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Identification of tall white species lily--help.

Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 18:08

For the life of me I can't remember just where I got the seed, but I seem to remember it originally came from Vince Dooley's garden, and he was sharing after having himself, of course, have gotten it from...almost anyone from anywhere.

Sorry I don't have pictures, but it sends up single stems that end in a spray of pretty typical nodding white lilies at about 6-7 feet, no special markings. They are barely fragrant, to me just enough to reward pulling them down, although they might well be described as without fragrance.

Their special characteristic for me is that after a few years here they're seeding themselves around, not extravagantly but enough to show that this lily is happy with neglect in North Georgia, popping up an occasional 7' stem here, another there.

Does anyone have an idea what the scientific name of this lily might be? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Identification of tall white species lily--help.

Perhaps Lilium formosanum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Formosa lily


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RE: Identification of tall white species lily--help.

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 11, 13 at 13:50

Esh, I apologize. After posting this I completely forgot it, forgot to protect the green seed pods from the deer, forgot to harvest. Today I remembered.

Apparently as the pods ripen they become less enticing to the deer, though, so there were a number left, and instead of the handful I was praying would be left, I'm pouring out hundreds of little flat seeds from each pod, picking them off my sweater and sweeping them up off the floor, helping to explain their gentle proliferation around outside so far.

Although similar to formosanum in general, I don't think that can be it because I would have recognized that name when I got it and wouldn't be recalling it as some obscure species. Also, although lovely, it doesn't exactly knock a nice Formosa out of the ballpark, so I don't think someone would have been spreading an inferior selection with Vince Dooley's name attached to it. He's acquainted with a lot of plant collectors, too, and its route to me was through plant people.

As is obvious, though, my memory is letting me down these days. In any case, thanks very much for answering.

If anyone wants seed of an unidentified lily that is perfectly happy here in Georgia and prone to surprising with flowers waving overhead from unexpected places, just let me know. I have plenty of seed; and, although I can't provide the identity, I also didn't find any lilies on a Georgia invasive plants list.


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RE: Identification of tall white species lily--help.

Perhaps Lilium philippinense?

(I think it's been considered a subspecies of L. formosanum in the past.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Lilium philippinense at Goodness Grows


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RE: Identification of tall white species lily--help.

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 12, 13 at 15:19

Lovely, and very similar, Danita. A sensible person would have taken some good photos in bloom. In any case, I can't guess after several years. Your picture makes me want to get a good patch going like that, though, maybe behind some shrubs, instead of these single stems looking rather goofily down over everything around them. :)


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RE: Identification of tall white species lily--help.

I have those. They reseed everywhere singly, not in groups but I guess you could move them into an area and have a patch of them. There are a million paper dry seeds that blow all over from each pod. I do like to cut an armful and carry them to church--makes a good bouquet and very little smell. We have people that are allergic to real flowers so we mostly use silk. this keeps some of them from going to seed. They bloom in the middle of summer. I wish they would reseed in one general area. I have one in the front bed right beside the sidewalk light and have jerked it up many times but a little bulb is always left behind so I have him every year. Someday I guess I will have to dig him out. They are in the garden, fence row.....


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RE: Identification of tall white species lily--help.

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 21, 13 at 20:24

Hah. A million paper-dry seeds describes it, all right, Frankielynn. I was imagining little round things or some such when I gave one a shake over a bowl and ended sweeping them up.

After seeing Danita's picture, even if it's not the same species, I sprinkled a bunch of seed out behind some shrubs backed by woods, so I'll see what we have there two or three summers from now. I'm smiling at one choosing to make itself at home right by a front sidewalk, though. I have a couple that lean over us like inquisitive aliens at the edge of a back path, but we're the only ones who go there.


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