seeds or bug eggs?

lipwak(6/NY)June 19, 2006


I have a lily, don't know what kind it is other than it is supposed to have orange flowers and will grow 1-8 ft tall. This morning I noticed some brown balls on the stalk. You can see a pic on my blog ( Are these seeds or some insect eggs? I rolled one off and it looked like a seed, had sort of a nautilus shell curved edge around it.

Many thanks.

I'm also curious if you think it will flower there. It is mostly shaded there.

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hld6(z7 MD)

You have "bulbils" which are basically little bulbs that form in the leaf axils of some lilies (particularly Asiatics and Tiger lilies). I don't have experience with them myself but there are many other threads on this topic. Search the lily forum for "bulbil" in the search engine at the bottom of the lily forum page.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 12:13AM
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Hey, great! Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 12:14AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

lipwak - if you are still reading the thread, I checked out your website and your "unknown" bush in the 6/20 entry with the cluster of white flowers is probably a privet! When not sheared like a hedge as is common with them (so you'd never see flowers when sheared), they can grow to almost tree size and will flower (the flowers usually being fragrant) and will produce those black berries.

And regarding your bulbils, you can plant them to get new lilies. I did that about 3 years ago from some Tiger Lily bulbs that I had (the originals died out for some reason). This was momma:

And the bulbils:

The babies that came from the bulbils look like this the first spring after planting the summer before:

They look like this now a few years after the above (not blooming yet so far as I can tell but now producing a couple bulbils themselves):

When you plant (just stick on top of the soil or just barely cover with soil), the first year they will send up a single leaf. The next year they'll put up some more, and after that, they will start producing some stems. It's kinda cool to grow from babies!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 12:13PM
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Oh, thank you so much. This is so cool to find out what these things are! I'll follow your directions and pot some of the bulbils but probably allow half of them to fall (or I'll push them) to the ground to see how they take there. It will be hard to distinguish them from weeds though as time goes on if I don't pot them.

(Not to hijack this thread much more but any idea what the bush pictured below the privet it is? Maybe I'll post that question to the bush forum here...)

Thanks again. I really am excited about this lily and to now know I have a privet, well I am even more pleased! (I am also happy that the privet is fragrant this year. A first!)



    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 12:30PM
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They are producing bulbuls again (yea!, No flowers yet but I can wait...) My question is, how long do I have before the bulbuls fall off? I first noticed them about 8 days ago. I am planning to plant the bulbuls (and later the lilies) to a better location. I may do this tomorrow (6/22). If I wait, I might miss them; they may have fallen off onto the ground. How long does it take from when the bulbuls first appear to when they are ready to be plucked and planted?

Many thanks.

John L

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 11:40PM
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I was about to post a question about this and found this thread. I wondered the same thing this morning as I took a few pictures of my lilies. It's my first experience with them and I also thought they were some type of insect. It just so happens that they are only on the two lilies that look like will emerge orange blooms. I'll be sure to pluck a few off and try to start babies. I just love the blooms and I'm so glad I gave it a try. Sometimes we're intimidated by certain plants.

Here's a couple of shots. One is of the bulbuls for folks that are wondering in the future and some just to show how gorgeous these lilies are.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:19AM
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Hello again.

The lily that had the bulbils was transplanted last year and is doing well in it's new location. A deer, or was it a wild turkey, came along and eat the top of it a few weeks ago but it is doing well. (The others that were planted from last year's bulbils probably got eaten too.) It is now producing bulbils, or at least one now but I expect more. I am wondering, have I missed it's chance to flower? Do bulbils come before or after the flowering? If after, I blame the deer or wild turkey. I am hoping I still have a chance to see it bloom this year. Next year it is going inside the fenced-in garden, as are all my treasured flowers. I've had enough of losing them to meandering wildlife.

Thank you.

John L

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 12:14AM
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greenguy1(z7 Maryland)

If the critter ate the top of the stem, it ate the developing flower buds, so you are out of luck for this year. If there can be said to be a silver lining of having your flowers eaten, it is that the bulb will put all of its energy for this year into getting larger, giving better bloom in the future.

As for bulbil timing, the bulbils generally start to form as soon as leaves start forming along the stem, so, in a non-critter-eating-the-buds situation, you would see them long before the plant flowers. They also start falling off pretty quickly if the stem is brushed or watered hard or the wind blows - their attachment can be pretty tenuous, especially after they have developed a few scales and are basically squeezing themselves out of the leaf axil. The larger they get, the better, but sometimes you have no control over when they want to take the plunge. They'll grow, no matter what size they are.

- Steve

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:46AM
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berrytea4me(Z5 CO)

Oh, thank you all for this post. It answers my questions. I received 2 lilies in trades last year from different people and they both have devloped these bulbils. None of the other lilies in my gardens have done this. I was beginning to wonder if it was disease or bugs or something. Now I know & will plant them!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 11:27PM
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