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The best known of the European natives, Lilium martagon and its variants have the greatest range of all the species or wild lilies. Preferring calcareous soils, (sweet) Lilium martagon can find a home in every garden provided some lime is added yearly to the soil. Not liking to be disturbed, it will often refuse to send up a stem the first season after being moved. The Turk's Cap flowers are small, but as many as 50 or more can appear on the 4 foot stem of a mature, settled bulb. Carrying a light "wild flower" scent, they do well in shade as well as full sun, of which the latter tends to keep stems from reaching their full potential.
L. martagon and its hybrids along with their close cousins L. hansonii and L. tsingtauense are the swallowtail butterfly favorites on our farm. Both the Western Tiger (Papilio rutulus) as well as the Pale Tiger (Papilio eurmedon) relish bloom time every summer.
Martagon species, as well as their hybrids, resent being moved and fall is their best time for planting for success. Actually, the optimal time for moving a martagon is while it is in full bloom. While the jobber companies (those that just buy and resell) are either not aware of this, or simply don't care being they are not growers, we are and we do. Spring planted martagons often times do not emerge the first season and those that do, often fail to bloom their first season. It is for that reason, we here at B & D Lilies only ship these magnificent lilies in the fall giving you the absolute best chances for success.
ADDED MONDAY MARCH 10, 2014. We missed our plant back time for the surplus fall bulbs this past January due to unusually cold and wet weather. We have approximately 120 martagons that if planted back now, in March, would need to remain in the ground until fall of 2015 before being ready to harvest again. For the first time, we are offering these bulbs for spring planting as we are rotating fields in the fall of 2014 and they will greatly resent being dug and moved again at a time when they are just getting settled back in.
Be patient, those that do not come up this spring nor bloom, should be great in the summer of 2015. All bulbs are priced at $9.95 and originally sold last fall for $14.95. There will be no back orders at this special sale price. Be sure to mark each bulb when planting so that those that do not emerge this year will not be forgotten and have something planted on top of them.
SPECIAL NOTE ZONE 9 and 10: We have had numerous questions about zone 9 and 10 planting of the Martagons concerning chill times. Unfortunately, the USDA zones do not always take into account special needs and though L. martagon and its hybrids are well suited for the summer temperatures in those zones if planted in light shade, they do need a winter chill, just as do the Oriental Hybrids.
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