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Lily Bulb - 'L. speciosum var. gloriosoides (Species or Wild Lily)
Described by the English explorer E. H. Wilson to be the "finest and most beautiful of all forms of L. speciosum", the var. gloriosoides can be a pill in the garden. Our experience with this lily was that it was very prone to virus and the only flower we were able to produce from seed given us by Moto Shimizu in Japan bloomed twisted and deformed, probably due to virus infection. The plant did not return the following year nor any of the other seedlings in that batch possibly due to virus infection, but more likely due to our sometimes excessively wet winters here in the Northwest corner of Washington.
To successfully grow and flower this magnificent species is a prideful accomplishment. Originally discovered in 1868 in the Lushan Mountains of China, 'glorsoides' was introduced to European gardens in 1878, but that original stock was soon lost. A hearty well done to Alan Mitchell of Scotland for flowering this rare lily and our thanks for his contribution of this photo.
Photo insert is of L. speciosum x 'Cinderella' registered as a "selection" of L. speciosum by F. M. Wilson c. 1950. We grew 'Cinderella' in the early 1980's and found it to be prone to virus and always wondered if there might be a bit of 'gloriosoides' in its background. We will ever know.
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