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Lilium
cultivation etc.
 

INTRODUCTION
Lilium belongs to Lilleaceae, and are believed to have emerged 55 million years ago and has been in culture for the last 3,000 years (plot of lilies made its entry and was very popular in Egypt's 18th dynasty).
Many bulbous plants called lilies. Many of them however belongs to other genera. The here mentioned all belongs to the genus Lilium.
All modern lily hybrids derives from approx. 100 lily species, of which approx. a dozen tribes from Europe, approx. two dozen from North America, approx. 40 from China and the remaining approx. 25 come from Japan, Nepal, Myanmar and Korea. Lilies can be found only in the northern hemisphere.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION
Lilies appear in all shapes and sizes. All parts are divisible by three and some of these parts are twofold. The flower has three inner and three outer petals. There are six anthers, stigma is three-fold, and so is the ovary, each with two chambers.

Flower

The flower associated with the stalk through a flower stalk can be funnel-shaped, spherical or backward bending. It can be upturned, outwards turned or downwards turned.
The flowers may sit as an
umbel where all flower stalks arises from a common centre.
If the flower stalks do not
arise from a common centre it is called a united umbel, or when all the flower stalks arise arbitrarily like the leaves, it is a raceme.

Leaf
The leaves
arise mostly horizontally from the stalk. In some case, when the leaves arise from the same centre, they are forming whorls.
Many
garden lilies have very similar leaves, but there are also variations, so if you have many lily species in the garden, there will be several fascinating leaf types for detailed study.
Lily species as L. cernuum, L. pumilum and L. davidii and hybrid 'Elf' has many filamentous leaves emanating from the stalk.
At the other end of the spectrum there are the lanceolate leaves with the widest part approx. halfway down the leaf from the tip,
and the leaves narrows again. This is seen in e.g. L. auratum var. platyphyllum.
Then there
are a large number of leaf types, which lies between filamentous and large lanceolate.
The leaves which are fastened in a wreath around the stem, usually are broad in shape
.

Root
Throughout the growing season Lilium will develop a root system in the area below the surface and around the bulb. These roots serve to attach the stem into the soil so it does not fall over in wind and rain and when the lily blooms - often with heavy flowers. These roots also serve to record food and water for the plant.
Lily has a bulb, which is composed of scales. These scales are transformed leaves that can sit more or less loose.
The bulbs are usually white or yellow, but can be a little coloured when exposed to light. The size of the lily buds vary greatly. They can be as small as a grain or as large as a grapefruit. The greater flower the larger bulbs.
The bulb has a flat area at the bottom called the basal plate. Lily will usually, in the growing season, form a system of roots that radiate out from this point. These roots are constricting and will pull the bulb deeper into the earth until it is satisfied with the depth. In some lilies works this mobility very well, while in others it goes less well.
These basal roots collects important nutrient and moisture early in the season before the roots around the stem erupt.
Throughout the growing season the lily will gather nourishment and energy for the next growing season. It will shape the new flower and embed it in dandruff. If the growing conditions are optimal, the lily will form more than one new flower and more than one new bulb for the next season.
Some lilies, for example. L. canadense form offshoots arising near base. These stolons vary in length depending on the clone, its power and ground conditions. The stolon has small scales, which becomes a bulb, and it can have a good size at the end of growth period, when the stolon begins withering away.
In a few North American types, e.g. L. pardalinum and its hybrids are formed rhizom-liking stems. A broad basal plate is formed on which the upturned scales are located.
Scales of this type are very fragile, and are often narrowed in the middle so they break in half. Use any a sharp knife by dividing.
A few Asian species forms stolons on which breaks one, two or three bulbs. These new plants can easily emerge 30-60 cm from the mother plant. This group includes L. duchartrei.
Some lilies form bulbils (small bulbs) from the stalk.

LILIUMIN THE WILD
Lilies grow under very different conditions in nature. They are found on dry grassland, close to rivers, literally in swamp, in alpine canyons, on limestone mountains and rugged mountain terrain. There are lilies only growing in acid soil and others in lime soil, while others grow best in neutral soil.
Some lilies have very limited distribution such. L. regale which is only found on a steep Chinese slop, while, for example. L. martagon is found from Siberia across to Poland and down to the Balkans.
Differences in generic sizes and colors are often caused by growing conditions. One example is L. formosanum which grows in Taiwan in 0-3500 m. The lilies that grow in the lowlands may be 180 cm tall with numerous flowers, while those that grow high only are 25-30 cm and usually only get one single flower (L.f. var. pricei. Between these extremes are many stages
.

LILIUM IN CULTURE
Most lilies require a well drained soil. Heavy soil and soil with standing water is fatal to lilies. Therefore, low-lying areas and areas where water collects and heavy clay soils, must be avoided.
If the soil is too heavy, add sand, gravel or similar material to drain the soil.
In nature, many wild lilies are covered by snow in winter and thus kept free of precipitation. In the spring rain and meltwater will bring the lily start growing. In culture, we must try to minimize water flow in winter and then maybe add extra water in spring and summer. By watering leaves, stems and flowers must be kept dry. By planting lilies between shrubs and similar (so that the Earth is covered) can prevent dehydration and thus reduce watering needs. This however should be weighed against the fact that lilies likes air around the plant.
Lilies prefer a cool soil for the bulb. Cover the soil with pine needles, bark or similar. PH mostly should be around 6.5.
Lilies are remarkably impervious to both heat and cold, but new shoots can be damaged by late frosts.
Fertilizer shall be applied twice a year. First time on 15 April by mixing fertilizer 14-14-14 and the second time on 15 May with 11-22-25.
It is best to plant lilies in autumn, so the basic roots may develop within the new growing season.
Lilies should be planted 10-15 cm deep, because the stem-roots will develop on the lower approx. 10 cm of the stalk.
Some believe that the size of the bulb is irrelevant when talking about the depth of planting, while others believe that small bulbs not shall be covered as much as big bulbs.
There are however a few exceptions, such as. Lilium candidum, where the bulb should be placed in the surface or covered only slightly.
When the bulbs after a few years will be located too close, the lilies will be smaller and weaker, therefore dig up the bulbs and divide them in
appropriate intervals.

PROPAGATION

Scale
A simple way to propagate lilies is to take the scales from the bulb.
Scales is usually taken from the bulb in the fall, but it can also happen at other times. By Asiatic hybrids scales can be taken in September, when division normally occurs. If taken scales in August they will develop small bulbs before November when the rest period begins.
When the bulb is exhumed rinse it in a fungicide. Brake the scales gently from the parent bulb as close to the basal plate as possible, preferably with a bit of the plate if possible.
Do not use the outer dry scales, but only the thick-claims scales.
The scales can be planted directly in a pot with moist soil or placed in a plastic bag with moist sphagnum peat moss. The bag is placed in a warm place for approx. 2 months. Check the bag regularly to ventilate and keep an eye on the moss not to dry out.
When the first leaf emergence it is time to pot the scales. However, it has no hurry, since scales can survive several weeks.
See also the above "root"  various forms of growth (stolons etc.) are described
.

Bulbils
The lilies which forming bulbils can be propagated very simple by peel of the bulbils in late summer and place them in a plastic bag with damp moss. When
the bulbils have formed roots it is time for potting. The bulbils can also be potted directly after harvesting in moist soil. Place the pot shade and take care it don’t dry out.

Small bulbs
Many lilies form small bulbs just below the surface. These small bulbs are in many respects similar to the previously mentioned bulbils. They're both formed on the stalk and they form their own basic roots.
Propagation is done by picking the small bulbs from the mother plant and pot them in a moist soil mix in the shade.
See also the above  "root" in which various forms of growth (stolons, etc.) are described
.

Seeds
The above mentioned propagating forms gives plants which are identical to the parent plant.
A fourth way of propagation is by seed. But in this way the new plant will not necessarily be identical to the parent plant.
In return, you may, if you like pollination, produce all sorts of lucky and unlucky hybrids.
When the seed pot opens the seeds are matured. Harvest the seed and plant in a pot, either immediately or dry the seeds and store until December-January months and then do the potting. Set the pot outdoors in the shade.
Some seeds sprouts immediately - so-called epigeale - (trumpet, Asian and Chinese), while others - the hypogeale - requires alternating hot and cold periods in order to germinate. They form initially a little bulb with a primitive root, then they require a cold period, sometimes several, before the increasing continues, and they shoot a leaf up from the ground. To the latter group belongs martagon, the oriental and most if not all American. It may take up to seven years before these lilies are in
bloom.

Diseases and pests
The greatest scourge of lilies are undoubtedly the lily beetle. A small red guy who lets itself fall to the ground when disturbed. Here it will land on its back and is becoming difficult to find as it is black underneath.
An effective remedy for lily beetles is to pick them by hand and kill them. There also is a systemic agent in the trade, which means that beetles do not like the taste of the plant, and they disappear.
If we don’t control the beetles on one way or another, we must pay the price later into the summer, where the beetles have left their larvae on the lily leaves. Larvae are wrapped in the excrement of the beetle, and it's a pretty disgusting task to assemble them. The larvae eat the lily leaves.
One must control the lily beetle from early spring to autumn.
Another problem is the larvae or worms that eat the bulbs. Here is so far known only one solution: dig up the bulb, remove the pest, plant the lily in a pot and care it until recovering from the attack
Fungus diseases are one of the most prevalent and there are many forms. E.g. gray mold (Botrytis) that starts with brown spots on leaves, which can fade completely into the summer. Botrytis only attacks the leaves and not the bulbs, but early wilting of the leaves and stalk, can make the bulb weak.
The supply of fungicides on the market is severely limited. Experiments with the available, and preventive - and by milder attacks try Atamon (a remedy used in the housekeeping for preserving). Ensure that the lily has ideal growing conditions, such as good drainage, damp soil, right fertilizing, etc, which might keep fungus away.
If the bulb is attacked, you can dig it up, put it in a fungicide a few hours, let it dry slightly and then plant it in a good lily soil, preferably sterile.
Some species and varieties can be attacked of virus, but it is not always damaging the plant, and sometimes it will not be shown. If the bulbs are infected, it often means the plant dies. Destroy the infected parts to avoid infection.
Some lilies are say to be particularly susceptible to be attacked of viruses such as L. longiflorum and L. formosanum.

 

 

Lilium canadense

 


 

 

Lilium lophophorum

 


 

 

Lilium nepalense

 


 

 

Lilium fargesii

 


 

 

Lilium duchartrei

 


 

 

Lilium mackliniae

 

 


 

Lilium nanum

 


 

 

Lilium sp Aurelianhybrid

 

 


 

Lilium 'Sorbet'

 


 

 

Lilium 'Triumphator'

 


 

 

Lilium 'Liesma'