How about a Lilium henryi Hybrid that has the same delicate shape of L. henryi, with massive raised papillae, but with white-colored petal tips? Looking like dancing butterflies on the stem, this sturdy lily has great potential in hybridizing, plus adds animation to the garden on windy days. Released by its breeder, Johan Mak, exclusively to B&D Lilies for our 25th Anniversary Catalog in 2003, 'Madame Butterfly' has more than proven itself to be a long-lived cultivar. 2 to 3 Feet. July Flowering.
Note: These are small flowering size bulbs.
Bulb Size - Our standard for bulbs of this lily cultivar ranges from Premium-size» (16/18 cm) to Exhibition-size» (over 20 cm). Click here for details.
Classification: Intercrossed species lily bulb (USDA Zones 5-9, the colder climates of this range must provide winter mulching.)
How is a lily named? For us, most lilies come by their names from something personal in our life. So where did ‘Madame Butterfly’ come from? Bred by our friend Johan Mak, we watched this lily for years in the mid to late 1990's being slowly built up. We all agreed that with the butterfly like flowers that danced in the wind, this yet to be named lily should carry the name of a butterfly. The problem encountered was that the “common” names of regional butterflies did not match the grace and beauty of this lily, and the Latin names were beyond pronunciation.
We were coming down to the wire. This yet to be named lily was ready for introduction, but still no name that would do this lovely little L. henryi type flower justice. While driving to the Mak field in Oregon, I was listening to ‘Un bel di vedermo’ the famous aria from the Puccini Opera ‘Madame Butterfly’. Our daughter, a very gifted classical vocalist was looking at it (still at the time well ahead of her in years back then) and I wanted to become more familiar with the piece. All of a sudden there was one of those “duh” moments, why not ‘Madame Butterfly’ I thought. Excited, I was bursting with a name, while driving the last couple hours, eager to talk with Johan. Upon pulling up in his driveway, he met me with a big smile on his face proclaiming “I have it! 'Madame Butterfly'”. I stood there in disbelief and we quickly concluded that all great minds do indeed think alike.
Last offered in 2012 at $24.95 each, 'Madame Butterfly' sold out quickly. We have about double the bulbs now but expect a sell out early on this beauty as there simply is nothing else like it in the lily world apart from going with very difficult wild lilies for look.