The lily displays at the Chelsea Flower Show
are some of the most colourful and stylish of all, and there are always good new plants on display. This year, H. W. Hyde & Son
will have two rather special new features.
Of particular interest, they have the first hybrid between two lovely species, Lilium longiflorum
and L. lankongense
. Lilium longiflorum
, the Easter Lily, (left in the picture, click to enlarge) grows wild on a number of Japanese islands. It’s the familiar and widely grown fragrant trumpet flowered white lily. Lilium lankongense
(right in the picture, click to enlarge) comes from Yunnan in China, and carries open heads of rosy red, turk’s-cap flowers which darken with age and which are generously spotted.
Richard Hyde says that this is the first hybrid between these two species that is available to gardeners. Until recently it was not possible to raise seedlings from a cross between these species, but using laboratory techniques it has now been accomplished. It was raised in Holland by Erwin Hoogendijk.
‘Lankon’ carries features from both parents and the shape of the flowers is intermediate. It is also nicely fragrant, easy to grow reaching about 4ft/1.2m and the flowers are carried on strong stems.
Accompanying this breakthrough hybrid will be a range of lilies developed by amateur breeders, including the vivid pink ‘Julie Fowlis’, named for the Scottish singer. This is a vigorous hybrid – an Oriental lily crossed with a Trumpet lily and the result crossed again with an Oriental lily. This results in large flowers, exceptional fragrance and enthusiastic vigour.
Visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show
can buy bulbs of both these lilies from the H. W. Hyde & Son
exhibit in the Great Pavilion (stand GPE12) if reservations are made in advance, by email to H. W. Hyde and Son
. If stocks last, they will also be available at other shows. For more details visit the H. W. Hyde & Son website