Friday, 12 September 2014

Flower of the day: Lilium martagon

Lilium martagon (Martagon or Turk's cap lily) is a species of lily. It has a widespread native region extending from eastern France east through northern Asia to Mongolia and Korea (cold Temperatures). Several subspecies have been named. Horticulturally it is in Division IX (true species). It is stem-rooting, growing between 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) and 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) tall. The flower colour is typically a pink-purple, with dark spots, but is quite variable, extending from near white to near black. The flowers are scented. Numerous flowers are borne on each plant, and up to 50 can be found on vigorous plants. The green stems can be flushed with purple or red and the leaves are elliptic to inverse lanceolate, mostly in whorls, up to 16 centimetres (6.3 in) long and often lightly hairy underneath.

This plant and the white form 'Album' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

L. martagon was used in hybridising with L. hansonii at the end of the 19th century by Mrs RO Backhouse of Hereford, England.

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