Return to the Lily Forum | Post a Follow-Up

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

Posted by MadcityMike z5 Wi (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 20, 05 at 21:42

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What's the difference?............

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!

RE: What's the difference?............

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.

RE: What's the difference?............

Thanks, that helps a lot!


RE: What's the difference?............

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

RE: What's the difference?............

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.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Lily Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here