19 Amazing Lilies And The Exciting Types

Lily-of-the-valley

Every time you’re asked to imagine a lily, you imagine a white, beautiful, trumpet-shaped flower with big anthers. Well, you won’t be doing that anymore after reading through the end of this article.

The Madonna lily (White lily) is the one all of us are most familiar with. But that is not the only lily around.

In fact, the lily family is huge… covering a wide range of colors including yellow, orange, and shades of pink. Lily, or the genus Lilium has 100+ species and around 2000 varieties. These also include a considerable number of hybrids all classified into 9 divisions.

Walking through these 9 divisions will open up a whole world of lilies for you. Read on to find out everything about the amazing lilies and decide what’ll suit your tastes the most.

Type Of Lilies

Lilies have everything to offer… small lilies for containers, lilies for partial shade, or do you like early blooming lilies? You name it, they have it.

The number of varieties lilies have to offer often overwhelms new gardeners. So here we’ll divide them into groups that can be categorized more easily. 

Lilies may be divided into certain broad divisions which include, division 9, the wild lilies, division 1, the asiatic hybrids. The latter also includes dwarf asiatic hybrids.

The species also consists of division 2, martagon-hybrids, division 3, candidum hybrids and division 4, hybrids of American species. It doesn’t stop there, you also get division 5, longiflorum hybrids and division 6, the trumpet hybrids.

What is more, the lily or lilium family also includes many lesser known divisions of the flower. Those listed here are the most common.

Wild Lilies

Division 9 includes the original lilies or the ancestral, parent lilies. The flashier showy hybrids are variations of these original ones.

As genetically modified variations, hybrid lilies share similar traits as well as ‘caring techniques’ as their original ancestors. The blooms mentioned here belong to Division 9.

1. Lilium Martagon Or The Martagon Lily

The Martagon Lily is one of the original, wild lilies

The martagon lily can establish itself for many years if not decades. This ability makes it a very well-known lily among gardeners. The survivability of the martagon lily is also passed down to its hybrid offspring.

The color of the martagon lily can be pink or soft purple. It also has a variant with an albino white form. The petals of the flower hang down while also curving back on themselves in such a way that it touches the base of the flower.

The foliage is thinly scattered but the abundance of the flowers makes up for it. Freckles can sometimes also be seen on the petals of this lily. The martagon isn’t picky about soils either which makes it all the more loveable.

2. Lilium Canadense Or The Canada Lily 

Dainty and elegant: the Canada Lily

Also known as the meadow lily, this North American species is being cultivated for 400 years. The Canada lily is among the few that has a stoloniferous root pattern. 

The Canada lily is dainty and elegant with hanging yellow hanging blooms. The petals sweep out and upward with neatly pointed tips. They also of light orange-brown freckle spots at the center. The Canada lily is beautiful but a non-fragrant flower. 

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It has a height of around 4-6 ft and grows under full sun. They bloom in June and July surrounding everything with incredibly cheerful vibes. Although it is advised for new gardeners to avoid the Canada lily because caring for them can be quite challenging.

3. Lilium Pardalinum Or The Leopard Lily

Lilium Pardalinum

The leopard Lily is another North American species of lily, which is native to the pacific coast region. It has a striking orange-red color, giving way to golden yellow at the center. Darker spots scattered around in yellow areas are why it is named the leopard lily.

The leopard lily is woodland species of lily making it one of the lilies that can grow in partial shade. It blooms around mid-summer and is often fragrant as well. It can reach up to a height of 5-6ft making natural clumps if left on their own for a few years.

4. Lilium Lancifolium Or The Tiger Lily

A lily from Asia, the tiger lily

Although originated from Asia, the tiger lily has now spread throughout large parts of the US, and in around New England as well. The petals are peachy orange with very dark spots. The almost black stems make an incredible contrast with the bright colors of the petals.

Tiger lilies have small bulbs forming in the axil between the leaf and stem which can be removed and put in another pot to grow more tiger lilies. 

Tiger lilies bloom in mid to late summer and grow under full to partial sun. They reach a height of 2-5ft and are non-fragrant.

It is advised to plant them away from other lilies as they are very resilient and their trait of not noticing an infection is risky for other lilies.

5. Lilium Candidum Or The Madonna Lily

Madonna may be in the name, but this lily dates back to pre-Christian times!

The famous madonna lily is among the most common lily species that are being grown even before the Christian times either for food or for show. It reaches a height of around 4-5ft and grows in full to partial sun.

The Madonna lily has fragrant, large, white petals often giving way to pale green in the center. The anthers have a sunny yellow color. They aren’t very picky when it comes to soil, so a little alkaline nature of soil won’t bother them much.

It is advised to plant them away from other lilies as they can easily pick up infections from other infected plants.

6. Lilium Speciosum Or The Oriental Lily

One of the more cherished types of lilies, the oriental lily

The oriental lily is originally from Japan and is among the few species of late-blooming lilies. They often bloom in early autumn. 

The petals are either blush pink or white that grow along narrow stems far apart from each other. Each petal bloom has raised papillae bumps on it with dark pink spots. The oriental lily needs ericaceous soil to grow because it does not like alkaline soil.

The oriental lily blooms in early autumn and can reach a height of 4-5ft. It is a fragrant flower that enjoys partial as well as full sun.

7. Lilium Auratum Or The Golden-Rayed Lily

Dazzling like the sunlight, the folden rayed lily

The petals have soft white colors with yellow stripes coming outward radially in the center of each petal. With this stunning star-like effect, the flower will either have small dark spots scattered around the petal or soft pink tones in some varieties.

The golden-rayed lily is native to Japan that grows up to 3-4ft in height. It blooms in late summer under full or partial sun. It is a fragrant flower with blooms reaching 10-12 inches in diameter. 

The golden-rayed lily also despises lime in soil and would rather prefer neutral or acidic soil. It’s better to either grow it in a container or have ericaceous soil available for it.

8. Lilium Henryi Or Henry’s Lily

A special tiger lily, Henry’s tiger lily is quite a sought after prize

Its robust and resilient nature is what makes henry’s lily special and it can grow in many types of soils. Many hybrids can now grow in a variety of soils as well due to the genes passed down by Henry’s lily.

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Henry’s lily provides you with dozens of tropical orange flowers. Each one has a beautiful pattern of raised red bumps that provides it with a lovely texture. The petals of the flower curve backward trying to touch the stalk and the strong stems have a sloping angle to them. 

It can reach a height of 4-8ft and blooms in early to mid-summer. This non-fragrant flower grows well in partial or full sun.

9. Lilium Longiflorum Or The Easter Lily

The Easter lily is is named after the one of the biggest holidays in the States

The Easter lily is the reason behind some of the super hybrids known as the White American and White Heaven. It has trumpet blooms with pure white color.

The Easter lily grows easily in warmer climates although it should be planted in a container so it can be moved in for winters. It is a fragrant flower that reaches a height of around 2-4ft. It blooms in late summers and grows well in partial to full sun.

10. Lilium Bulbiferum Or The Fire Lily

Almost as if a flame is lit on it, the fire lily catches everyone’s eyes

Parent to the Asiatic Hybrid, the fire lily was first discovered in the mountains of southern Europe. It blooms in early summer and has an open bowl-shaped flower of tangerine orange color. The petals also have dark chocolate-colored spots.

The fire lily also forms small bulbs that form in the axil between stem and leaf, which can be used to propagate the fire lily easily. As soon as they are easily pullable, they can be potted.

They are fragrant and grow well in partial to full sun. The height of the fire lilies is around 3-4ft.

The Asiatic Hybrids

The Asiatic hybrids were created by mainly crossing the Asian lilies such as the Tiger Lily but Europe native lilies such as the fire lily are in the same division.

These hybrids are small in size and have a vast array of beautiful shades and shapes that satisfy every taste and color palette. They also contain some dwarf options as well for smaller gardens.

Although a little alkaline soil won’t hurt them, it is advised to take care of the organic material requirement of the soil. Good drainage of the soil would also be appreciated.

The moist hybrids bloom in early to mid-summer. The will reach around 75cm in the first year but will probably grow less in the second year.

11. Lilium Enchantment Or Enchantment Lily

Lilium-hybr.-‘Enchantment’-(Lilie)-by-enbodenumer-is-licensed-under-CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0.

Vivid orange with a dusting of dark spots, a truly enchanting hybrid living up to its name. The enchantment lily is popular for several reasons. They can grow easily and are excellent for cut-flowers.

They are also easy to regrow as they have those small bulbs too which can be potted in ericaceous soil once they are grown enough to be harvested.

The enchantment lily grows up to a height of 3-4ft and requires full sun. It usually has no fragrance and blooms in summer.

12. Lily (Lilium ‘Connecticut King’)

“File:Lilium ‘Connecticut King’.jpg” by Uleli is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Connecticut king has large golden petals with contrasting bright green foliage. It grows up to a height of 2-3ft and enjoys full to partial sun. It has no fragrance and blooms in June.

The Connecticut king is among the plants that are very dear to the cut-flower industry.

13. Lilium Roma

Lilium Roma has blush pink buds that open into large creamy petals with soft sprinkled spots near the center. Compared to other Asiatic hybrids, Lilium Roma is considered a late bloomer. It blooms in early summer.

It can reach a height of 4ft and grows well in full sun.

Dwarf Asiatics

They were created specifically for the purpose of container plants and small gardens such as a garden on a decking area or on a balcony. The pixie series lilies are famous dwarf Asiatics that grow up to 16” in height and bloom early to spread colorful goodness.

14. Orange Pixie Lily

Orange-Pixie-Lily-by-patrick-cleere-is-licensed-under-CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0.

At a very small height of 8 inches, the orange pixie lily produces beautiful orange blooms that stay for several weeks. It grows well in partial to full sun and blooms in June, July, and August.

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15. Denia Pixie Lily

If you want something soft instead of vivid colorful flowers, the Denia pixie lily is for you. Large blush pink petals with scattered dark brown freckles make this flower a beautiful addition to your garden.

It grows up to a height of 18’, grows well in full to partial sun, and blooms in mid-summer.

Martagon-Type Hybrids

Like the Martagon lily, this hybrid also has Turk’s cap-shaped blooms curving back toward the stalk. They can establish themselves for decades and will fit beautifully in a natural-style garden.

These hybrids can easily grow in all sorts of soil as long as the drainage is adequate. They aren’t even bothered by a little shade.

16. L. X Dalhansonii ‘Marhan’

The Marhan strongly resembles the parent lilies except for the petals which do not curve backward as strongly. It is a popular plant that is being under cultivation for over 100 years now.

It has honey color petals that are heavily spotted with dark green stems. The average height is about 4-6ft. It blooms in early summer and grows well in partial to light shade.

Candidum Hybrids

The madonna lily is one of the most common lilies yet it is not often used in making new hybrids.  L. x Testaceum is the only hybrid that is widely known but is hard to track down.

Hybrids of American Species

These hybrids are usually created using the American native lily called the leopard lily. Along with having pendant blooms and whorled foliage the bulbs are rhizomatous, meaning they expand outward over time to generate a mat of scaly growth.

Carless digging can damage the bulbs so it must be lifted and propagated. These hybrids grow well when they are planted with shrubs. They prefer light woodland conditions to grow.

17. Lilium Bellingham

This is a robust hybrid lily that develops towering spikes that are adorned with vivid green whorled leaves. Over the summer, it will give you stunning fiery-colored

blooms of orange, yellow, and red.

It reaches a height of around 5-6ft and grows well in full sun.

18. Lily ‘Cherrywood’

Lily ‘Cherrywood’ is a hybrid with beautiful pendant blooms. It has red at the tips that shift to tangerine towards the center of the flower with sprinkled red spots. It has whorled foliage along its straight stem just like its parent.

It blooms in mid-summer reaching a height of around 5-6ft. It grows well in full sun.

Longiflorum Hybrids

The longiflorum is often used to create new hybrids on account of its desired aesthetical appeal

Longiflorum or Easter lily is a favorite of the florist due to its snow-white white blooms and strong flavorful scent. They aren’t getting any spotlight lately due to their low survivability in hard conditions such as frost.

The hybrids are bred in a way to overcome the weakness of their parent.

19. Lilium Longiflorum ‘White American

White American Unlike its parent is a hardy plant. It has white trumpet-shaped blooms with a green tinge at the tips and rust-orange anthers. It reaches a height of 3-4ft and blooms in summer. It grows well under partial to full shade.

Trumpet Hybrids

One of the originals: the white trumpet lily

This is the largest division of hybrid lilies. The classic funnel-shaped colorful flowers that everyone is in awe of. The foliage is covered with lots of narrow leaves that grow along the stems. 

Large, bold, and colorful flowers of this division can grace your flower bed and they also do well in containers. They start blooming in early summer but keep their best for later seasons to shine. They are also very fragrant that fill the environment with the delicious scent of lily on a summer evening.

The bulbs of the flowers must be placed at least 12” apart. They grow the best in soil rich in organic materials. Their second-year growth will outdo the first-year if they are well established and can stay up to 3-4 years. Before winter sets in, deadhead the blooms after blossoming and trim the plant back to the ground.

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