September 7, 2012
The Last Lily of Summer
Lilium speciosum var. rubrum is blooming for the first time in my garden right now. This is by far the last true lily to bloom, as the Asiatics bloomed in June and the Orientals followed in July.
It is very fragrant. I keep expecting it to smelly spicy like Oriental 'Stargazer' lilies, since the coloring reminds me of that cultivar, but the scent is sweeter than that. More like a bearded iris. Very yummy!
Although they can grow to 5 feet tall, mine are under 3 feet right now. The bulbs probably need a few years to reach full size, and this part of the garden needs more compost to help the plants along.
The blooms are so graceful. I used to dismiss the downward-facing lilies, but they're definitely growing on me.
I also have a few of the white version, Lilium speciosum var alba. The petals on this flower aren't as recurved as the others yet, but I expect they'll keep reaching backward. I'm very happy to have these new additions to the late summer garden.