Lilies add elegance to a garden. The North American Lily Society classifies hybrids in eight horticultural divisions: Asiatic, Martagon, Candidum, American, Longiflorum, Trumpet and Aurelian, Oriental and miscellaneous hybrids.
All lilies enjoy a similar culture, requiring a moist, well-drained soil in a sunny or mostly sunny location. They grow from bulbs made up of fleshy scales and, unlike tulips and daffodils, are never completely dormant.
The Asiatic hybrids are the earliest lilies to bloom (late spring to early summer); they come in a wide variety of bright colors and are hardy and unfussy.
Oriental hybrid lilies are intensely fragrant and have blossoms up to 10 inches across. The pink, red or white flowers appear late in the summer.
Martagon lilies are tall and have many small downward-facing flowers in red, gold or orange, often spotted. They are sometimes called "Turk's cap" lilies because of their recurved petals. Martagons tolerate more shade than most other lilies.
Trumpet lilies produce huge, fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers in midsummer and are available in many colors; they may require staking.
Two relatively new lily hybrids are genetic crosses of two lily divisions: the LA hybrids (Longiflorum and Asiatic) and the Orienpets (a cross of Oriental and Trumpet).
- North American Lily Society
- University of Minnesota: Lily Hybrids
- North Star Lily Society
lily hybrids, lily divisions, Oriental lilies, Asiatic lilies
About this Author
Gwen Bruno has 28 years of experience as a teacher and librarian, and is now a full-time freelance writer. She holds a bachelor's degree from Augustana College and master's degrees from North Park University and the University of Wisconsin. She writes articles about gardening for DavesGarden.com.