Lilium 'Heart's Desire' Asiatic Lily. To see more photos, please view: Lilies Photo Essay.pdf.
Karl Foord, UMN Extension Educator
When entering the world of lilies for the first time, one is dazzled by the large spectacular flowers with variations in color, texture, size, fragrance, petal shape, and flower orientation. This variation is a function of: 1. species groups, such as Asiatic and Oriental designations, 2. single species, such as Lilium longiflorum (the Easter lily), and L. regale (the Trumpet lily), and 3. hybridizations between the above such as Oriental x Trumpet identified as Orienpet or OT hybrids, and Longiflorum x Asiatic identified as LA Hybrids (LA). Although this is still a simplification, it seems like a good place to start.
Cultivars derived from the latter crosses are selected for the best qualities of each species. The result is a hardier more garden persistent heat tolerant plant with sublime beauty. The lily collection at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum contains predominantly Asiatic, OT, and LA hybrids.
This photo essay is a small sampling of these types of lilies. Regardless of your present knowledge and experience of lilies, there seems to be plenty of room for further exploration of this genus. Click here to view the photo essay: Lilies Photo Essay.pdf
Previous Y&G articles addressing lily issues can be found at:
Selecting Lilies for Your Garden
New Lily Classes Grow in Availability and Popularity
Further information can be found through the North American Lily Society and the regional Minnesota affiliate.