Types of Lilies

Lilies are a trendy flower used widely for decoration purposes and soother fragrance. There are many different varieties of lilies found around the world. Lilies are perennial plants that are easy to grow and maintain.

With proper care, you get a full, vibrant, blooming flower that makes your garden look good. But if you are wondering the types of lilies you can plant, then here is a helpful resource for you. 

Let’s get started. 

How Many Types Of Lilies Are There

Lilies are a beautiful flower. It has more than 90 types of different species and belongs to a genus Lilium.

The lilies are classified into 9 different divisions. Here are the different types of lilies and their pictures. 

Division 1: Asiatic Hybrid Lilies

Asiatic Hybrid Lilies
Types of Asiatic Lilies

The Asiatic lilies are native to Central and East Asia and produce flowers that come in various textures and varieties. The flowers are unscented and are early bloomers at the start of the spring from May to July. It likes to grow in well-drained soil with lots of full sun to partial sunlight.

Asiatic lilies bloom 3 to 6 flowers per stem and have bright color petals. The flowers are usually smaller than other species of plants and come in a shade of orange, yellow, red, and white. The flowers last long, even after cut flowers and placed for decoration purposes.

The Asiatic lilies have strong and straight stems that don’t need much care and staking. It grows, on average, 3 to 4 feet tall with flowers that face in different directions. The flowers of Asiatic lilies are primarily unscented. So, if you are allergic to scent, then you can plant it without any worry of smell.

The animals such as deer and rabbits like the smooth and soft foliage of Asiatic hybrid lilies. So, create some barrier in your garden to keep these animals away and prevent them from ruining your yard.

Some of the popular types of Asiatic lilies are Sunray, Dreamland, Symphony, Orange Pixie, and Impala. 

Division 2: Martagon Hybrid Lilies

Martagon Hybrid Lilies
Martagaon Hybrid Lily

Martagon Hybrid Lilies are native to Europe and bloom early summer with several small, down-facing flowers. It's a combination of Martagon, Hansonii, and Medeoloides lilies. You can get up to 50 different color flowers in each lily stem.

Based on the species, you can get flower colors from white, pink, yellow, red, and light orange. These flowers have very distinct spots and freckles that make it quite attractive.

These curled petals of Martagon Hybrid Lilies have a mild scent and resemble like a Turk’s Cap. The Martagon lilies are early bloomers and take some time to get established and produce flowers. It likes to grow in a cool shady area and don’t like much hot or humid climate.

The Turks cap lily variety of Martagon can be grown in a hardiness zone of 2 through 10 but need some cold temperature while growing. 

Division 3: Candidum Hybrid Lilies

Candidum Hybrid Lilies
Candidum Hybrid Lilies

This is one of the most common varieties of lily found in most gardens and nurseries. It’s an ancient species of plant that dates back to 4,000 years.

Several paintings found in the ruins of ancient cities of Greece and Iraq show the popularity of this flower since the dawn of civilization.

The Candidum Hybrid Lilies are native to the eastern Mediterranean and Europe. It includes species like Madonna Lily, Lilium Chalcedonicum, Pyrenean, and June Fragrance.

The most popular flower in this lily family is “Madonna Lily,” which has a fragrant white flower with green foliage and yellow base. It can produce up to 20 flowers per stem, creating a beautiful flower garden with very few plants.

These lilies bloom from late spring to early summer. It grows up to 1 m tall and produces bulbs that are 16 cm to 18 cm wide. 

Division 4: American Hybrid Lilly

American Hybrid Lilies
American Hybrid Lilly

The American Hybrid Lilies are natives of North America. The most well-known species of American Hybrid Lilies are Tiger Lily, Panther lily, and Canada Lily varieties. These flowers have a unique pattern spot that gives it a distinct appearance.

These lilies like to grow in a warm and humid climate and bloom in late spring. In a milder weather growing condition, the blooming happens from late June to early August. These are very hardy and highly fragrant flowers that attract butterflies and bees into the garden.

The plant grows up to 1-meter high that makes it perfect for planting at the back of a garden border where it acts as a focal point. The distinct shape and texture of plants also make an excellent cut flower that you can place indoor. 

Division 5: Longiflorum Hybrid Lilies

Longiflorum Hybrid Lilies
Longiflorum Hybrid Lilies

The Longiflorum lilies are most commonly known as Easter lilies that have very high fragrance. It has a trumpet-shaped flower that is native to Japan and Taiwan. It blooms from midsummer and has a pure white color that’s ideal for Easter decorations.

These can be grown quickly from the seed, but these are not very hardy plants. They grow up to 5 to 8 inches long and usually bloom in July to August. These can be grown quickly in a potted container and can be forced to bloom early during Easter time.

You can also move it for the outdoor planting but need little more care to do so. Wait till all the blooming has finished, and flower has withered. You can plant it in a sunny, well-drained spot in your garden. It likes soil pH levels in the range of 5.5 to 6.5, and if required, you can amend the soil with organic compost.

The most notable varieties of Longiflorum Lilies are Nellie White, Deliana, Elegant lady, and Trimphator. These are excellent types of outdoor lilies. 

Division 6: Trumpet And Aurelian Hybrid Lilies

Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrid Lilies
Trumpet And Aurelian Hybrid Lilies

Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrid lilies produce long 6 to 10 inches trumpet-shaped flowers with a strong aromatic smell. These trumpet-shaped flowers bloom in a bunch, and each stalk can produce around 12 to 15 flowers. 

The Aurelian Hybrids are produced by crossing Trumpet Lily with Henry’s Lily that gives it a very distinct and beautiful appearance. Some varieties of trumpets generate fragrance at night, which allows you to sleep comfortably in a light aromatic natural scent. 

These are easy to grow and blooms from June to August in a warmer climate with full to partial sun. These are not very cold tolerant, so if you want to grow it in more chilly weather, then you can grow it in a container. This allows you to move it indoors if the temperature drops too low and then move it outside when it becomes a bit warm.

The stalk grows quite tall from 4 to 6 feet but has a moderately weak stem. You may have to provide some support to keep it straight. You can grow these lilies from the bulb that you can buy it from your local garden store or plant it from seed.

Some of the most popular Trumpet Lily and Aurelian Hybrid lilies are Black Magic, Black Dragon, African Queen, Royal Gold, and Pink Perfection. 

Division 7: Oriental Hybrid Lilies

Oriental Hybrid Lilies
Oriental Hybrid Lilies

The Oriental Hybrid Lilies are the second most popular Lilly species after Asiatic lilies. This is due to its very distinct and unique floral pattern, and it blooms 6 to 8 inches large. The Oriental Hybrid Lilies have large upright facing flowers with curved and slightly twisted petals.

It's created by crossing other hybrid lily species such as L. Auratum, L. Japonicum, and L. Rubella. The flowers come in different shapes and colors and are very fragrant. The Star Gazer is one of the most popular flowers of this species that you may have seen commonly used for decorative purposes.

It has a very long blooming shelf life that makes it perfect to use for decorations and is a favorite of florists. Oriental lilies have a short bloom time of 2 to 3 weeks and start blooming when the weather gets warmer. In most places, it blooms from mid-July to the start of August.

You can plant and mix other varieties of oriental lilies in containers and place them on patio pots or plant them at the border of your gardens. To make it grow quickly, plant it in a well-drained soil where they get plenty of sunlight. These are quite delicate, so you have to prevent it from winds.

Some of the notable oriental lilies are Star Gazer, Emily, Little Girl, Mona Lisa, and Casa Blanca. 

Division 8: Interdivisional Hybrid Lilies

Interdivisional Hybrid Lilies
Interdivisional Hybrid Lilies

Interdivisional Hybrid Lilies are grown after crossing with two different species of lilies. For example, LA Hybrid lilies are grown by crossing Lilium Longiflorum (Easter Lily) and Asiatic lilies. You get the best combination of both worlds as you get the large flower size of Easter lilies and the fragrance of Asiatic lilies.

Moreover, if you don't want stronger fragrance lilies, then you can choose milder fragrance lilies. The other famous Interdivisional Hybrid Lilly is Orienpet Hybrid Lilies or OT Hybrids.

This hybrid lily is grown by crossing Oriental lilies with Trumpet or Aurelian Lilies. This combination produces the beautiful blooming flower of oriental lilies with the sturdiness, heat tolerance, and vivid color of Trumpet and Aurelian hybrids.

These plants are also disease and pest resistant that makes it easy to care. You can plant it in a well-drained soil where it gets a lot of sunlight. 

Division 9: True Species And Wild Lilies

Wild Lilies
Wild Lilies

This is a catch-all special of lilies and includes lilies that are naturally and wildly found in Asia, Europe, and North America. There are about 445 species of Lilium species that exist today.

These are smaller and contain the original gene of the plant. Since there is no modification, the flowers are usually small and lack some of the brightness and blooming texture of hybrid lilies.

These are also very sensitive to the weather and the soil condition that makes it difficult to grow beyond its native natural environment. You can use the true species of lilies for the cross-matching purpose and create your own set of hybrid lilies. But it does require you to have some more advanced knowledge of plant propagation and matchings.

It grows quickly in the native environment, but if you want to grow it in the garden or in a non-native habitat, then it becomes challenging. 

Which Types Of Lilies Have A Strong Smell?

Not all varieties of lilies have fragrance. But there are several types of hybrid lilies that have a wide range of fragrance. Cultivators have hybridized and interbred several different species of lilies that produce dazzling colors and fragrant.
Here are the lilies and their fragrance level: 

  • Division 1: Asiatic lilies: No fragrance
  • Division 2: Martagon Hybrids: Light Smell
  • Division 3 to 8: Slight to highly fragrant

The following types of lilies have a strong smell:

  • Madonna Lilly
  • Easter Lilly
  • African Queen
  • Copper King
  • Bright Star
  • Golden Splendor
  • Scheherazade
  • Leslie Woodruff
  • Starburst Sensation

What types of lilies do pregnant women need to stay away from?

Every woman responds to pregnancy differently. Lilies are usually non-toxic and do not directly impact the health of pregnant women. But during pregnancy, due to hormonal changes, the women’s body becomes more sensitive to the smell.

This usually becomes uncomfortable when smelling for any kind of fragrance for a long time. So strongly scented lilies such as Easter lilies, Starburst Sensation Lilies, and African queen lilies that are highly scented should be avoided by pregnant women.

This does not mean that you can’t grow lily in a garden, as Asiatic lilies are non-scented and bloom beautiful flowers that can be grown indoors in a container or outdoor.

However, be aware that some lilies outside the Lilium genus may become poisonous to humans. These are calla lily, peace lily, lily of the valley, and belladonna lily. So, if you are pregnant or anyone else in your house is pregnant, then avoid planting these species. 

What Types Of Lilies Are Toxic To Cats?

Lilies belonging to Lilium Genus such as True lilies and Hemerocallis species are toxic to cats and pets. For example, plants such as Asiatic lilies, Easter, Rubrum, Stargazer, and Daylilies, when eaten by pets, may cause them to get sick.

In some cases, even small ingestion of 1 to 2 petals or leave may cause pet poisoning. Other parts of lilies, such as its pollen or water from the vase, may result in kidney failure in cats. If you have a cat, then we recommend that you don’t plant lilies indoor.

The common symptoms in the cat with lily poisoning include symptoms such as depression, lethargy, vomit, and diarrhea. You should bring your cat to a veterinarian for medical help to properly treat the cat.

Dogs and other pets are usually not as much affected by the true lilies. 

Difference Between Asiatic Vs. Oriental Lily

Asiatic and Oriental lilies are the two most popular species among gardeners. This is due to the natural growing and low care required for these lilies. The appearance of Asiatic lilies and Oriental lilies looks the same.

The Asiatic lilies are native to Asia and have long glossy leaves. The beautiful exotic color flowers and large blooms make it ideal for growing both indoor or outdoor. The hybrid Asiatic lilies have a wide range of colors from pinks, orange, red, white, and yellow.

The flowers of Asiatic lilies are unscented, and it may face up, down, or outwards. It usually blooms in June or Lilly and can be grown outdoors or in a container. You can grow in most soil types as long it’s not over-saturated with water, and it drains well.

The Asiatic lilies grow from 2 to 5 feet in height and come in different varieties such as Golden Pixie, Alpenglow, and Shirley.

The Oriental lilies are taller than Asiatic lilies and grow up to 6 feet tall. These have huge flashy flowers that come in different colors, such as white, pink, crimson, and red. It has more darker spots or refined edges of contrasting colors and produces a strong smell.

To grow oriental lilies, you need a fertile, acidic, well-drained soil with protection from the intense sun and wind. These are a bit more challenging to grow, but once taken root, it gets easier to maintain.

You can plant Asiatic and Oriental lilies to match the longer blooming period. The Oriental flowers bloom after the Asiatic lilies have finished flowering.

Oriental lilies come in a wide range of spots, stripes, and freckles that look very attractive in any garden. Some of the popular oriental lilies include Casablanca, Souvenir, Starlight Express, Dizzy, and Entertainer. 

Conclusion

There are so many different varieties and types of lilies available today. The option to have a wide range of shapes, sizes, colors, and fragrance of lilies makes gardening much more exciting and beautiful. 

I hope you got some valuable information regarding lilies as they are a lovely fit for every garden.

Types of Lily

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About the author

Hi, I'm Sunny Kay, an avid gardener, home decorator and outdoor enthusiast. I help busy people get into gardening, create natural and good looking home decorations, and suggest outdoor activities and tools to explore the nature. Click Here to get started with my recommended gears.

Sunny Kay

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