Lilium henryi
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: Orange with maroon spotting
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy

Culture

Grow in average, medium moisture, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best sited in part shade. Prefers rich organic loams. Tolerates alkaline soil. Mulch around plants to keep root zones cool. Plant bulbs 6-8” 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. Stems will lean, and taller plants generally need staking or other support. This is a stem rooting species. Small bulbs that form at the base of the stems may be harvested for growing. After bloom, cut plants back only after leaves and stems turn yellow. Plants may self-seed in the garden.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lilium henryi, sometimes called Henry’s lily, is a Division IX species lily that is native to 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.

Genus name comes from the Latin name meaning lily.

Specific epithet honors Augustine Henry (1857-1930), Irish plant explorer, who found and collected this species at Ichang Gorge in central China in 1888.

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

Garden Uses

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.