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'LeVern Friemann' - Heritage Orienpet Lily
Flower Description: We believe this to be the very BEST hybrid not only ever created by Washington State hybridizer, Mr. LeVern Friemann, but of all time, anywhere in the world. Deep maroon-red color front and back, blending to bright violet on petal/sepal tips. A unique chocolate nectary star when grown in light shade; it changes to olive-green in full sun or as the bloom ages. Chocolate nectary is from the 'Journey's End' parent. Black-tipped, raised papillae, and a sweet, lingering fragrance. Blooms are very sun fast, a fantastic addition to the lily world, and certainly the reddest Tetraploid Oriental lily ever to be released. Grows 5 to 6 feet tall in full sun for us, expect taller stems under glass, or in light shade. Late July, early August flowering.
Editorial Note: The practice of taking a known lily, putting it into tissue culture, and then releasing it under a new name as “breeder unknown” though not commonplace, does happen. The first thing that came to mind when we saw ‘Miss Feya’ was it’s remarkable resemblance to our spring 1999 introduction ‘LeVern Friemann’, one of the first solid red ‘Orienpet’ lilies to be offered the garden public. Over the years, others such as ‘King Arthur’ from Cebeco Lilies also came to be marketed as ‘Catherine the Great’ and Don Egger’s ‘Victorian Petticoat’ introduced by B&D Lilies in 1999 became ‘Smokey Mountain’ elsewhere. ‘Longidragon’, again from Cebeco, selected and named by B & D Lilies, morphed into ‘Dragoon’, and more recently ‘Double Vision’ named and introduced by B&D in the fall of 2009, was changed in Holland to ‘Lilytopia’ for “official” introduction in June of 2010 during a reception at the Royal Dutch Embassy in New York. The list goes on.
B&D Lilies made the original ‘LeVern Friemann’ selection back in the summer of 1992. The above photo of LeVern with his proud creation brought about by crossing his Tetraploid ‘Journeys End’ conversion with a tetraploid conversion of Dr. Raphael Pappo’s lily ‘Rachel Pappo’ (a hybrid of ‘Imperial Crimson’ and ‘Black Beauty’) given him by Dr. Pappo for breeding. The bulb was scaled that fall by LeVern, along with his yet unnamed ‘Katherine Walton’, named by LeVern in honor of his sister-in-law, and ‘Marion Friemann’ named by us in honor of LeVern’s wonderful wife. Also scaled at that time were the yet unnamed ‘Black Beauty’ hybrids ’Scheherazade, ‘Juan de Fuca’ and ‘Northwest Passage’ from selections he made several years earlier. The resulting bulblets from those scales were moved to our Port Townsend field in the spring of 1994 for propagation. Already in production were his Tetraploid asiatic ‘Apricot Supreme’ and his pollen fertile LF-1, bred from the Aurelian hybrid ‘Thunderbolt’ and Tetraploid ‘Rachael Pappo’. First introduction of the lily ‘LeVern Friemann’ was in the spring of 1999, just a year before LeVern’s passing. At $80.00 each, the price LeVern requested, his lily was a complete sell out with sufficient back orders for fall delivery that it was removed from our offering in the fall 1999 catalog.
Slow to propagate, ‘LeVern Friemann’ was never offered in large quantities. Eventually though it appears to have made its way to a tissue culture lab in Holland and renamed. After noting the strong resemblance of ‘Miss Freya’ to 'LeVern Friemann', we purchased several cases of planting stock. In growing ‘LeVern Friemann’ side by side with ‘Miss Freya’ we see no difference and must assume they are one and the same and offer them here as ‘LeVern Frieman’ until someone proves they are indeed different. The plus side of all this is that ‘LeVern Friemann’ is now at least into mass propagation, something we never did, making it available at a price for customers who might be on a tight garden budget. In 1999, ‘LeVern Friemann’ was cutting edge genetic material for breeders and arguably the finest garden lily of it’s time, and still is one of the finest to this day. Also at that time, the greatest value laid in its genetic make up and the fact it was a fertile breeder, rare for an Orienpet in those days. This truly is a “must have” lily for the garden. One of the frustrating things for us is that others in the trade know of the name situation, but just shrug it off. We find the attitude of “a sale is a sale, accuracy does not matter” a great disappointment in our industry, but then we don’t just buy and sell as they do, just processing widgets so to speak, we are growers. B & D Lilies, is entering our 38th year of commercial propagation of lilies in the fall of 2015, this is a labor of love that includes trying to keep the records straight.
For those who are interested, a bit of background on LeVern the man. LeVern was a wonderful man and we treasured his friendship and advice. His greatest “sin” was that he totally trusted everyone and some of those people took great advantage of that trust. One set of visitors from Canada comes to mind. While dad kept LeVern busy in conversation, his son was digging around the stems of lilies with his fingers removing stem bulblets. LeVern caught him, emptied the kids’ pockets, and “invited” them to both leave. Another couple, this time from the US, while one kept LeVern busy in conversation, the other was snapping flower buds off the lilies to put into tissue culture. LeVern did not discover the missing buds until after they left. I remember the betrayal and disappointment he felt in the one he regarded as a trusted friend when relating this incident to me the following week. The sad thing was that LeVern would have freely given them what they stole or attempted to steal. They only had to ask.
Dianna once expressed an interest in a large Euonymus Sachalinenis (Enoymus plainipes) that LeVern simply referred to as his “Wahoo” tree. It was showing thousands of the large pink/red clusters of seed capsules and could only be described as beyond beautiful. LeVern told her “just a minute” went to his tool shed and emerged with a shovel and pot. Five minutes later, she was presented with a lovely little seedling, freshly potted and ready for transport. That plant has grown to about 16 ft. tall by 10 feet wide and every fall is ablaze with color. She didn’t even have to ask, LeVern loved to share his garden treasures with everyone.
To this day I vividly remember getting up at 5 am to catch a 6:30 am ferry ride to Whidbey Island and then the 90 plus minute drive north to Bellingham near the Canadian border. I would always arrive at his home as the sun was beginning climb over the towering fir trees to the east and south of his lily garden and then walking along side him to enjoy and greet in wonder, the opening flowers of that day. Following a couple hours in the garden, taking photos, and evaluating new seedlings, it was off to his favorite restaurant, the ‘King’s Buffet’ about a mile down the road, where LeVern would load up on macaroni and cheese with a salad chaser, discussing his lilies while eating. The salad was only eaten after all the Mac was gone, a routine that never varied. Under instructions by his wife Marion, each time we left for lunch, was that we were not to go for ANY dessert. Marion always had hot, straight from the oven, chocolate chip cookies on the table with two cold glasses of milk waiting for our return. An excellent cook, Marion never went to lunch with us as she was not a fan of “buffet” style food. After cookies, it was back to the garden to check out once again the seedlings and then head back home later that afternoon.
LeVern was adamant about the use of green manure crops and always planted a portion of his garden in either oats or winter rye for working into his soil. Everything was done with a shovel and a rake, nothing was simply tilled in. He was constantly turning over his soil, working something organic into it. You could literally lie on your chest in his garden and dig your hand down until you ran out of arm. His garden was a paradise, filled with his lilies as well as selections of the wonderful rhododendrons and strawberries he had bred as well.
A little know fact about LeVern is that it was he who created the original seed parents for the trumpets ‘Pink Perfection, ‘Golden Splendor’ and ‘Copper King’. In the early 1950’s LeVern was paid a visit by Jan DeGraaff, founder of Oregon Bulb Farms, who purchased his trumpets for $100, a month’s salary for many people at that time. LeVern swelled with pride when he spoke of this sale knowing that Mr. DeGraaff had taken his trumpets to a marketing level and popularity in the world that he could never have achieved on his own. I once asked if he had ever wished he had held out for more. His reply was a quick and adamant NO. “Mr. DeGraaff has spread my lilies all over the world”. I truly believe had LeVern known the future, he would have simply given Mr. DeGraaff the bulbs.
LeVern was a county extension agent in Whatcom County and could walk into the downwind end of a field of strawberries and just from the fragrance in the wind, knew if the field required further investigation. Upon his death, we were given his lily records by his daughter. Included in this life long collection were the papers on his work treating lilies with colchicine obtained from crushed bulbs of the fall Crocus and then converting lilies to a tetraploid level with this substance attempting to increase fertility for breeding. His first works with this highly toxic and dangerous carcinogenic substance, along with those of Robert Griesbach, and Samuel Emsweller, broke the ground that today has made the popular “Orienpet” Lilies possible. Without the work of these men and the breakthroughs they made, the Orienpet lilies of today would still be in the “dark ages”.
We offer this information only as a FYI for those who care (and unfortunately, most gardeners don't), but B & D Lilies is the oldest lily specialty nursery in America, we knew and were befriended by the lily breeding pioneers, and we would like to see the accurate reporting of history and breeding information.
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: Orienpet Hybrid Lily Bulb (USDA Zones 5-9, colder climates w/winter mulch.)
Stock # 9300 - 'LeVern Friemann' aka 'Miss Freya' - 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.)
Zone 1--- ( Below -50 F) --- Fairbanks, Alaska; Resolute, NW Territories (Canada)
Zone 2a --- (-50 to -45 F) --- Prudhoe Bay, Alaska; Flin Flon, Manitoba (Canada)
Zone 2b --- (-45 to -40 F) --- Unalakleet, Alaska; Pinecreek, Minnesota
Zone 3a --- (-40 to -35 F) --- International Falls, Minnesota; St. Michael, Alaska
Zone 3b --- (-35 to -30 F) --- Tomahawk, Wisconsin; Sidney, Montana
Zone 4a --- (-30 to -25 F) --- Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota; Lewistown, Montana
Zone 4b --- (-25 to -20 F) --- Northwood, Iowa; Nebraska
Zone 5a --- (-20 to -15 F) --- Des Moines, Iowa; Illinois
Zone 5b --- (-15 to -10 F) --- Columbia, Missouri; Mansfield, Pennsylvania
Zone 6a --- (-10 to -5 F) --- St. Louis, Missouri; Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Zone 6b --- (-5 to 0 F) --- McMinnville, Tennessee; Branson, Missouri
Zone 7a --- (0 to 5 F) --- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; South Boston, Virginia
Zone 7b --- (5 to 10 F) --- Little Rock, Arkansas; Griffin, Georgia
Zone 8a --- (10 to 15 F) --- Tifton, Georgia; Dallas, Texas
Zone 8b --- (15 to 20 F) --- Austin, Texas; Gainesville, Florida
Zone 9a --- (20 to 25 F) --- Houston, Texas; St. Augustine, Florida
Zone 9b --- (25 to 30 F) --- Brownsville, Texas; Fort Pierce, Florida
Zone 10a --- (30 to 35 F) --- Naples, Florida; Victorville, California
Zone 10b --- (35 to 40 F) --- Miami, Florida; Coral Gables, Florida
Zone 11 --- (above 40 F) --- Honolulu, Hawaii; Mazatlan, Mexico
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