Lilium (African Queen Group)

Common Name: trumpet lily 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Yellow orange with apricot-brown reverses
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


Most hybrid lilies are easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. They prefer rich, organic soils and are often best sited with the upper parts of the plant in full sun and the roots in shade. Mulch around plants to keep root zones 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.

Although stems are strong, staking for this tall lily is advisable.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lilium is a genus of about 100 species of bulbous plants from Europe, North America and Asia south to the Philippines. Many hybrids have been bred. To see a listing of the Divisions see Lilium - group.

Genus name comes from the Latin name meaning lily.

Lilies sold in commerce today as ‘African Queen’ are Division 6a trumpet/Aurelian hybrid lilies that typically grow 4-6’ tall, but sometimes taller once well-established. Primarily because of considerable variation in flower color, the preferred designation for plants now sold under the name of ‘African Queen’ is African Queen Group. These are large, fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers (6-8” long) in varying shades of apricot-orange to yellow on the inside and usually with darker coppery-purple on the petal reverses. They bloom in summer. Flowers appear in large racemes atop thick, rigid, leafy stems. Long-lasting fresh cut flower.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to : (1) lily mosaic virus (prompt control of aphid populations which vector the disease is recommended since there is no cure once infection occurs), (2) bulb rot (avoid wet, poorly-drained soils), and (3) botrytis. Tall cultivars may need staking.

Garden Uses

Excellent showy flower for the summer border. Group near a patio and enjoy the fragrance on a summer evening.