Wild Lily: L. humboldtii Roezl and Leichtlin 1870

Discovered by A. Roezl in the Sierra Nevada, mid-California, on the hundredth anniversary of A. von Humboldt’s birth. It grows at heights from 2,000-4,000 feet, usually in the half-shade provided by the margins of woodland, or among woody undergrowth and fern.

The large, yellow-white, scaled bulb is usually deep in the ground and grows from only one side. The stem, 4-6 feet high, carries numerous shiny, ribbed, oblanccolate leaves and 10-15 June-flowering blooms arranged in the shape of a pyramid. The shiny, orange flowers are spotted in purple or chestnut-brown, nodding, and of the Turk’s Cap type. Dark-orange pollen, slow germination.

L. humboldtii is most variable, and rarely do two of its 1,000 seeds produce the same result. A land-type lily which prefers to grow on hard dry ground and should receive a covering of mulch during autumn and winter to protect it from excessive wet. Bulb production from scales is impossible; var. bloomerianum and var. ocellatum, previously considered as L. humboldtii varieties, are now included under L. ocellatum.

Crossed with L. pardalinum and L. parryi.

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