Lilies in the Klapwijk gardens


Rather than just lump all the various species and cultivars all on one page, we have broken them into broad categories, which you navigate from the dropdown menu above.

Lilies are loved by gardeners everywhere. These big, bright, and dependable flowers have an elegance that's unsurpassed. If you plant several different varieties, like we have, you can have blooms all summer long.

Sometimes gardeners will tell us enthusiastically that they grow lilies . . . "Lemon Lilies" and "Tawny Lilies" (Hemerocallis) and "Calla Lilies" (Zantedeschia). Or they will appear at a lily show with a handsome exhibit of "Magic Lily" (Lycoris) or "Torch Lily" (Kniphofia). These are all beautiful flowers, and it is not surprising that they are considered to be lilies. But true lilies, or to be technical, members of the genus Lilium have special characteristics that differentiate them from other "Lily" plants. The bulb is usually the most distinguishing characteristic. It is composed of fleshy scales without a protective outer coating called a "tunic". A true lily is never dormant . . . it must be considered and treated as a living perennial plant. Lily bulbs may be kept in cool storage for a few months, but special care must be taken to keep them fresh and moist.

Types of Lilies

Many gardeners don't realize that there are several different types of lilies, and each blooms at a different time during the summer. By planting a few bulbs of each kind, you can have lilies in bloom literally all summer long, usually starting (at least out here in B.C.) by the end of the 3rd week of May. In our garden the first ones start in earnest by early June and in 2003 for instance we still had some late blooms in October, believe it or not. Mind you, that was only because we planted a few bulbs rather late, like around May.

Over the years breeders everywhere, but particularly in Holland, have been doing some fascinating work with hybridizing lilies. The variety available today is staggering. One site on the internet for instance lists in excess of 560 different varieties of Oriental Hybrids alone!!

There is a minor nuisance point to a blooming lily: the pollen may cause stains on fabrics. This can be prevented by letting the pollen dry first before brushing it off. Instead of brushing, the pollen can be removed by using adhesive tape. Any remaining spots will disappear over time through sunlight. Important: never use water on pollen.

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