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Lily Glossary

The Martha Stewart Show, May 2010

Popular for their beautiful flowers and sweet fragrance, lilies are reliable perennials that add an elegant touch to gardens and arrangements. Floral designer Dorien van den Berg is a particular fan of lily hybrids, which she showcased during Lilytopia at Longwood Gardens in May.

Parent Lilies
These four well-known lily varieties are being hybridized to create several new lily looks.

Asiatic (Orange or Yellow)
With smaller, star-shaped flowers that usually face upward, the Asiatic lily has a broad color range: white, yellow, orange, pink, and red. A particularly tough plant, this variety has no fragrance and is the earliest lily to bloom in the garden.

Oriental (Pink)
Sometimes called the "queen of the lilies," the Oriental variety is known for its wonderful fragrance and color, ranging from white to pink, salmon to crimson. Its flower opens wide for a broad, flat effect.

Longiflorum (Pink or White)
Commonly known as the Easter Lily, the Longiflorum is a popular cut flower in Europe that is rarely seen in the United States. It has a long trumpet shape and heavy, exotic fragrance.

Trumpet
The large, waxy flowers of the Trumpet lily are always side-facing and range in color from pure white to golden, yellow, pink, plum, or apricot. Trumpet lilies can grow up to 8 feet tall and flower mid to late in the season.

Hybrid Lilies
These stunning new hybrids from Holland contain a mix of features from the four parent lilies.

Lilium Amarossi

A cross between Oriental and Trumpet lilies, the Amarossi has a rich pink coloring with a green throat.

Lilium Cocossa

With a mix of waxy, white petals highlighted with the sunburst effect of light yellow, the Cocossa takes its flower shape from the Oriental and overall vigor from the Trumpet lily.

Lilium Emani

The Emani lily, a cross between Longiflorum and Asiatic varieties, is still so new it is in the process of being tested.

Lilium Eremo

Eremo lilies get their large flowers and long buds from the Longiflorum; Asiatic lilies contribute their bright-orange color to the hybrid.

Lilium Gluhwein

Introduced as a cut flower in 2007, the Gluhwein lily has soft, romantic coloring, mixing shades of golden apricot with reddish tones. Its petals are deeply reflexed and reminiscent of tulips.

Lilium Gold City

Gold City lilies, named for their yellow flowers, are a cross between Oriental and Trumpet lilies.

Lilium Nymph

With a sweet and appealing fragrance, the Nymph lily has long, upward-facing buds that are bronze colored with a hint of deep rose.

Lilium Orfeo

A mixture of Oriental and Asiatic lilies, the Orfeo has intense coloring and early summer bloom time.

Lilium Table Dance

A fourth-generation hybrid, the Table Dance lily results from a crossing of the Oriental and Oriental/Trumpet varieties and is known for its deep-pink pigment, beautiful flower buds, high flower count per stem, and dark-green leaves.