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'L. auratum bed' (Lilium species or wild lily)
"Yama-Yuri" in Japan, Lilium auratum and it's variants have had more influence over the years on modern Oriental Hybrids than any other species. Described by some as "The Queen of Lilies" it is distributed mainly on the island of Honshu, Lilium auratum and its naturally varied forms are breath-taking, not only in their native wild habitat, but are also beautiful beyond compare in the home garden.
Flowering into August in cooler regions, Lilium auratum extends the Oriental bloom well into the summer. Enjoying a soil PH of 5.5 to 6.5, they can become garden giants reaching 6 feet or more in fertile, well drained soil. Bulbs of Lilium auratum variants 'platyphyllum' and 'virginale' are most commonly found. Lilium auratum "blood" can be found in such famous hybrids as the Imperials from Jan de Graaff, as well as the now lost, 'Empress of Japan' and 'Empress of India.'
Photo inset #1 is of 'Harvest Time' at the old Oregon Bulb Farm circa late 1940's. Relying the "modern" machinery, this was the giant leap forward in mechanized harvesting. At B & D Lilies, to this day, we still use a 1941 International Harvester one row potato digger as our harvester of choice if the ground is dry enough. All too often here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, our bulbs for fall delivery are usually hand dug.
This historic lily harvesting photo was printed on a glass slide and provided by the late Don Egger.
Photo inset #2 is a Edgar Kline studio shot of examples of the L. auratum he was growing in the late 1040's. Photo provided by Bill and Mary Hoffman.
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