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Lilium candidum (IXb/a)

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Bulb

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Fragrance

Flower

Resilience

Hardiness

H5 (hardy - cold winter)

Colour

Flower

White in Summer

Foliage

Dark Green in Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

Madonna lily

Family

Liliaceae


Lilium are bulbous perennials with erect stems bearing whorled or spirally arranged leaves and terminal racemes or umbels of bowl-shaped, trumpet-shaped, funnel-shaped or turk's cap shaped flowers, often fragrant, and white, yellow, orange or red

L. candidum is a perennial with stems to 1.8m in height, with glossy dark green, scattered leaves. Fragrant, trumpet-shaped pure white flowers 6-8cm in length are carried in terminal racemes of up to 20 in summer

Other common names

  • Annunciation lily
  • Ascension lily
  • Bourbon lily
  • French lily
  • Juno's rose
  • St Joseph's lily
  • white lily

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil enriched with leaf mould or well-rotted organic matter. Tolerant of drier soil but must be planted very close to the soil surface

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sown, when ripe, in containers in a cold frame or separate offsets after the foliage dies down

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Cut Flowers or Gravel Garden


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Can get lily beetle, aphids and slugs; plants in pots can get vine weevil

Diseases

grey moulds and a virus may cause problems. See lily diseases