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  • The genus Lilium are herbaceous flowering plants normally growing from bulbs, comprising a genus of about 110 species in the lily family, Liliaceae. Lilies are native to the northern temperate regions. They are commonly adapted to either woodland habitats, often montane, or sometimes to grassland habitats.
  • The majority of lilies are easy to grow, basic location being heads in the sun and feet in the shade. Good drainage is essential. With the exception of L. candidum, they should be planted twice as deep as the height of the bulb. L. candidum should be barely covered with soil and is best planted in late summer. The colors of pastel shades are best with a little shade so they do not lose their color in the sun.

Germination Types:

  • Lily species are divided into two main groups according to their germination type: epigeal and hypogeal. Epigeal seeds germinate usually immediately after sowing without showing any signs of dormancy. The cotyledon emerges from the seed at the same time as the radicle intrudes into the soil. The growth of the small seedling continues, and a small plant is formed without dormancy.
  • Hypogeal germination is usually controlled by dormancy which breaks only after the seed has been exposed to cold treatment. During germination, the radicle grows out of the seed but the cotyledon stays within the endosperm conducting reserve nutrients to the forming primary bulblet. Dormancy is often re-induced after the primary bulblet has formed, and another cold period is required for further development of the plant.


  • The inter-specific hybridization is an important tool in plant breeding. Inter-specific hybridization in the genus Lilium has been conduced to produce novel hybrids that can combine ornamental traits and resistance to virus and fungal diseases from distantly related species.
  • Upper leaf necrosis (ULN) on Lilium 'Star Gazer' is a calcium deficiency disorder. It has been shown that there are two primary mechanisms leading to ULN. The first is a very low bulb calcium content that cannot meet Ca demand when the upper leaves are expanding. The second is that young expanding leaves of Lilium 'Star Gazer' are highly overlapped before flower buds are visible.


  • Lilium growers in the Nilgiris have called for creating the right ambience for an assured market for their flowers. At one stage the main supply of lily bulbs was from Oregon in USA where a substantial trade had been built up in pot lily bulbs for the Easter Lily trade. There were also major growing areas in Japan.
  • In 1999 Netherlands exported 158 million dormant lily bulbs to USA worth $32 million. Other production areas for lily bulbs are Italy, Israel, South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and Mexico. Turnover of all lilies went up by 4% in 1999, but they still remain only 4th in the Dutch Auction cut flower rankings.

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