Lilium henryi var. citrinum
Common Name: trumpet lily 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Native Range: Central China
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 4.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow with maroon flecks
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


Grow in average, evenly moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers part shade and rich, organic loams. Tolerates alkaline soil. Mulch around plants to keep root zones cool. Plant bulbs 6-8” deep in fall. Do not allow soil to dry out. Stems will lean, and taller plants generally need staking or other support. This species produces bulbils at the leaf nodes that can be harvested and used for propagation. After bloom, cut plants back only after leaves and stems turn yellow. May self-seed in the garden. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lilium henryi, sometimes called Henry’s lily, is a Division IX species lily that is native to mountain slopes in south-central China. It typically grows from 4 to 8 feet (infrequently to 10’) tall on slender green to purple stems clad with lance-shaped deep green leaves (to 6” long). Leaves just below the flower clusters are ovate and shorter. Nodding, unscented, maroon spotted, light orange flowers (to 2” wide) have deeply recurved tepals and prominent papillae. Anthers are dark orange. Flowers bloom in clusters (racemes) of 10-20 from mid to late summer. This species has been a parent in a number of important hybrid lilies.

Lilium henryi var. citrinum differs from the species in the color of the tepals which are yellow rather than orange.

Genus name comes from the Latin name meaning lily.

The specific epithet henryi honors Irish plant explorer Augustine Henry (1857-1930) who found and collected this species at Ichang Gorge in central China in 1888. The infraspecific epithet citrinum means "yellow-colored", in reference to the color of the tepals of this variety compared to the species.


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. Bulbs of this species have resistance to fungi and viruses.


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