Lilies are among the most recognizable of all summer garden flowers. Their large, bright flowers suit all types of gardens, whether classically designed, rustic, cottage-style or contemporary. While some folks might think lilies are too old-fashioned for today’s gardens, the truth is that there are dozens of modern hybrid varieties of lilies that offer color, elegance, fragrance, and a whole lot of style to today’s landscapes. Read on to discover 8 popular types of lilies, and see why these glorious blooms deserve a prominent place in every garden.
1. Asiatic lilies
Asiatic hybrids are bred from several different species of lilies. They have 3 to 6 flowers per stem, and the petals are often spotted. Asiatic lilies do not have a fragrance, and their flowers tend to be smaller than some other types of lilies. They come in many different colors, including shades of orange, red, yellow, and creamy white. Unfortunately, Asiatic lilies are a favorite of deer and rabbits. They have strong, straight stems that seldom need staking when planted in full sun. Asiatics make wonderful, long-lasting cut flowers.
2. Oriental lilies
Of all the types of lilies, Oriental lilies are among the most fragrant. The heady perfume produced by the flowers is particularly strong in the evening. Oriental lilies have broader leaves than some other varieties of lilies, and the foliage and flowers are deer and rabbit resistant. The anthers of Oriental lilies produce a lot of heavy pollen. If used as a cut flower, pull off the anthers as the bloom opens to keep the pollen from staining furniture.
Oriental lily flowers are as large as a dessert plate, and many buds are found on each stem. Oriental lilies come in various shades of pink and purplish red, in addition to white and creamy yellow. The petals of some varieties are spotted and recurving, while others are not. Among the latest flowering lilies, Orientals grow 2 to 5 feet tall.
3. Trumpet lilies
Also called Aurelian lilies, these hybrid lilies are best described as incredible. Prolific, trumpet-shaped, colorful flowers are long-lasting and highly fragrant. Their petals lack spots and the leaves are broad, though not as broad as the leaves of an Oriental lily. Some trumpet lily varieties have a dozen or more buds per stem, while others have only a few.
Trumpet lilies come in various shades of white, yellow, orange, cream, and pink, often with a star-shaped throat in a contrasting color. Trumpet lilies are tall and spectacular, bearing many fragrant flowers per stem.
4. Orienpet lilies
One of the best types of lilies for summer gardens, Orienpet lilies are a cross between Oriental hybrids and trumpet lilies. Their blooms have a shallow trumpet shape before they fully open into a broad bloom. The flowers are 6 to 10 inches across, and they come in shades of pink, yellow, red, orange, and white. The outward facing flowers are heavily scented, and the plants reach two to three feet in height. There are some truly stunning selections of these lilies. Orienpets make excellent cut flowers.
5. LA hybrid lilies
Derived from a genetic combination of Asiatic lilies and “Easter-type” lilies, LA hybrids are the showgirl cousin of plain Asiatic lilies. Their flowers are bigger, bolder, and sexier than the Asiatics. Plus, they come in a wider range of intense colors.
Like Asiatic lilies, LA hybrids have no fragrance. They make great cut flowers, and they’re in bloom for weeks, making LA hybrid lilies real garden standouts. Each bloom measures about 7 inches across and the plants grow up to four feet tall.
6. Turk’s Cap lilies
The recurved petals of Turk’s cap lilies are unmistakable. Like tiny butterflies dangling from the end of graceful flower stalks, Turk’s cap lilies are about as adorable as you can get. Also known as martagon lilies, each stem produces a dozen or more blooms. You’ll find these lilies in shades of orange, yellow, red, and pink. The stalks of many varieties grow quite tall; up to 6 feet! Some have spotted petals while others do not, and most varieties are quite fragrant.
7. Canada lilies
A North American native lily, the Canada lily sports orange or yellow, slightly recurved petals. The plants grow between 2 and 4 feet tall, with each stem producing whorls of 3 to 8 leaves at intervals along the length of the stem. Each stalk produces between 5 and 20 nodding blooms. More shade-tolerant than most other types of lilies, Canada lilies are a great addition to woodland gardens and moist meadows. Unfortunately, the deer and rabbits like this type of lily as much as gardeners do.
8. Longiflorium lilies
Also known as Easter lilies, Longiflorium lilies are sold almost exclusively as a holiday plant. Though there are several different cultivars of this lily, they all have a classic Easter lily appearance. The flowers are white and outward facing with a trumpet-like shape. Reaching 1 to 3 feet in height, Longiflorium lilies are forced to bloom out of season and in time for Easter by exposing the bulbs to very precise conditions to initiate a perfectly timed bloom.
The blooms are slightly fragrant. Surprisingly, Easter lilies are very hardy plants that survive winter temperatures as low as -20 degrees F. It takes a lot of energy away from the bulb to force them to bloom out of season, but if you want to give it a go, you can try growing Easter lilies in the garden. After enjoying their blooms indoors, plant the bulbs out into your garden as you would other types of lilies, and as long as they take to their new home, you’ll enjoy their flowers for many seasons.
I hope you enjoyed learning about our 8 favorite types of lilies and how to grow them. They’re a lovely fit for every garden. Share your views in the comments below.