Lilies and rhododendrons

L. auratum and L. speciosum and their hybrids are difficult to establish in some areas, as they do not grow on calcareous soils and are therefore best planted with rhododendrons, which have similar requirements. The plant collector Kingdon Ward confirms this in his books where he mentions that lilies and rhododendrons grow side by side in the Burmese and Chinese mountains. The taller-growing rhododendron varieties are, of course, the best for background planting, but for the foreground some of the new and lower-growing hybrids are more suitable, particularly those with R. wiUiamsianiim or R. repeus parentage. Both these lilies and rhododendrons grow well in acid, moor-like, peat soils; but Bellingham hybrids and American wild lilies, such as L. canadense, L. superbuni and L. pardalinum, which like the same type of soil, need extra moisture. The dark rhododendron foliage provides good background and shelter for the white, trumpet-flowering L.formosanum, a lily which reaches 80 inches in height.

The giant Himalayan lily Cardiocrinum giganteum needs very specialized conditions which should reproduce as closely as possible the climate of its native, monsoon-swept, Indian and Burmese forests. Not only must the ground be moist; thick ground cover and high trees to give shade and encourage high humidity are also necessary. The reward for success is fine-scented, white-trumpet lilies which grow as high as a man.

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