September 9, 2009

Mugshots: 5 Oriental Lilies in Pink & White

The Oriental lilies in my backyard were gorgeous this year. Above is pictured 'Brasilia', which was purchased from Costco on a whim this spring.

The color of this lily varied greatly with fluctuations of temperature. Cooler days brought out deeper pink shades.

We brought a whole stalk inside after my son stepped on it and broke it off at the base (he felt really badly about it). We probably won't see flowers from that bulb next year, but hopefully it won't die completely. The bloom above was especially vivid and very different than some of the mostly white flowers on the same stalk.

I also cut several blooms of classic 'Casa Blanca', shown above, to bring inside. Although I love the spicy-sweet fragrance of lilies outside, it was almost overpowering in the house. I kept wishing they would finally wilt and die so I could throw them away and escape the smell! Next year I'll just enjoy them outside.

The bargain bag from Costco (18 bulbs for $13.99) also included 9 of 'Wilke Alberti', with a nice soft pink bloom. Most of these poor lilies were camouflaged by the giant cosmos foliage this year; next year I'll have to leave them more room.

This double-flowered pink lily came home from Lowe's already in bloom. I can't find the tag; perhaps it was 'Farolito'. All of these pinks are on the cool side.

Here is another shot of the mystery Lowe's pink lily. Oriental lilies don't have a very long bloom period, but it comes in the middle of summer when the iris and peonies are done and my english roses and delphiums are taking a break, so the garden welcomes some flowers. The stalks don't take up much room. It's easy to tuck a few into the garden here and there for a nice July surprise.

I'll finish with this picture of the most famous oriental lily, 'Stargazer'. These bulbs were purchased (from WalMart, of all places) two years ago, and this year baby plants came up all around the large ones. When transplanting some of them last fall, I noticed tiny bulbils along the stems. I didn't bother removing them to plant separately, but they seem to be taking care of reproduction all by themselves. No complaints from me, I'll be happy to have more of these elegant flowers.


  1. I work in a flower shop in Toronto, Canada, and we design a lot of weekly arrangements for reception areas. We cannot use these lilies as we get complaints about the smell. Too bad, they are gorgeous and so long lasting. It sounds like you have found some real bargins.

  2. Hi VW, you certainly did have a banner year for lilies! Babies around the base is wonderful too. You got some bargains from Costco, we don't have that store where I live, town too small. HA You asked if we have a long fall in your comment on my post. The answer is yes. I wish our spring were longer, it goes from winter straight to summer. But the summer drifts lazily into fall and hangs around there for a nice long while. Love it. :-)

  3. Hi VW ~~ I always love an addition to your "Mugshot" series. Your Oriental lily selections are beautiful. I find it interesting how the color varies on the 'Brasilia.' I've bought and had good luck with lily bulbs at Costco too. It wasn't until I grew them that I realized how easy they are. The scent proved too strong? I understand. Normally I enjoy it but if I have even a slight headache it becomes torturous.
    Congrats on the multiplying of your Stargazers. More is always better. You've got a nice colony growing.

  4. I am envious of your lilies! Casa Blanca is so dastardly when you look inside near the base of the stamen....all those 'teeth' ---so pretty until you see the sharp points! I love the fragrance of them when they are in the house...big 'wow' factor! (Voles like them, mine are gone)

  5. You have a beautiful post. I adore lilies. I dug some this year and moved them about. I dont think I can have too many. I brought a stem inside this year too. It had broken off..the lily was about 6 feet tall. Sometimes you can get some of the best bulbs in unlikely places.

  6. Love the lilies VW! They are lovely...all that delicious pink! I've had good luck with Costco bulbs, too, and the price was great! They aren't in yet or I would have taken a bag or two home today! The pinks are sweet...I added a few orienpets to my collection; they have the oriental lily fragrance and came in warmer colors. gail

  7. Hi VW, re your son's misstep: long ago I decided I must be philosophical about this sort of thing otherwise I would have a nervous breakdown. So I re-imagined such things as unplanned spontaneous pruning. It's one reason why we need a lot of plants in the garden, to make up for the juvenile doings.
    Another thought: those lilies, beautiful as they are, when inside, drop their orange pollen which is an effective dye. Specially on pale carpet. Lasts longer than the unplanned pruning result...
    Cheers, catmint

  8. I forgot to ask: how are the allergies?

  9. VW ... these were BEAUTIFUL !
    I have Casa Blanca and Stargazer .. the only two oriental lilies in my garden .. aside from the gazillion day lilies ? LOL
    But they are stunning flowers aren't they ?
    I don't mind the smell of them .. but those beetles .. now that is a whole other dimension in UGH !!! LOL

  10. I love these lilies! I'm going to be looking at Costco next spring for them. I have some, but want to add some more pink ones next year, they are one of my favorite smelling flowers.

  11. simply beautifully captured shot....lovely garden & the flowers!

  12. Wow, what a fabulous display. The fragrance of Oriental lilies certainly trigger one of those love/hate divides. I always loved it, though after our mum's funeral 22 years ago (many, many flower arrangements...) it developed a different connotation for me. Still, I like to bring in a stem from my garden when they bloom to recall the good old days. My lilies are never as lush as yours, so there are not enough blooms to become oppressive.

  13. Wonderful to see all your lilies - I love them, but only in the garden - the scent when you walk past them outdoors is sublime - but in the house - they are too much for me.

    Lovely pictures.


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