Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, September 2018
   Lilium lijiangense - by David Ledsham

Iíve discovered that this Lily is endemic to Yunnan Province in China but more specifically to a small area around Lijiang City (where Joseph Rock lived for many years), hence the name. It was described as recently as 1984. It usually grows at about 3000 metres above sea level either in open ground or in the semi-shade of woodland margins. 

It is an altogether distinctive and imposing species to grace the garden in the earlier part of the summer, and every time it appears I think of Margaret and Henry Taylor. This intrepid couple gave a talk on Asiatic Lilies for the Ulster Group way back in November 2012.The talk included valuable advice on how  grow them, and when it had finished they handed out packets of Lily seed.

I can never resist free seed. The Taylors later published an article in the 2013 Newsletter that made clear the differences between epigeal and hypogeal germination in Lilies which is essential information for anyone who wants to  grow them (If you would like to learn more on the subject you can find the 2013 Newsletter (12) online at A.G.S. Ulster Group website) ... Anyway, nothing ventured nothing gained, I tried their germination advice ... and it worked! 

I now have three beautiful young plants, but perhaps equally valuable is the memory of that particular Saturday afternoon, two inspirational people, and their unerring generosity.

ref.    A.G.S (Ulster Group) Newsletter No.12  (2013)

          www.pacificbulbsociety.org    Lilium Asiatic Section L-O.