November 22, 2010
Oriental Lilies From Late July
These pictures of Oriental lilies are from late July of this year. Lilies are a nice way to perk up the garden after the big burst of blooms in June. They are one of a very few things blooming in my garden by midsummer.
The first four photos are of 'Stargazer', which is the most famous Oriental lily. I posted about lilies last year (here), but these photos are better. In this photo you can also see white Physostegia 'Miss Manners', otherwise known as obedient plant.
Unlike many types of lilies with downward-facing flowers, all of the lilies in this post face out or upward. They grow 2-4 feet tall, bloom for a few weeks in midsummer, are hardy in zones 4-10, and gradually increase in number.
Maybe the coolest trait of lilies is that they have contractile roots. This means that the roots can pull the bulb down to the correct depth.
Here is a shot of 'Casa Blanca', the classic white Oriental lily. Oriental lilies are known for their strong fragrance. I love to catch a whiff of it outside, but inside it's too strong for me.
These last two photos show 'Brasilia'. You can see the interesting variation in color between the different flowers. All of these plants were added a few years ago, and they're still going strong.
Perhaps the only con of lilies is the mess their anthers make if you brush up against them. I have been unable to remove their stains in a few shirts. But if you're careful to avoid that problem, then lilies are pure joy for the midsummer garden.