Lilies are some of the loveliest flowers to grace a garden. Their vibrant beauty and bright blooms stop you in your tracks. Regal lily (Lilium regale) is no exception. Appreciated for its intense fragrance, regal lily blooms in late summer on arching or upright stems blanketed with glossy grayish-green leaves. Its large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers bloom in clusters of up to 25 at a time. Violet streaks on the backs of petals and golden throats inside add even more flair to these royal beauties.
Common name: Regal lily
Botanical name: Lilium regale
Plant type: Bulb
Zones: 4 to 7
Height: 2 to 6 feet
• Sun: Full sun to part shade
• Soil: Fertile, well-drained, amended with compost
• Moisture: Medium
• Mulch: Mulch to preserve moisture in the soil and prevent weeds.
• Pruning: None needed.
• Fertilizer: None needed.
• By seed or division of bulblets
Pests and diseases
• No major insect or disease problems, although aphids, viruses, or fungal diseases may occur.
• Rodents might eat the bulbs, and deer and rabbits like to munch on buds, leaves, and flowers.
• Regal lily looks great in large containers. Provide sturdy stakes and combine with medium-height annuals that will help support the tall, slender lily stem.
• Group regal lily in masses as part of a perennial border.
• Plant difference species of lilies in the same bed, so you’ll have nonstop blooms all season.
• Plant perennials near L. regale to provide continued color after the lily flowers.
• Add mulch in the fall to prevent heaving from early winter thaws.
All in the family
• The lily family (Liliaceae) is thought to have evolved about 58 million years ago.
• Plants in the lily family have linear leaves and flowers arranged in threes.
• Many species of lily are poisonous to animals and can make household pets sick.
Where to buy
• Annie’s Annuals & Perennials, Richmond, CA, 800-819-5913, www.anniesannuals.com
• Forestfarm, Williams, OR, 541-846-7269, www.forestfarm.com
• Old House Gardens, Ann Arbor, MI, 734-995-1486, www.oldhousegardens.com
(Text by Elyse Lucas, photo courtesy of Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the Missouri Botanical Garden)