Species Lily Collector

smiddy(z5 ON)August 15, 2006

As the owner of Smiddycroft Perennials, in Kincardine , Ontario, Canada, I was thrilled yesterday when a man came to my nursery seeking 'species lilies'. I have been stocking rare perennials for some time but, few local gardeners realize how rare some of my plants really are. Although I understand lilies to a fair degree it was fascinating to listen to a person who was consumed with an interst in 'species lilies'. He quickly pointed out to me that my Lilum Henryi that I had for sale contained not only the traditional 'orange' but also a 'sport', he said, with a white petal and a yellow centre'. He said that was very rare. He walked away with Lilum Rubrum, Lilum Tenufolium, a Tiger lily by the name of Yellow Star, not to mention the sport of Lilum Henryi. Although I specialize in hostas and rare ferns it's interesting to meet someone who knows more about lilies than I do. My hat off to you my friend! Although I've been specializing in perennials since 1993 it's gratifying to meet someone so knowedgable.

William J. Smith

Smiddycroft Perennials

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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi Smiddy,

If you come across this customer again (or if you have his contact information) please send him to the Species Lily Preservation Group of the North American Lily Society. They have a bulb sale each Fall for members and this is a great way to get some of the less common species lilies. Members also receive a twice yearly bulletin with articles on species lilies. Membership is not expensive ($12 US or $18 canadian/year).

Species lilies can be trickier to grow since some have evolved for very specific habitats. However, others are quite easy, such as lilium Regale, Lilium Speciosum (Rubrum or Album), and the tiger lilies, and hence are readily available from commercial sources.

Also, anyone who likes butterflys - buy some Speciosum (either color) this Fall. Its the "butterfly bush" of the lily world. My established Rubrum have been blooming since Aug. 1 and have been a favorite of large butterflys (particularly swallowtails) that normally would be on my butterfly bush. My Album, planted late this spring, are just getting ready to bloom. So this year the butterflys get an extended dining season!

Van Engelen has Rubrum and Album inexpensive this Fall (they don't have spring sales) and the Lily Pad has variety "Uchida" - a superior Rubrum selection. Brent and Becky had Rubrum "Uchida" and Album for sale last spring so maybe they will be in their Summer 2007 catalog.

Just an FYI :)


Here is a link that might be useful: Species Lily Preservation Group

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 1:09PM
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