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'L. grayi' (Species or Wild Lily)
Named after American botanist Asa Gray, this native of N. Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia produces smooth, funnel shaped flowers. The deep, brick red blooms are strongly spotted in red-purple. The rhizomatous bulbs can be difficult in cultivation, but given the right location with plenty of moisture during the growing season and a soil rich in humus, it will settle in quite nicely. Rarely seen in commerce our best stock came from a tissue cultured selection named 'Gulliver's Thimble' cloned by Dr. Richard M. Adams in 1981 and introduced to the garden trade by B & D Lilies in 1984 as shown in photo inset #3.
Title photo of L. grayi compliments of Gene Mirro as flowered and photographed in June of 2012.
Photo inset #1 is of Lilium grayi habitat. Photo courtesy of Dr. Richard M. Adams. Second photo insert of L. grayi courtesy of Gene Mirro showing both the profile as well as throat of this lovely little species.
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