Asiatic Lily – Lilium spp. (Asiatic types)

Common Name: Asiatic Lily

Botanical Name: Lilium spp. (Asiatic types), LIL-ee-um

Decorative Life: 4-11 days, cultivars vary.

Flower Color: , , ,


Harvest Instructions:

Bulb origin has no effect on subsequent postharvest flower life. However, vaselife can vary greatly depending on cultivar. For example, ‘Avignon’, ‘Connecticut King’ and ‘Monte Rosa’ generally exhibit good vaselife whereas ones like ‘Bright Beauty’ ‘Ladykiller’ and ‘Sirocco’ are much less impressive.

Family Roots:
  • Member of the Liliaceae (lily family).
  • Native to China and Japan.
  • Common relatives include asparagus, lily-of-the-valley, daylily and hyacinth.
  • Flowers upright, cup-shaped with recurved tips, 4-5 inches in diameter.
  • Stems 20-36 inches long, 3-12 flowers per stem depending on species and cultivar.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial from a bulb, classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined.
  • Slight or no flower fragrance.
Storage Specifics:

36-38 F (less than 3 days), 32-34 F (more than three days).

  • Asiatic hybrids are the results of crosses using as many as 12 species of lilies, including L. amiable, L. bulbiferum, L. maculatum, L. pumilum and L. tigrinum. Latin form of the Greek “leiron” (used by Theophrastus for the Madonna lily).
  • Well-known Asiatic lily cultivars include ‘Connecticut King’ (yellow), ‘Enchantment’ (orange), ‘Grand Prix’ (red), ‘Moulin Rouge’ (red), ‘Roma’ (white) and ‘Sterling Star’ (white)’.
  • Crosses between Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum ) and Asiatic or Oriental hybrids have produced the “LA” and “LO” hybrids which often have little or no fragrance but improved leaf characteristics.
  • Pollen sheds easily and stains whatever it touches. Removal of the stamens from the flower prevents this, but can shorten vaselife. With over 3000 species, the lily family includes many medicinal and food species in addition to ornamental species. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology list this species as an allergy-safe pollen producing plant.
  • With more than 100 species, the Lily has been in cultivation for centuries, and has acquired many religious and mystical associations. Known as the flower of the Virgin Mary, the Lily has long been thought to represent purity.
Recent Research Findings:

For maximum flower opening and vaselife, van der Meulen-Muisers and van Oeveren (1997) reported that cultivars like ‘Apeldoorn’ and ‘Ladykiller’ need to have one flower per plant completely open with pollen showing before they should be harvested while ‘Bora’, ‘Gran Sasso”, Monte Rosa’ and ‘Napoli’ should be harvested when the oldest flower is just beginning to show color.

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