Candidum Lily hybrids

A chance cross between the white Madonna Lily L. candidum and the red, Martagon-flowcring L. chalcedonicum from Greece produced the first ever known hybrid -L. x testaceum, called Isabell or Nanking Lily. First found by Franz Anton Haagc, of Erfurt, Germany, in a Dutch consignment of lily bulbs in 1836, this strong-growing plant, with delicate yellow flowers tending a little towards brown, still does well in spite of its age! It resembles the Madonna Lily in its preference for calcareous soils, warm situations, and humidity. L. candidnm x L. chalcedonicnm were crossed, crossed in reverse, and back-crossed several times with the parents (Wyatt, England; Jan de GraafF.) Professor Schcubel, of Obcrlahnstein, Germany, successfully bred the beautiful White Knight from a back-cross between L. testaceum and L. candidnm. It is thought that a cross between L. x testaceum and L. szovitsianum should be possible; and it may even be feasible to cross L. candidnni with other lilies – always provided that pollination takes place in a suitable climate.

The Madonna Lily’s failure to set seed in Germany – in contrast to France, Italy and its native countries – may be due to the climate, or the fact that there it is a self-sterile clone. Jan de Graaff’s Cascade strain is a selection of seed-bearing L. candidnni, collected in France by E. Debras.

L. candidnni crosses with L. x testaceum, and L. x testaceum with L. chalcedonicnin. De GraafF obtained his Candidum-type lilies from this source – however, they have orange-red pollen.

Ares, Artemis and Zens are orange-red, pink and brick-red hybrids from O. E. Wyatt’s work in England with L. x testaceum x L. chakedonicnni.

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