Wild Lily: L. leichtlinii Hooker 1867

Indigenous to Japan and named after Max Leichtlin, a botanist and plant collector from Baden-Baden. The stem, 2-4 feet high, bears up to 12 pure lemon-yellow, red-purple speckled flowers. They are of the nodding, Martagon type with recurved segments, and bloom during July/August; hardly ever develops seed capsules.

This radiant yellow lily is now very rare, and hardly ever found in cultivation. It is even difficult to find it within its native Japan, where it used to grow at heights of about 4,000 feet on the Yatsugatake mountain in mid-Honshu, mostly among the grass of damp, sloping meadows rich in humus. The orange-flowcred variety, by way of contrast, is

found almost throughout Japan. L. leichtlinii could, in fact, be a mutation from the original stock L. leichilinii var. maximowiczii.

L. leichtlinii var. maximowiczii, Baker 1871. Distributed over the same area as L. leichtlinii; also reported from Korea and Manchuria, where it flourishes among the tall grasses of damp meadows.

The bulb is white, the stem runs underground before emerging, rises 2 fect-6 feet 6 inches high, and is covered with numerous linear-lanceolate leaves. Its irregular inflorescence carries up to a dozen nodding, Turk’s Cap, brown-purple speckled flowers of cinnabar-orange -similar to L. tigrinum, with which it is often confused. Flowers in Japan from mid-April (on the south coast) till the end of August (1n the mountains at 6,000 feet).

If grown under cultivation, where it prefers damp soil rich in humus, it does not usually flower until August, although plants raised from seed of different origin may flower from mid-July to the end of September, and some plants are even capable of producing a second crop of blooms. (NALS-LYB 1949, Dr Emsweller.) The flower buds are hairy, a characteristic which is transmitted to the hybrids.

Has been successfully crossed with L. x hollandicum and L. x maculatum hybrids. Isabella Preston’s well-known hybrid Tigrimax is the result of L. leichtlinii var. maximowiczii x L. tigrinum. L. x maxwill is probably a form of L. davidii rather than a hybrid.

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