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'Black Beauty' - Orienpet Hybrid Lily Bulb
Flower Description: Smaller, recurved, deep red flowers with white edges. A nearly indestructible lily; reported to be bred from Lilium speciosum, Oriental, and Trumpet pollen, with the possible inclusion of L. henryi. 'Black Beauty' ranks high in the North American Lily Society's "Hall of Fame" for long-lived dependability in just about every area. Light scent. 4 to 6 Feet. July/August Flowering. Light Fragrance.
'Black Beauty' was the first of the 'Orienpet' type lilies. When Leslie Woodriff introduced this crowing achievement of his lifelong work, he broke the mold of thinking for what was possible in the breeding of lilies.
Editorial Note: The most colorful person in our life with lilies, and a friend we truly cherished, was Leslie Woodriff and unfortunately, we did not meet Leslie until he was in his declining years. Our first trip to McKinleyville, California some 600 miles distance was filled with excitement and anticipation. Not only was this an invited visit to meet a legend in lily breeding, the creator of 'Star Gazer', we were meeting a man considered by many, especially in Holland, to be the father of the Oriental Hybrid. This was but the first of what became an annual trip for us. Pulling up in front of his house, we were enthusiastically greeted by Winkey, his daughter who said “Dad has been waiting to meet you” and she led us to the row of wood framed greenhouses that had seen better days.
Instructing our two boys to wait outside, we entered what could only be described as a jungle. Potted lilies and begonia's everywhere with not an empty space on the benches or the floors to be found. To walk between the benches also meant holding back plants so as not to step on them while also keeping an eye for those pots hanging from the rafters. Then all of a sudden, out of the undergrowth, emerged Leslie with a smile bigger than life. We found it a struggle trying to keep up with Leslie even though he was walking with the support of two canes while we all weaved our way through this primeval jungle.
What was so fascinating on this first visit to us was that Leslie had pockets full of match boxes all containing mixes of pollen. Whereas we could see no markings to identify what was what, Leslie would stop from time to time, pull out several matchboxes, select the one he wanted and make a cross without missing a beat or there being a break in the conversation. After relating that meeting to another well known breeder, we found with surprise that this person looked down upon Leslie as being little more than a crackpot or an old coot that in their words “knew nothing” about lilies. What Leslie forgot in his lifetime though is more than that breeder has ever learn in theirs. He was looked down upon by this person as he did not keep paper records, this genius of a man kept it all in his head and I truly believe he remembered the parents of every cross he ever made all the way back to his very first. We later chalked it up to simple jealousy.
Our fondest memory of Leslie? On each and every visit, the same story was related whenever we came upon 'Black Beauty'. Keeping in mind this was during the 1980's and at the height of the Cold War, Leslie would always stop and say, pointing with his cane, “You know Bob and Dianna, they say if there is a nuclear war, only cockroaches and rats will survive. MY 'Black Beauty' will be there through for them to look at”.
Leslie's life ended in poverty. A man who one Dutch acquaintance told us was looked upon in Holland as almost a god, as with LeVern Friemann whom he shared genetic material and knowledge with, Leslie was a breeder and lover of his plants. As such, as with LeVern, he was taken advantage of but never lost his love of life nor his zeal to share his love for lilies with others.
And of that first visit with Leslie combined with taking our boys on a week long camping trip to Mt. Lassen National Park? Each stop, we unloaded 6 potted lilies, purchased from Leslie, all in full bloom and set them around our tent so as to make sure they got enough light. Yes, a few people asked about them, but most campers only looked on in curiosity wonderment.
Bulb Size - Our standard for bulbs of this Orienpet Hybrid Lily Bulb cultivar ranges from Premium-size» (16/18 cm) to Exhibition-size» (over 20 cm). Click here for details.
Classification: (USDA Zones 4-9, colder climates w/winter mulch.)
Stock # 7077 - 'Black Beauty' - Orienpet Lily Bulb
Plant Lily Bulbs Immediately upon Receipt
Lily bulbs are never completely dormant and need to be planted as soon as possible. You can delay planting for 2-3 weeks by keeping the bulbs in a cool, not frozen (34-40° F.), area of a garage, basement or refrigerator, but longer and you risk bulb damage. You must open the shipping box to check your order and then re-close any plastic bags before short term storage. Our packing material protects your bulbs and absorbs excessive moisture, but if large water droplets form within the plastic bag, poke more “air” holes in the sides of the poly bag, being careful to not damage your sleeping bulbs. Lily bulbs are happiest in the garden where they can begin growing new roots immediately.
Choose an area with good air circulation and well-drained soil. Waterlogged soils, with poor drainage or too much “organics” in the soil mean certain death to lily bulbs. A sloping site with natural drainage is best. When planting in heavy clay, try mixing Perlite (the white crunchy stuff found in commercial potting soil – not Vermiculite that holds moisture) or sand with the native soil to create raised beds 8 to 10 inches above ground level, or make raised beds of garden-safe, treated wood. If bothered by moles, mice or gophers nail 1/4-inch galvanized hardware cloth on the bottom of the framework before you back fill with good soil. Sandy loam soils rich in humus with a pH of 5.5-6.5 are ideal.
Lilies look most natural planted in triangular groups of three, spaced 12”-18” apart. Provide at least 6 hours of sun, dappled shade in very warm regions for Orientals. Cover bulbs with fluffy soil and mulch to control weeds and maintain even ground moisture. Plant bulbs 2”- 4” deeper in areas where daily temperatures average over 90 degrees F. and the soil is sandy. Do not plant among aggressive ground covers or where large trees or shrubs will rob nutrients or moisture. Lily bulbs need regular fertilizer, water, and cultivation. They do NOT “naturalize” like Daffodils or Tulips, which have a hard outer shell. Be sure to mulch bulbs in cold climates if a good winter snow cover is not expected. Likewise, in more temperate areas, cold saturated soil will rot lily bulbs some years, so a raised area and fast-draining soil is recommended. Click to leave this page and go to More Information
Find your USDA Hardiness Zone
The chart published by the USDA and complete interactive searching can be found on the website for the US National Arboretum. When researching your location, bear in mind that the map lines are not absolute and each garden has its own unique micro-climate. Neighborhoods with more trees blocking the wind, hills that "drain" away moisture faster, concrete bulkheads, sidewalks and driveways that tend to collect heat, as well as southern exposures will allow you to grow plants that might not be recommended for your area. The general guidelines are based on average low temperatures are found below. To open a new browser window access the interactive map click USDA Zone Chart
Asiatics (Graffity, Tigerplay, etc.) grow best in zones 1 to 9, no winter mulch is needed and they prefer colder winters to reset bloom.
Purebred Orientals (Casablanca, Star Gazer, etc.), without mulch, zones 6 to 9, but if heavily mulched for winter or with a good snowfall, down to zone 3 or 4 easily.
Purebred Trumpets (Copper King, Pink Perfection, etc.), without mulch, zones 7 to 10; heavily mulched, down to zone 3 or 4, but can be subject to late freeze damage in May, cover emerging stems if temperatures below 30 degrees F. are expected.
Oriental-Trumpet Hybrids (Conca ‘dOr, Sweetheart, etc.), same as Purebred Orientals, but seem to be more resistant to late frost damage, plus because of the “trumpet” genes, they do not require as much winter chill as Oriental lilies, thus are very suitable for southern areas and will take higher heat in summer. (See our Heatbuster™ Collection for more information.)
Wild Lily bulbs making up the genus Lilium belong to the family Liliaceae comprising of approximately 200 genera made up of approximately 2,000 lily species. There are in the neighborhood of 110 to 120 Lilium species depending on whose classification you reference. For the full article, click Knowledge Base