What's the difference?............

madcitymike(z5 Wi)September 20, 2005

I love lillies, so a few years ago we dedicated a small area of the garden to lillies. Without having a clue as to what I was doing, I just ordered a bunch of different ones and planted them. They are doing beautifully now that I've fenced them in so that the bunnies can't eat them. At this point I can't possibly hope to identify all of them, but now I'm curious as to how I can differentiate between an oriental and an asiatic lily. Is there a simple rule of thumb to tell them apart? T.I.A.


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NancyBeth_NY5b(z5b NY)

Hi Mike. In general, the asiatics bloom earlier, usually June to mid-July, and have little or no fragrance. The orientals bloom mid-July to August and are usually extremely fragrant. My orientals send their fragrance all the way up and into the second story windows of my house. They're wonderful!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 11:22AM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

Asiatics are also usually smooth-petaled, whereas Orientals have lumpy bumpy things on the petals, especially near the center of the flower. Also, while Asiatics *tend* to run to red-orange-yellow-white (yes, there are burgundy, rose and pink Asiatics, too) with upfacing vase-shaped flowers, the Orientals run to white, pink and red tones (a few exceptions for yellow, but no orange as far as I know) with reflexed (curved-back) petals.

Yes, there are lots of Asiatics with downfacing flowers and recurved petals--for every rule there's an exception--but they generally come from more specialized growers. As NancyBeth mentioned above, the orientals are nearly universally fragrant, and the Asiatics are nearly all scentless.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 1:59PM
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madcitymike(z5 Wi)

Thanks, that helps a lot!


    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 2:01PM
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dunwaukin(Ontario 5b)

The ones that are still thriving are Asiatics. The ones that have died are Orientals. ;^)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 9:08PM
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Nell Jean

When they come up in the spring, you can identify them by the emerging foliage.

An asiatic comes up looking like this:

A trumpet lily looks like 'Cousin It' on the Addams Family when it first emerges:

Orientals come out of the ground like little torpedos; note the one at lower left just emerging. Then the foliage, longer leaves than an asiatic. begin to grow horizontally.

Hope this will help you identify your lilies.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 4:56PM
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