Plant DetailShow Menu

Lilium is often confused with:
Hemerocallis Hemerocallis
Zantedeschia aethiopica Zantedeschia aethiopica
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Allium Alllium
Allium giganteum Allium giganteum
Canna Flower
Lilium has some common insect problems:
Aphids on Ornamental Landscape Plants

American Hybrids Lilium

Phonetic Spelling
LIL-ee-um
Description

Liliums are herbaceous perennial summer bulbous geophytes that overwinter well without having to be removed from the ground for storage. The bulbs of the plant have white or yellow fleshy scales. They prefer a location with full sun to PM sun for the leaves, shade for the roots, and well-drained, fertile soil and mulch to keep the root zone cool.  Overly moist soil can cause bulb rot but the soil should not be allowed to dry out completely.  Plant bulbs 8" deep in the fall and be rewarded with showy fragrant blooms from June-August.  They are often utilized as border or cut flowers, specimen plants, and in mass planting. They can be grown in a container but will be somewhat smaller.  Taller plants may need to be staked.  Dead-head blooms to reduce energy spent on creating seed and cut back stems after bloom and when they begin to turn yellow.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Aphids can vector lily mosaic virus (no cure once infection occurs); botrytis, bulb rot (from wet, poorly-drained soils).

Quick ID Hints:

  • Erect, often unbranched plants with sessile leaves
  • Flowers appear fused, but tepals are free to base
  • Filaments attached at the base of each tepal


VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Courtyard Garden Davidson County Demo Garden Flower Bonanza Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Asiatic Hybrids, 'Emily', L. bulbiferum, L. candidum, L. catesbaei, L. formosanum, L. grayi, 'Little Girl', L. lancifolium, L. michauxii, L. pardanthinum, L. philadelphicum, L. speciosum, L. superbum, L. wallichianum, 'Stargazer'
Tags:
#fragrant#bulb#showy flowers#full sun#partial shade#fragrant flowers#perennial#specimen#container plant#many colors#showy#cut flowers#colorful#mass planting#herbaceous#herbaceous perennial#summer bulbs#pm sun#borders#fantz#problem for cats#ebh#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#ebh-g
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Asiatic Hybrids, 'Emily', L. bulbiferum, L. candidum, L. catesbaei, L. formosanum, L. grayi, 'Little Girl', L. lancifolium, L. michauxii, L. pardanthinum, L. philadelphicum, L. speciosum, L. superbum, L. wallichianum, 'Stargazer'
Tags:
#fragrant#bulb#showy flowers#full sun#partial shade#fragrant flowers#perennial#specimen#container plant#many colors#showy#cut flowers#colorful#mass planting#herbaceous#herbaceous perennial#summer bulbs#pm sun#borders#fantz#problem for cats#ebh#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#ebh-g
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lilium
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Bulb Storage:
    Not necessary but moist peat at 35 deg F (2 deg C)
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Three part capsule that splits open
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Colored Sepals
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Born at the tips of stems, the often fragrant and showy flowers bloom June to August. Often have spots or stripes. Flowers are erect (cup-shaped), horizontal (funnelform or bowl-shaped), or pendulous (campanulate). They have 6 tepals, and 6 filaments at the base of each tepal. They are ovary superior and style 1. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme or umbel and occasionally flowers solitary. Makes beautiful cut flowers and comes in many different colors. Note: pollen can stain clothing and skin.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are whorled to alternate, crowded to scattered, linear to elliptic, and usually sessile to clasping. Veins are visibly parallel.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats