom. Very beautiful, but they didn't get this tall quickly. The first 3 years I had rather slow growth and then they took off.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 4:43PM
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