So, you want to begin growing lilies to decorate your flower garden, dining room table, or for a cute window display, but you’re not sure where to begin? We’re here to help!
There are many different types and divisions of lilies, all with unique cultivars suited to different environments. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the different types of lilies!
A Word Of Warning
Before we begin, it is essential to know that every part of the lily is very toxic to cats, and many varieties are poisonous to dogs too, so we would advise extra caution when bringing them into your home or your garden if you have any.
Please contact your veterinarian straight away if you have cause to suspect that your pet has eaten or ingested a lily – including the pollen.
Asiatic hybrids lilies are the first on our list! They are the result of crossbreeding between twelve Asian species of lily.
The plant itself can grow anywhere between two to five feet and are perfect for beginners because they are so easy to grow!
Asiatic hybrids come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, from freckles and streaks to solid blocks of bright and bold, or dainty pastel hues.
Typically, these lilies are not fragrant and can grow anywhere between four to six inches. You will find them facing open, out, or down.
They typically bloom anywhere from late spring to summer and work well in a variety of spaces, including beds, cutting gardens, containers, and borders.
Here are a few examples of the well-known types of Asiatic hybrids:
Heartstrings usually flower in the early summer, and can grow up to four ft! They have wonderful pink tips that become a speckled yellow middle (and they look beautiful in the sun!)
Netty’s Pride bloom in the late spring and look bright and bold with their purple hue and creamy white tips. Their stems can grow from three to four ft.
The Night Rider lily is actually a cross between the trumpet and Asiatic hybrid. It has dark petals and blooms facing upwards. The Night Rider lily blooms during the summer and its stems can grow between three to four ft.
Rosella’s Dream is smaller than other Asiatic hybrids, growing up to two to three ft tall. It is perfect for displaying in containers or pots.
Rosella’s Dream is primarily pink, with pink tips and a pink-freckled throat that fades into a stunning cream-white.
Starlette lilies bloom far and wide in the summer, growing between three to four ft tall. They are sure to make a statement in your flower garden with their sturdy stems and red-orange coloring.
Candidum hybrids, also known as Euro-Caucasian hybrids, are a type of lily that can grow up to three to four ft and bloom anytime between the late spring to the middle of summer.
The trumpets themselves grow up to two to three inches and face outwards.
Candidum hybrids are native to the Middle East and the Balkan Peninsula. They come in gorgeous pastel shades including orange, yellow, mauve, and pink. The petals will typically have a darker shade on the back.
Here are some of the most well-known types of Candidum hybrids:
The Madonna lily is known and loved for its sweet aroma and white trumpets.
As you may have guessed, the June Fragrance lily is known for its sweet aroma. It is a cross between L. monadelphum and L. candidum salonikae, and you can catch its creamy-white petals in full bloom from late spring onwards.
June Fragrance stems can also grow up to four ft tall.
Like the June Fragrance cultivar, the Nankeen stems can grow up to four ft tall and it flowers in the late spring, producing a wonderful yellow/orange flower.
Martagon lilies are native to both Asia and Europe. The plants can take a few years to settle, but they are absolutely worth the wait! These hybrids are known for their tall stalks with many buds.
The stalks can grow up to anywhere between four and six ft, while there can be up to 50 buds per stalk – wow!
Martagon hybrids produce fragrant, freckled flowers that come in shades of orange, purple, white, yellow, burgundy, mauve, and pink.
These delightful flowers are most likely to bloom in the summer and do very well in the full morning sun – provided they have some afternoon shade, too!
A popular cultivar is the Martagon Mix. This lily is not the easiest to find, and your best chance of obtaining one is to buy a bag of mixed bulbs.
American hybrids come from a North American species. Most cultivars bloom anytime between late spring and early summer, producing yellow, red, and orange hues.
American hybrid lilies have flower petals that reach outwards and are sized around two to three inches.
These plants can grow between three to eight ft tall! If left without disturbance, they can form huge colonies.
By far, the most popular cultivar of the American hybrids is Bellinghams.
These hybrids come from a species of lily that originated in Taiwan and Japan. Longiflorum hybrids have outward-facing petals that come in shades of pale pastel or white.
These plants typically bloom in the summer. Longiflorum hybrid stems can grow anywhere between two to three ft tall.
These lilies are very fragrant and multiply quickly. A popular cultivar of this hybrid is White Heaven. White heaven lilies are perfect for growing in containers.
They are lightly fragranced and produce white petals, with a glowing yellow center.
Trumpet And Aurelian Hybrids
Originating from two different Chinese species of lily, Trumpet and Aurelian hybrids are elegant and tall, growing anywhere between six to ten inches.
The petals can come in a variety of colors, including pink, peach, chartreuse, purple, yellow, and white!
Along with these colors, the petals also display contrasting color bars and throats. The shape of the flower varies, too. With these hybrids, you can expect open, flat, and shaped petals.
Trumpet and Aurelian hybrids bloom during the middle of summer.
There are many popular cultivars of these hybrids. The following are examples of large flowers:
You’ll fall in love with the African Queen’s apricot petals and gorgeous fragrances. This hybrid can grow anywhere between four to six ft and produces 15-20 flowers per stem.
These three to four ft flowers will be the highlight of your garden! They come in a multitude of colors per flower, featuring hues of orange, pink, and yellow. You can expect around 10-12 Regale lilies per stem.
Oriental hybrids come from a species of lily native to Japan. They are popular with florists because of their aroma and beauty.
These hybrids come in many colors, including white, burgundy, purple, and pink. They usually have a multitude of colors per flower, showcased with freckles and opposite color bars.
These hybrids typically bloom in the summer and their stems can grow up to two to seven ft tall.
Oriental hybrid lilies exist to show off! The flowers can grow up to nine inches, making them perfect for large containers or for display in a perennial garden.
Here are some examples of popular hybrids!
Casablanca hybrids are extremely popular when it comes to weddings, often used in bridal bouquets. These hybrids usually feature 6-8 white flowers.
The Dizzy hybrid blooms in midsummer, and will then subject your garden to its sweet aroma and gorgeous hues of white and pale pink, detailed with scarlet freckles and red stripes. This hybrid can grow to be four ft.
If you’re looking for a lily to grow in a container, then look no further than the Dwarf Muscadet! This hybrid grows anywhere between 2-3 ft tall and features creamy white petals with a delicate pink color bar and light freckles.
Just say ‘yes’ to the Love Story hybrid! If you want to add life and color to your garden in the fall, then the Love Story hybrid is perfect for you!
Its bright crimson flower petals, white edging, and yellow throat make for a beautiful sight. This hybrid grows to around two to three ft tall, so it is also ideal for containers.
Thanks to its faint freckles, red stripes, and beautiful pink petals, if you plant the Magic Star hybrid in your flower garden, it is sure to steal all of the attention! The lily can grow to around three ft tall.
Big, bright, and showstopping, the Playtime cultivar is known for its crimson band, golden throat, and huge white freckles.
You won’t be able to get enough of the Red Eye cultivar. Its height can reach up to four ft tall, and its red petals are sure to catch everyone’s eye!
Good news for hayfever sufferers, the Soft Music lily is actually pollen-free! This pink, sweetly scented flower can adorn your flower garden throughout summer without inspiring so much as a sniffle from you! These cultivar stems grow to be around three to four ft tall.
This dreamy lily is crossed between L. speciosum and L. auratum. It is an upward-facing flower that can range anywhere from light to bright pink
The Tiger Moon cultivar grows to be four ft tall, with the flowers measuring at nine inches. These beautiful hybrids are white at the edges, with a creamy yellow middle. They can also feature dark red spots.
This group of lilies has a dainty appearance and can be found in all kinds of sizes and forms. It includes all true species of lily and their cultivars, except for those included as part of the Longiflorum hybrids.
With their dark freckles, double petals, and orange coloring, the Flora Pleno cultivar is sure to add a spot of drama and flair to your flower garden. They are a fragrant hybrid that can grow up to six ft tall!
This tiger lily hybrid is unscented but has beautiful bright orange coloring with black freckles. The stems of this hybrid can grow to heights between three to four ft and can produce around 25 flowers per stem.
The following hybrids are not covered by any of the other divisions, including cultivars that are interdivisional.
These lilies are varied, some are bold and colorful while others are light and pastel, some feature freckles while others have contrasting color bars. The size of the plants is also different.
Check out the following examples!
The Big Brother cultivar can grow up to five ft tall, so it has definitely earned its title! These hybrids are typically yellow or creamy-white. They bloom sometime during the summer.
These four ft plants make for wonderful cut flowers. They range from burgundy to a brilliant, bright red. Their light aroma is sure to bring some joy to your flower garden.
Giant OT Altari
The Giant OT Altari cultivar blooms during the summer and can reach heights of up to six ft. The blooms of this lily are huge, and they usually sport pink petals with white edges.
Giant OT Zambesi
This elegant-looking lily is white with cream undertones and dainty ruffled edges. This plant can grow up to eight ft, and will typically bloom during the summer.
The lily is an extremely versatile plant. There are many types of lilies available, each with their own unique characteristics such as color, size, and fragrance.
Some are more suited for cutting than others, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use them all together in your flower garden.
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