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'L. hansonii' (Species or Wild Lily)

Lily Bulb - 'L. hansonii'   (Species or Wild Lily)An easily grown and adaptable species though rarely seen in commerce, Lilium hansonii is found in Korea and Japan where it is known as "Gakeshima-Yuri". Used by Jan de Graaff in hybridizing with Lilium martagon , it contributed to the beautiful 'Paisley Hybrids' being born. Lilium martagon x 'Dalhansonii', another striking hybrid was produced from a cross with Lilium martagon var. cattaniae.

Probably the most famous cross though with Lilium hansonii and Lilium martagon is 'Mrs. R. O. Backhouse' which still is offered from time to time, more than 80 years after its introduction. All hybrids with Lilium martagon carry the unfortunate trait of requiring a year or more to recover after being moved in the garden as does purebred Lilium martagon.

Preferring a damp soil rich in leaf-mold and dappled shade, Lilium hansonii produces thick, fleshy flowers in a rich orange color. As with Lilium martagon , this is a very virus resistant species and should be grown more in the garden. We have grown this species for over 20 years but rarely have seen it bloom. Beloved by the native deer population, they bring in their fawns for a nibble just as the buds are starting to show color every year. Photo of Lilium hansonii Courtesy of Dr. Fritz Ewald.

Photo inset #1 is closeup of stem of 'Mrs. R. O. Backhouse'

Photo inset #2 is a studio arrangement of stems grown by Edgar Kline around 1950 as provided by Bill and Mary Hoffman.

Photo insert #3 is of L. hansonii as flowered and photographed by Gene Mirro in June of 2012.


Wild Lilies
Timely Tips!
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