Flower Description: Quite possibly the easiest of all Lilium species to grow, Lilium pumilum is well suited to a site in the rock garden. The small, highly fragrant Turk's Cap flowers are scarlet red in color and are usually without spots. Occasionally a few small flecks of black will appear in the flower throats. Having a wide range throughout China, Korea, and even into Siberia, Lilium pumilum sets seed freely, but allowing it to do so also seems to shorten its life span. Unless you have a good stand of them going, remove all but one seed pod from each plant. As is with Lilium Regale, Lilium Pumilum is apomictic meaning it will produce viable seed without polination. It doesn't matter what pollen may be used on Lilium pumilum, it will produce seed genetically identical to the parent plant.
Seed will flower in 18 months following germination. Excellent in the butterfly garden, both they and little girls love it. This photo of our daughter taken many years ago in the species beds shows also in the background the last flower of the early blooming form of L. wilsonii. Click on "Additional Images" for another view.
More difficult to establish than our Asiatic, Trumpet or Oriental lilies, our species lilies are guaranteed to be healthy and true-to-name, but not for failure to grow. May take an additional season before blooming and conditions need to be more exacting. Bulbs of L. pumilum sometimes pout when they are moved and may need to settle back in to their new homes though for this species, this trait is rare. Provide perfect drainage, rocky soil is fine, and don't over water the bulbs during summer while they are in dormancy. Species bulbs usually resent transplanting and could rot during a cold, wet winter/spring or during the summer, if you add any moisture retentive materials to the soil around the bulb itself. Under no circumstances use peat for L. pumilum or its hybrids, but leaf mold and/or compost as a top dressing in the fall is desirable.
Classification: Lilium Species(USDA Zones 3-10, lows to -40° F.)