Lilium auratum
Common Name: golden-rayed lily
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White with gold striped tepals
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant

Culture

Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers rich, organic loam. Best sited with the upper parts of the plant in full sun and the roots in shade. Mulch around plants to keep root zone cool. Plant bulbs 4-6” deep in fall. Potted plants may be planted any time from spring to fall. Bulbs need good moisture year-round. Do not allow soil to dry out. Remove flowers as they fade to prevent seed from setting. After bloom, cut plants back only after leaves and stems turn yellow.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lilium auratum, commonly called golden-rayed lily or goldband lily, is a Division IX species lily that is native to Japan. It typically grows from 2 to 5 feet tall and features a mid to late summer bloom of 6-tepaled, sweetly fragrant, bowl-shaped flowers (to 6-10” across) with white recurved tepals that are often speckled. Each tepal has a central gold stripe. Flowers appear atop stiff, unbranched stems clothed with lance-shaped deep green leaves (to 9” long). Each plant may produce from 6 to 30 flowers.

Genus name comes from the Latin name meaning lily.

Specific epithet means ornamented with gold.

Problems

For the average gardener, this lily is easy to grow. It is generally pest free, but potential diseases include: (1) lily mosaic virus (prompt control of aphids which vector the disease is highly recommended, since there is no cure once infection occurs), (2) bulb rot (particularly in wet, poorly-drained soils); and (3) Botrytis. Taller plants may need staking if grown in too much shade (stems weaken) or in locations exposed to strong winds. May be short-lived.

Garden Uses

Showy flowers for borders, cottage gardens or cutting gardens. Also may be grown in pots or containers, but plants and flowers will be somewhat smaller.