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 'Lilium brownii'

'Lilium brownii'

Item# LS12
Archive Item
(Species / Wild Lily)
A sometimes difficult garden subject seemingly lost to commerce, Lilium brownii is believed to have first come to England from Guangzhow, China in the 1830's. Lilium brownii could once be found in most turn of the 19th century English gardens. Flowering in late May to early June, the seed ripens in mid to late September. Germination is immediate hypogeal. Lilium brownii is not hardy in cold winter areas.

Prone to basil rot and virus infection, even commercially produced bulbs rarely last more than a season or two in the garden. The large trumpet shaped, white flowers are purple-pink to brown on the outside and are carried on 3 to 4 foot stems.

A 1964 wholesale listing by Edgar Kline had this lily priced at two dollars each (about 1/2 tank of gas in those days) whereas more "common" lilies such as Lilium pumilum or Lilium pardalinum could be purchased at eighteen cents each (a gallon of gas) when purchased by the hundred. Even for the experts back then, this was a most difficult lily and was priced as such.

Insert photo #1 courtesy of the late Edgar Kline showing an arrangement of this rare and beautiful species. Circ. 1940.

Insert photo #2 copyright Denis Barthel. Courtesy WikiMedia Commons. Original photo cropped. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Inset photo #3 copyright John Lykkegaard. Courtesy WikiMedia Commons. Original photo cropped. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

Title photo copyright Pontus Wallstén of Switzerland taken by his brother Magnus Wallstén. Used with permission. Pontus has an excellent book titled 'The Lily Species and their bulbs' and he can be contacted by email at pontus.wallsten@bluewin.ch for more information. He also offers some rare species lilies in limited quantities that are shipped from his nursery in Switzerland.

This page is for reference only, not as an offer to sell species bulbs or seeds.
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