Wild Lily: L. rubeuum Baker 1898

An alpine lily mostly growing at heights from 3,000-6,000 feet among grass and thickets in the northern parts of the Japanese main island, Honshu, and known there as Otonic-Yuri, the Maiden Lily.

The bulb is very large, of long oval shape with ovate-lanceolate scales. The stem only reaches 1 foot in natural conditions, but rises to 20 inches under cultivation, The linear-lanceolate, short-petioled leaves are thicker on the upper part of the stem and are spirally arranged throughout its length. The fragrant horizontal trumpet flowers, one to three in number, if inches long and 2} inches wide, are at first a delicate pink. which darkens later to purple-pink. Yellow pollen, sphere-like seed capsules with triangular thin seeds which germinate within a few months.

The remarkable fact about this very delicately tinted lily is that it flowers about one month (mid-May to end of May) from the time it first produces shoots (mid-April). It achieves this, similar to a hyacinth, by building the flower within the bulb before winter breaks. There is undoubtedly a future for this plant and its hybrids for forcing purposes, as its quickly achieved maturity must lead to useful economies for horticulturists.

Its cultivation is not very simple, requiring a very acid soil, a great deal of water, protection from rain, and snow cover during the winter. K. Wada recommends that bulbs be planted in sphagnum-filled, free-draining pots winch must be constantly kept damp and can be placed in a sunny position until flowering, after which half-shade prolongs the life of the blooms, (NALS-LYB 1951, Moto’o Shimizu)

The heavy water requirements of L. rubelluin have been confirmed by Ralph Warner, who reports that he has successfully grown this lily on the banks of a stream with the roots at watertable height.

Crossed with L. auratum, L. speciosuin and L.japoiiicuni.

L. rubescens Watson 1879

An American west coast lily growing from San Francisco Bay northwards into Siskiyou County and usually found on northern faces of the

redwood belt, on very dry soils up to 3,000 feet. White bulb with broad scales. Slim stem 2-6 feet high, often higher, carries several whorls of oblanccolate leaves, whorls decrease in size as they ascend the stem. The loose raceme inflorescence can carry up to 100, but as a rule three to 30 erect, trumpet-shaped flowers; the petals form a tube, but the last third of their length is strongly recurved. The flowers are at first white with fine-purple spots, but turn pink to wine-red later. Remarkable for its wonderful fragrance. June/July-flowering, requires damp loam and best possible drainage. Germinates slowly. Crossed with L. columbianutn.

(RIIS-LYB 1934, NALS-LYB 1952)

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