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Beautiful Organic Lilies!

IMG_0568.JPGAhh lilies! By far my favorite of all the flowers we grow! I suppose it is because of this love, that lilies have become a signature crop of California Organic Flowers. Lilies are bold, bright, fragrant (oriental lilies) and continue to bloom in the vase. The first difference you will notice about our lilies are the number of buds. Most store or florist lilies only have 2-4 buds mostly because they use small bulbs which are cheaper and because it is easier to ship and pack lilies with fewer buds. At California Organic Flowers, we choose the largest bulbs with the most buds to ensure that your lilies bloom and continue to bloom for as long as two weeks. We also truly believe that organically grown lilies are bigger, brighter and more vibrant than there chemically raised cousins. Sometimes for wedding work, we have to buy lilies from other growers and are generally appalled at their skimpy little buds and sickly green foliage. Proof once again that like people, flowers look their best when grown outside, and given a healthy diet and lots of love!

There are three main types of lilies, Asiatic lilies and Oriental lilies and Trumpet lilies. Asiatic lilies come in a rainbow of colors, yellow, red, orange, white, pink and salmon colors and are not fragrant. Asiatics tend to have smaller blooms than Orientals and have more buds. Orientals are large fragrant lilies that come only in pinks and whites. One of the most popular Oriental lilies is the Stargazer lily, which is a stunning crimson blushing to white. Trumpet lilies are mainly used as white Easter lilies and have a wonderful sweet fragrance and tend to be, well, trumpet shaped. There are literally hundreds of varieties with in each of these main categories so I won’t try to list them all, but some of my favorite Asiatics are: Elite (orange), Blackout (deep red) and Nello (tequila sunrise orange). In Orientals, I love red merostar which is a stargazer type with reflexed petals; I also love a deep magenta variety called Sumatra.

Now to confuse things a little, I am going to introduce you to two more types of lilies which are hybrids of Asiatics, Orientals and Trumpets. A Hybrid is basically when two or more plant varieties are reproductively crossed to highlight the positive attributes of each. Think of your favorite two bands and put them on stage together and you have a hybrid!

My favorite Hybrid is the OT or Orientapet. By hybridizing Orientals and Trumpets, the result is huge blooms and an unbelievably wonderful fragrance. I grow one variety called Conca d’ Or that has seven inch blooms! When I bring these to the farmers market, they shock and awe folks from miles away and sell out every time. Another benefit from OT Hybrids is they are available in more colors than Oriental lilies, including yellow, soft orange and bicolor red and yellows. The last variety of lily is the LA hybrids which are a cross between Asiatics and Trumpets (also know as long folium, hence the L in LA). Unfortunately, LA hybrids do not inherit the fragrance from the Trumpet side of the cross, but they are a nice large flower available in many colors and similar in many aspects to Asiatic lilies. t">www.californiaorganicflowers.com


Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2007 at 11:05AM by Registered Commenter[Your Name Here] in | Comments4 Comments | References6 References

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Reader Comments (4)

I just read an article in a newsletter from www.vegetablegardener.com that uses a recipe with the lily petals as a part of crudités or instead of a cracker for dips. It never says anything about the variety or organic. I know the organic part however, anyone have tips on eating lilies?
Thanks in advance
I live in San Diego ca

April 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBridget

Certainly your post tempted me to add lilies to my graden. They're so beautiful. Can you tell me how to take care of them?

May 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHelmi

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I just enjoy the Organic Flowers in my garden... they are so gorgeous! By the way... I've read the same article in that website but it wasn't better than this one and I think you are right, there are "literally hundreds" of varieties and I will be able to see all of them through this blog.

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June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSan Aradi

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