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Lilies are believed to have been under cultivation longer than any other ornamental flower, having existed in gardens 3,000 years ago. Floral designs, particularly of Lilies, made their appearance and became very popular in the 18th dynasty of Egypt.


What are True Lilies?

There are many kinds of flowers, which have been called “Lilies”, but many of these so-called Lilies such as the day-lily, water-lily, and arum-lily, actually belong to other groups of flowering plants. Plants in the Liliales grow from Bulbs, or Corms, both of which will store food over the winter or during the dry season. Unlike other Liliales, these vines produce their flowers in spherical clusters called Umbels, as in Bomarea. True Lilies are composed of fleshy scales without a protective outer coating. True Lilies are never dormant

Daylilies comprise the small genus Hemerocallis of flowering plants in the family Hemerocallidaceae. They are not true lilies which are Lilium in Liliaceae. The name Hemerocallis comes from Greek words for day and beauty. The flowers of most species open at sunrise and wither at sunset, possibly replaced by another one on the same stem the next day (some species are night-blooming). Daylilies are not commonly used as cut flowers for formal flower arrangements, yet they make good cut flowers otherwise as new flowers continue to open on cut stems over several days.

Originally native from Europe, China, Korea and Japan their large showy flowers have made them popular worldwide. There are over 60,000 registered cultivars. Only a few cultivars are scented; some will rebloom later in the season, particularly if their developing seedpods are removed.

Daylilies occur as a clump including leaves, the crown, and the roots. The long, often linear lance-like are grouped into flat fans with leaves arching out to both sides. The crown of a daylily is the small white portion between the leaves and the roots, an essential part of the fan. Along the flower stem or scape, small leafy “proliferations” may form at nodea or bracts. These proliferations form roots when planted and are the exact clones of the parent plant. Some daylilies show elongated widenings along the roots, made by the plant mostly for water storage and an indication of good health.

The flower consists of three petals and three sepals, collectively called tepals, each with a midrib in the same or in a contrasting color. The centermost section of the flower, called the throat, has usually a different and contrasting color. There are six stamens, each with a two-lobed anther. After pollination, the flower forms a pod. To see what a day lily looks like, see this daylily gallerythis daylily gallery.

Different species of Lilies

Asiatic Lilies – small flowers, less fragrant, wide colors

Trumpet/Aurelian Lilies

Oriental Lilies – Have strong fragrances, few colors,larger, flowers

The Wild Lilies

Martagon hybrid Lilies – Edible and Esculent herbs /

Candidum hybrid Lilies

American hybrids Lilies /

Longiflorum hybrid Lilies – strong, sweet fragrance, large funnel shaped flowers, usually white.


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