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subdivision of hybrids

There are several thousand registered and named lily hybrids and every year many new
Hybrids are classified into 8 groups formed with regard to their ancestry, geographic origin and flower shape.

These 8 groups are:
I        Asiatic hybrids
II       Martagon hybrids
III      Candidum hybrids
IV     American hybrids
V      Longiflorum hybrids
VI     Trumpet (and Aurelian) hybrids
VII    Oriental hybrids
VIII   Hybrids of different lineage that can not fit into other groups.
IX     Species

The easiest hybrids are found in groups I and II, but also hybrids derived from Group VI and VII, and increasingly VIII has great significance.

In this group there are
upturned, outward turned, downward turned, or very little hanging flowers with very different colors. They are generally smaller than other lily types with an abundance of short narrow leaves, relatively small flowers, short stems and light scent. Asiatic hybrids bloom faster than other lily types and are cheaper to purchase. As cut flowers they last relatively short.
In the early 1950s a number of new hybrids came from Oregon. These are together known
as Mid-century hybrids. Later came other groups of hybrids like e.g. Harlequin and Fiesta hybrids. A relatively new type is Brushmark, which on each petal has a large stain looking like a brush stroke. It comes with several colors and varieties.
There are a lot of Asiatic hybrids - and still more remains.

of upturned Asiatic hybrids:

Examples of outwards turned Asiatic hybrids:

  • ‘Connecticut Lemonglow’
  • Yellow Star’
  • 'Zauberinn'

Examples of hanging Asiatic hybrids:

  • ‘Black Butterfly’
  • ‘Connecticut Yankee’
  • ‘Schellembaum’
  • ’Pegasus’

Compared to Asiatic hybrids the Martagon hybrids
is a very small group. The fact that from sowing to flowering goes up to 7 years, makes this group a little less attractive.
Martagon hybrids have hanging, back bent, spotted flowers.


  • ‘Dairy Maid’
  • ‘Early Bird’
  • x dalhansonii
  • ’Marhan’
This group is small too, but contains the oldest European hybrid L. x testaceum (Nankinglily). Originally this one was supposed to be a species, but later it was determine to be a cross between L. candidum and L. chalcedonicum. Cultivation must be like L. candidum.


  • ’June Fragrence’
  • ’Limerick’
  • ’Peacetime’
The first in this group were called Bellingham hybrids, and made its entry in 1930. Later they were followed by other groups of interbreeding.
Most American hybrids have yellow to orange and orange-red flowers, all with spots.

  • ’Lake Tahoe’
  • ’Oliver Wyatt’
  • ‘Robin’

Longiflorum hybrids are interbreedings between L. longiflorum and L. wallichianum, L. neilgherrense, L. formosanum, L. philippinense a.o. The hybrids are not hardy in Denmark. L. longiflorum has very big beautiful funnel- to tubular shaped, white fragrant flowers, and both L. longiflorum and the hybrids have for a long period been used for cutting as well as for potting cultur.

The group is divided in two parts. The first is the "thoroughbred", which derive from the trumpet species and their hybrids. The second part consist of the long range of Lilium where the trumpet species are interbreed L.henryi (which is the contrary of the trumpet shaped, and a totally different plant) the so-called Aurelianhybrids.
The pure hybrids derives from a range of species as for example  L.regale, L.leucantheum, L.brownii and others.
L.x imperiale is one example of a such crossing. 

The second part - the Aurelian hybrids - again is divided in four groups:

  • a. Trumpet-shaped flowers as for example ’African Queen’,and ’Golden Splendor’
  • b. Globular flowers as for example ’Lady Anne’.
  • c. Flat flowers as for example ’Bright Star’.
  • d. Flowers with distinct backward bended petals as for example ’Journeys End’.

is hardly more impressive flowers than the hybrids derived by crossing of L. speciosum and L. auratum, but also from L. japonicum and L. rubellum are developed lavish hybrids, and now they are an important factor in the breeding work.
The first named Oriental hybrid was L. x parkmanii dating from 1869 - a cross between L. speciosum and L. auratum.
The oriental hydrids have bigger flowers, bigger leaves, and used by cutting flower it has longer durability than all other Lilium. Unfortunately they are a little more expensive in purchasing than e.g. Asiatic hybrids, and that's because of the long period from the seed is sowed until flowering
The most popular and best know are
L. ’Star Gazer’ (pink) and L. ’Casa Blanca’ (white).
The oriental hybrids are divided in four groups
, but it can be very difficult to decide in which group a given lily shall be placed, because there are no clear-cut boundary among them like e.g. Trumpet and Arelian-hybrids.

The four groups are:

  • a. Trumpet-shaped.
    In spite of the name are the lilies belonging to this group not really trumpet-shaped. The petals turns forward like a ball before they enlarge (like the entrance of a trumpet).

  • b. Globular.
    The petals turns forward and makes a cavity around the ovary. Though not in a distinct clear way.
  • c. Flat flowers.
  • d. Backward bend flowers.

Examples of lilies in the four groups of oriental hybrids are:

Group a

  • ’Alliance’
  • ’Joy’
  • ’Mr. Sam’

Group b

Group c

Group d

Plants in this group are hybrids among the first 7 divisions.
By crossing L. longiflorum and different Asiatic hybrids a very interesting group of lilies occurs. The flowers are very big (like L.longiflorum), and they are hardy (like Asiatic hybrids). Untill now group VIII in essentiality consist of these hybrids, but recently there are coming more, and the crossings are done in crisscross of the divisions. The division now is divided in the the following subdivisions:

  • AO-hybrids - Asiatic hybrids x Oriental hybrids
  • AT-hybrids - Asiatic hybrids x Trumpet lilies
  • LA-hybrids - L. longiflorum x Asiatic hybrids
    for example
    'Red Alert', Yellow River', 'Modern Style'
  • OT-hybrids - Oriental hybrids x Trumpet lillies
    for example
    'Black Beauty' (somtimes rated among Oriental hybrids)
  • LO-hybrids - L. longiflorum x Oriental hybrids
    for example 'Triumphator'
    (sometimes rated among Oriental hybrids)





Lilium 'Longistar'




Lilium 'Hamburger Leuchtfeuer'




Lilium 'Paija'












Lilium 'Black Out'




Lilium 'Weisse Riese'







Lilium 'Red Alert'




Lilium sp Aurelianhybrid




 Lilium 'Northern Carillion'




Lilium 'Muscadet'




 Lilium 'Northern Carillion'