The royal hybrid lily or Lilium regale became the ancestor of the tubular lily and Orleans lily and was widely cultivated until recently in many countries of the world. This decorative flower combines grace and grandeur. The name of the royal lily was given by the American botanist Ernst Wilson back in 1903. For many gardeners, this species is better known under the names of royal lily or Tibetan lily. The homeland of this hybrid form is considered to be the valley of the Min-Jian River.
Lily as a symbol
The image of a lily was significant in different historical, world and national cultures. The symbol of Lilium regale can be found in Egyptian hieroglyphs, Persian cryptography, decor of antique dishes, on coins and jewelry. In songs, legends, tales, rites and beliefs, a lily flower is also often present.
The symbolism of the Bohemian and Polish gentry, as well as some states, includes the image of Lilium regale, which was the decoration of coats of arms, flags, standards, and military awards. In Christian traditions, white lily flowers are associated with the image of the Holy Virgin Mary, so Lilium regale was almost everywhere grown on the territory of monasteries. Today, this flower decorates personal plots and floral arrangements.
Lilium regale hybrid lily was introduced into the culture more than a hundred years ago, when Wilson sent about seven thousand plant bulbs to Massachusetts to decorate the famous Arnold Arboretum garden.
The stalk-root ornamental plant has a round-conical white-pink bulb, a feature of which is a quick darkening under the influence of air with the acquisition of a very characteristic purple color. The diameter of a standard bulb does not exceed 13-15 cm with a height of 12-14 cm. There are perennial sub-bulbous roots. The height of a very durable, with a matte surface, dark green peduncle can vary from one to two meters. Inflorescences of the racemose type, with sufficient density, include about 15-30 flowers.
The flowering of Lilium regale is plentiful and very attractive, in the middle of summer. The duration of flowering does not exceed three weeks, most often only ten days. The diameter of the white fragrant flowers in open form is 12-14 cm. The outer part of the petals has a pink-purple color. The inside is white. Anthers have a creamy yellow tint.
Lilium regale can be planted in open flower gardens in the fall, and at the beginning of the growing season in early spring. To obtain earlier and abundant flowering, one should give preference to planting lilies in the autumn period, which allows the bulbs to take root well before the onset of severe frosts.
The site for planting and growing royal lilies should be prepared in advance:
- the flower bed should be well-drained, easily pass water during irrigation and not hold it around the root system of the ornamental culture;
- it is not recommended to use areas with too heavy soils for growing Lilium regale lilies;
- a few months before planting lily bulbs, it is recommended to add organic matter and mineral complexes to the soil;
- bulbs are planted with a depth of approximately 16-20 cm, but the size of the planting holes may vary depending on the size of the planting material;
- the standard average distance between the grown royal lilies should not be less than 10-12 cm, and large-flowered varieties are planted with a minimum distance of 16-19 cm from each other.
When planting Lilium regale lily bulbs, it is advisable to add fertile soil to the bottom of the planting hole. The same nutritious soil mixture should be used when backfilling planting material.
Seed growing involves sowing seeds in special planting containers, filled with nutritious soil in February or the first decade of March. Before the emergence of seedlings, it is required to provide plantings with a temperature of 18-20 ° C and regularly carry out irrigation activities.
Subject to the rules of the technology of sowing, as well as optimal microclimatic conditions, the first shoots of the lily appear in two to three weeks, after which it is necessary to reduce the temperature to 8-12 ° C. With the onset of sustained heat, seedlings are planted in a permanent place in the open ground, where standard care is provided for them.
Almost all garden lilies do not need intensive care, regardless of the growing season. Lilium regale is no exception in this regard. When cultivating it in home gardening, you need to know the following:
- nitrogen-containing fertilizers in the spring and phosphorus-potassium mineral complexes in the fall are used to feed the Lilium regale lily;
- the use of fresh manure and compost for feeding the royal lily often causes the defeat of the decorative culture of fungal diseases;
- in order to prevent the development of the most common diseases three times a year, the aerial part of the lily should be treated with a solution based on a Bordeaux mixture;
- a very good way to protect the bulbs of Lilium regale from overheating is to plant undersized decorative plants such as hosta, flax or garden bells around the lily;
- watering the lily should be quite rare, but plentiful in the evening, which will moisten the soil to a considerable depth;
- during the irrigation process, water should not be allowed to enter stalks, leaves and buds or flowers;
- stems of tall varieties of lily should be supported with special supports in order to avoid breaking;
- to obtain abundant flowering of Lilium regale, it is necessary to regularly remove all faded inflorescences on the plant, and when using flowers in floristry, sections must be oblique;
- every five years, the royal lily needs to be transplanted to a new place, and it is this moment that is most often used for vegetative propagation by young daughter bulbs, which are formed in abundance at the base of the plant stems in conditions of high agricultural technology.
How to transplant lilies
When growing a royal lily, it is important to take into account the fact that this culture needs to be covered with a foliage layer up to 8-10 cm for the winter period.Lilium regale grows very well between sparse shrub stands that help retain snow mass in winter, which helps protect the lily bulbs from freezing.