Trumpet Lily hybrids

The number of commercially available hybrids produced from Chinese lilies in this group is almost immeasurably high. They have arisen from L. regale, L. sargentiac, L. leucanthiim var. centifolium, L. brownii, L. siilphureum, and L. henryi – the last is the only exception in so far as it is not a trumpet lily, but bears orange Turk’s Cap flowers.

This group is divided into four sections for classification and exhibition purposes: (a) Chinese Trumpets. All genuine trumpet lilies and their hybrids of true funnel form, with the exception of those derived from L. longiflorum, L. formosanum, L. wallichianum, L. philippinense and L. ncilgherrense. The types are Limelight, Damson, and the Olympic hybrids (b) Bowl-shaped lilies. This category includes all hybrids descending from those mentioned above with either erect or outward-facing flowers of wide-open, bowl shape, e.g., Heart’s Desire and New Era (c) Pendant type. All hybrids of above descent with nodding, mostly wide-open flowers, e.g., Golden Showers (d) Sunburst type. This group comprises the hybrids of above descent with flat, star-shaped, wide-open blooms, like the Sunburst hybrids Bright Star and Good Hope

The various Chinese trumpet lilies cross-pollinate comparatively easily with one another, and so do their progeny. Because these hybrids produce sumptuous, profusely flowering inflorescences, because the flowers are among the largest and most striking that the plant world has to offer, and because these lilies belong to the healthiest and most long-living plants of the genus, they are becoming more and more popular. They look particularly effective if planted against a leafy background -this helps to highlight their white and yellowish colours. Their sweet fragrance spreads far into other gardens. These lilies are plants which can be wholeheartedly recommended for the landscape gardener.

The trumpet lilies only appeared in our gardens after E. H. Wilson had discovered L. regale, the Regal Lily, and the similar L. sargentiae in the Chinese province of Szcchwan in 1903. But it took another seven years before bulbs were imported in large enough quantities for nurseries to be able to take a commercial interest. A chance cross between the adjacent growing varieties L. regale and L. sargentiae occurred in the Farquhar Nurseries, Roslindalc, Massachusetts, in 1916 and resulted in L. imperiale – a hybrid with a rather wider funnel than its parents, but similar to them in other respects. This often repeated cross was, among others, also tried by Miss Isabella Preston while she worked at Guelph, Ontario; her best seedling was a tall-growing plant, bearing open, white trumpets, known as L. x imperiale George C. Creehnan.

L. sulpluirgale was commercially introduced in England from a cross made in 1913 by Professor F. Schcubel, of Obcrlahnstcin, Germany, with L. snlphurenm and pollen from L. regale. L. snlplnirgale resembles L. regale but blooms two weeks later and very often with a greenish-coloured throat. The Crow’s hybrids, later brought into the trade as L. x Gloriosiwi, are due to the work of Professor J. W. Crow, of Ontario, who crossed L. x sitlpliurgale with L. x imperiale George C. Crcehnan. Again, they were very vigorous, had a greenish throat and often ivory rather than white trumpets. L. lencanthum var. centifolium was crossed withL. regale at Kew in 1920, and also with forms ofL. imperiale in the United States, where it produced hybrids 5-9 feet tall with up to 20 large, spectacularly coloured, chocolate-brown backed flowers marked with pink transparent veins on the inside.

The cross between L. sargentiae and L. heuryi which E. Debras, of Orleans, France, carried out proved of especial significance in the development of new hybrids. The new hybrid, called L. x aurelianense after the Roman name for the city of Orleans, first flowered in 1928, and combined a white trumpet lily with an orange-yellow Martagon type. Leopold Frictsch Rastatt, Germany, worked on the same cross independently, and called his hybrid L. frietschii after it first flowered in 1931. The original racemose plant, now lost, was strong, up to 6 feet high, and bore wide-open, pendulous, star-shaped, orange-suffused, yellow blooms. It is almost impossible to list and describe the plethora of forms and colours of varieties produced by breeders, partly through a series of back-crosses with parents but also by crossing the Aurelian hybrids with other trumpet lilies like L. leucanthuin var. ceiitifoliiiiii, L. regale, and L. sulphureum. All Aurelianense, or Aurelian hybrids as they are called nowadays, are exceptionally healthy, hardly ever suffer from disease, withstand cold and frost and thrive in most soils. A foolproof lily! Mention must also be made of the L. siilphureum andL. heiiryi cross made in 1937 by Tom Barry, of Lambertsville, New York. The hybrid was named T. A. Havemeyer, and although the original plant is now probably lost, it was a counterpart to L. x aureliaiieuse, grew over 6 feet tall and had brownish-orange, wide-open flowers marked with a green median band. It was also crossed with L. aurelianense.

Two further crosses served to increase the popularity of the new ‘man-made’ lilies – one a pink trumpet and the other a pure-yellow regal type. L. N. Freimann, of Bclhngham, Washington, noticed one L. leucanthum var. centifolium hybrid seedling with the margins of the tepals suffused with pink; this he continued to cross for some generations with the plants which showed tins characteristic most prominently, until he obtained a plant with entirely fuchsia-pink petals – although it was weak through continual inbreeding. He corrected this by back-crossing with L. regale, which gave him a ioo per cent fuchsia-pink progeny. But it took 15 years of hard work before these pink trumpets were ready to be distributed through normal trade channels.

Frcimann also bred the pure-yellow Regal Lily, but this time took only five years; this clear to deep-yellow lily – yellow both inside and outside from throat to segment tips – was ready for release in 1946. He sowed a packet of Gloriosum hybrids of L. regale, L. sargentiae and L. sulphureum parentage in 1941. One of the seedlings produced cream-coloured flowers and was crossed with L. regale, another particularly good seedling was crossed with the regal seedling Lesterina, the seed of which also came from a Regal Lily, and which the plant breeder Luther Burbank had (to use Ins own words) ‘worked on’ – I.e., pollinated by one means or another. Ten per cent of the resulting seedlings were cream-coloured, and repeated crossing of the best and truest colours led to the fulfilment of the original aim.

Later, Jan de Graaff produced yellow Regal Lilies from L. regale, L. sulphureum and L. leucanthum, known as Royal Gold. E. C. Buttcrficld bred and gave his name to the L. regale yellow clone first marketed in 1953-

Before Jan de Graaff first started to work with lilies, he collected all the trumpet types it was possible to obtain from wherever he could get them – the United States, England, China, and Japan. The best of these lilies provided the foundation of his work, and the Green Mountain hybrids, up to 6 feet high, with pyramid flower-heads and with long, often greenish trumpets and chocolate-brown stamens, were essentially the product of L. leiicanthum var. centifolinm.

The Olympic hybrids originated from breeding work with L. centi-foliutn, L. sargentiae, and L. regale. The selection process for the best types of each generation, their subsequent pollination, resclcction, and further crossing was repeatedly carried out, and new generations of always-1mproved Olympic hybrids were continuously brought onto the market. Their 5-6 feet stems carry large white trumpets arranged in a beautiful racemose inflorescence, while the umbellate flower arrangement of L. regale is, by contrast, less pleasing. Further selections for other characteristics by Jan de Graaff produced more strains and clones:

Black Dragon: clone; classically beautiful; wide-open blooms, white inside, purple-brown outside, 6 feet high, up to 12 flowers; derives in the main from L. leucanthum var. centifolinm

Black Magic: Black Dragon multiplied as a strain

Carrara: strain, pure-white trumpet lily with pale-yellow throat both inside and outside; 3-5 feet

Green Dragon: clone, wide-open flowers, colour of Chartreuse, green suffused on outside: another L. leucanthum progeny

Green Magic: strain, like the above clone but multiplied from seed; green throat

Pink Perfection: strain; tall; pyramid-shaped flower-head of fuchsia-pink suffused, trumpet-shaped blooms; requires broken shade if its colour is to be preserved

Damson: clone; a particularly dark form of Pink Perfection

Royal Gold: strain; the already previously mentioned pure golden-yellow Regal Lily; 3-5 feet

Sentinel: strain; pure-white, open trumpets with yellow throat, brown pollen; very elegant and loose inflorescence

The Temple, or Centifolium, hybrids, selected for a variety of different characteristics, were introduced by John M. Shaver, of Newburg. Their names are: Pearl Temple – shiny mother-of-pearl; Amethyst Temple -deep amethyst-red; Marble Temple – white-1vory, bronze and purple on outside, green throat; Jade Temple – pale-green and ivory, green and brown outside.

Crosses with Aurelian hybrids are Topaz Temple, Sun Temple, and Golden Temple, all of which show varying shades of yellow. Shaver’s Shellrosa hybrids are predominantly pink.

E. F. Palmer, of Vineland Station, Ontario, Canada, has been equally successful in the breeding of yellow trumpet lilies. Galahad, with long, greenish, sulphur-coloured funnels, is his best, and originated from the Sulphurcum hybrids.

The Shelbume hybrid strain introduced in 1930, and Shellmau, which came a little later, were introduced by Fred Abbey, of Shclburne, Vermont; both are L. sargentiae x regale hybrids. The shell-pink L. leucanthum var. chloraster hybrids were named Shellrosc hybrids. Winter Sunset is a very good pink trumpet lily of Regale character; more recent is the vigorous, pink Cherry Glow.

Aurelian hybrids are universally popular with breeders, for a variety of good reasons: they are robust, undemanding in their soil and climatic requirements, healthy, and provide an almost inexhaustible number of colour and shape variations.

Jan de Graaff’s first Aurelian hybrids consisted of three strains selected for reasons of shape. Yellow, lemon and gold trumpets comprise the Golden Clarion strain. The flower shape of the Heart’s Desire strain lies between the trumpet shape and the wide-open Henryi type, and is in the form of flat saucers, white, cream or yellow-orange in colour. The Sunburst strain has wide-open, star-shaped, often strongly recurved blooms resembling L. henryi and in many cases complete with the papillae so characteristic of this lily; they are white, gold, and orange, and many have orange-coloured centres. A number of particularly good Aurelian hybrid selections were only made available as cither strains or clones. They are: African Queen, a strain of orange trumpets; Copper King, strain, a very impressive lily with wide-open orange trumpets with dark-red outer colouring; Emerald, strain, translucent yellowish-green trumpets or pyramidal flower-heads; Honcydew – a lily of classic beauty and inflorescence, long, yellowish-green trumpets with green back and gold-brown pollen; Limelight – excellently shaped sulphur to

Chartreuse trumpets; Red Gold, strain – a lily with a future, golden trumpets with pink margins and veins; Verona, strongly pink-lilac coloured trumpets. The ivory New Era is very beautifully shaped and perhaps the best of the saucer-shaped types. Lilies with star-shaped, flat-open and partly sideways-facing blooms are numerous, and include: Bright Star – silver-brushed white with orange centres; Stardust – large flowers with orange centres and green star; Thunderbolt – wide-open, melon-orange blooms and giant-sized inflorescence.

Carleton Yerex, of Sherwood, Oregon, has produced extraordinary well-shaped and beautiful Aurelian hybrids which came into commerce under a variety of names: Aurelian Apricot Trumpets, Aurelian Golden Trumpets, Aurelian Green Gold Trumpets, Corona Aurelians, Aurelian Flares, Green Knight Flares, Sunshine Flares, Superba Flares. Flis latest introductions are: Citrolirion, Eventide, Greensprite, Whirlybird, Ta Ming, Pagoda Bells, Carnival Queen, Shenandoah, Wahlula.

Douglas Foxwell, of Balcombe, Sussex, England continued to work on the Yerex hybrids and produced a number of selections which have been reported for inclusion in the International Lily Register. They are: Amberflare, Aureolinbelle, Brooinbelle, Canarybelle, Canaryflare, Chinese-flare, Muskbelle, Saffronbelle, Starbelle, Strawbelle, and Sulphurbelle.

The Aurelian hybrids from R. W. Bemis, of Blackthome Gardens, Holbrook, Massachusetts, are known under the name of ‘Royal Coronas’, and range in colour from white to cream, lemon, gold and apricot.

The spectacular, wide-open, pale yellow with green flowers of Sundance, Moonbeam, and Starlite provide a contrast for their chocolate-brown stamens. They were raised by E. F. Palmer, of Vineland Station, Canada, from his Sulphur hybrids and L. x aurelianense.

Mrs Joan Erickscn, of Wauchope, Canada, recently registered two types of hybrids: the white and lemon Saskaleen hybrids with wide-open flowers, of Ccntifolium-Aurelian parentage; and also the white to apricot Saskawin hybrids.

Ever more Aurelian hybrids are being bred and offered to the public, because they are very adaptable, easy to grow, healthy, and offer a rich variety of shape and colour.

Trumpet lily hybrids in commerce:

JAN DE GRAAFF, of Gresham, Oregon

African Queen: strain, apricot trumpets

Aida: clone from African Queen strain with apricot trumpets

Black Dragon: large white trumpets, purple-brown on outside

Black Magic: strain, developed from Black Dragon

Carrara: strain, pure-white trumpets

Copper King: strain, wide-open, orange Aurelians, rust-brown on outside

Damson: clone, very dark, fuchsia-red trumpets

Emerald Isle: wide-open, pure-white trumpets, emerald-green on outside

Golden Clarion: strain, lemon-yellow Aurelians; trumpet-shaped

Golden Splendor: strain, deep-gold trumpets with reddish back

Green Dragon: clone, wide-open, greenish-yellow trumpets with green buds

Green Magic: strain, white and green

Helios: clone, delicate yellow-shaded green; flowers profusely

Honeydew: clone, greenish-yellow trumpets, green outside; flowers profusely

Life: clone, golden-yellow with bronze outside: wide-open

Limelight: Chartreuse-yellow, green back; flowers profusely; large inflorescence

Luna: clone, delicate cream-yellow; flowers carried in garland

Moonlight: strain, Chartreuse-yellow; strong and vigorous; wide-open

Olympic hybrids: strain, very thriving white trumpets

Pink Perfection: strain, pink trumpets; good inflorescence

Royal Gold: strain, golden-yellow Regale

Sentinel: strain, pure-white, wide-open, cup-shaped; dark-brown pollen

Verona: clone, fuchsia-red; selected from Pink Perfection; very vigorous

Heart’s Desire: strain, wide-open saucers; white, cream, yellow and orange

New Era: greenish-white; wide-open saucers

Golden Showers: strain, wide-open saucers; butter-yellow; nodding

Bright Star: star-shaped flowers, silver-white with orange centre

Golden Sunburst: strain, star-shaped, golden-yellow, greenish back

Liglitening: deep golden-yellow, green star in centre

Pink Sunburst: strain, fuchsia-red stars

Silver Sunburst: strain, ivory-white and white stars

Stardust: silver-white stars with orange centre; very strong

Thunderbolt: melon-yellow stars

EDGAR L. KLINE, of Lake Grove, Oregon, is the distributor of the Carleton Yerex varieties. Apart from the various trumpet and Aurelian strains the following clones are also available:

Aurabunda: a recently introduced, profusely flowering clone with Auratum-shapcd, jasmine-yellow blooms, 5-6 feet

Bright Cloud: white, broad, recurved petals with yellow centre Carnival Queen: strongly reflexed petals, white with apricot markings; 4-5 feet Citrolirion: very strong clone; lemon-yellow trumpets Eventide: pyramidal inflorescence; cream with yellow and orange centre Goldspire: wide-open blooms, cggyolk-yellow, suffused with green on outside Greensprite: flaring type, white with greenish centre; elegantly waved petal margins Lady Alike: similar to Greensprite, but with apricot-coloured centre; 4-5 feet; late Mine Edonard Debras: broad-pctalled trumpets, sulphur-yellow; 4 feet Moonlight Sonata: large flowers, recurved petal tips; golden-yellow framed in wliite; 5 feet Pink Frills: pink trumpets from Aurelian cross, waved petal margins; 5 feet;late Shenandoah: wide-open blooms, dual colouring, outer half cream, apricot centre; 5 feet; late Ta Ming: strongly reflexed petals, nankeen-yellow; 5 feet; late Whirlybird: large flaring blooms, white with bronze-yellow centre; 5-6 feet; late White Wings: large blooms, spider-shaped, delicately apricot-tinted centre; 4-5 feet; late

The following Temple hybrids from John M . SHAVER are also available:

Amethyst Temple: large trumpets of light to dark amethyst colour; 5 fect-6 feet 6 inches; July Golden Temple and Sun Temple: from sulphur-yellow to orange-yellow with partly pink, purple and brownish markings on the outside Marble Temple: white, ivory, and cream, although the trumpets are pink, wine-red, brownish, olive-green, and green on the outside; 5 fect-6 feet 6 inches; July/August Topaz Temple: pastel yellow shades on inside, stronger colours of various shades on outside; 4 fect-6 feet 6 inches; July/August

Grcatheart: an Aurelian hybrid from B. L. Palmer, flaring type; orange with cream-coloured margins; up to 30 blooms on pyramidal inflorescence ; 6 feet 6 inches-8 feet; July

Shellrosc hybrids: from Shaver; pale-pink to purple trumpets, although the only colour is often on the petal margins of the otherwise white perianth segment, purple on outside; 4-6 feet; July

The above-mentioned trumpet lilies and Aurelian hybrids from de GraafF, Yerex, and Shaver are also available from the Rex Bulb Farms, Newberg, Oregon.

Romaine B. Ware, of Canby, Oregon, and Wayside Gardens, Mentor, Ohio, also make the Jan de GraafFlilics available.

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