Lilies forum: Talked to a lily expert last night about the Regale and Now I have a question

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Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 18, 2015 9:38 AM CST
I talked to man that grows many lily bulbs and also sells them and he told me that the Regale would be a good lily to start from seed. All I have to do is pollinate on flower on the regale to another flower on the same plant and I should get some seeds.....
I would like to know if this is possible with other types of lilies as well..........or it is just the regale......
I guess it would have to be a lily that is fertile??
Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Feb 18, 2015 10:27 AM CST
Ok Pat, now we are getting into a gray area. First, most lilies are not self fertile! That said, if you have two different L. regales that are not the same clone you can pollinate from one to the other and get seed. Here is the tricky part. Certain lilies can form seeds apomictically. That means they naturally form seed from their own genes without pollination. I believe L. Regale can produce apomictic seed at times. So to summarize;
1. I don't think that L. regale is self fertile.
2. If they are not the same clone, you should be able to cross pollinate multiple L. Regales and get seed.
3. If L. Regale is apomictic (maybe someone can clarify) you should not even need to pollinate a bloom to get seed.

All this said, I hope I didn't confuse you and if any of my info is bad, someone please correct me! - Joe
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
Feb 18, 2015 8:50 PM CST
The Regal lily (Lilium regale) has definite apomictic tendencies. It often produces seeds that are exact, identical copies of itself, regardless of whether flowers are pollinated or not. So yes, you should get seeds as the man says, but you're not required to pollinate from different flowers on the same plant. And yes, the regal lily is one of the best for beginners wanting to grow from seed.

On another note, the theory that pollination (for any flower) might work better if you cross pollinate different flowers on the same plant, versus the same flower pollinating itself, is a wives' tale. Success (or failure) will be the same in both scenarios.

Certain other lilies can also produce apomictic seeds, but not as sure fire as L. regale. The Formosa lily and Philippine Lily (Lilium formosanum, L. philippinense) are self fertile, and will produce seed if flowers are pollinated by its own pollen (or others). These are easy lilies from seed also, and easy to produce your own seed from them.

Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
Feb 18, 2015 9:01 PM CST
Pat, your friend who suggested Regale to start your seeding experience with because he knows you'll have good success with it--that's why he recommended it, and he's right. You'll get lots of good seeds and nearly every seed you plant will come up and grow nicely for you. As Joe said, a true Species L. regale can be 'apomitic' but with commercial Regales, I wouldn't depend on it. I've found that open or mixed pollen crossing between commercial Regales in the same group gave me a wider variation in the color of the reverses (back side)from a lighter pale pink to a pretty dark chocolate rose. I think that L. regale is both overlooked and underrated from the standpoint of adaptability, hardiness and disease resistance amongst most present day 'advanced' backyard hybridizers. Your friend made a good recommendation.

Here's some historical information you and others might be interested in reading about Regale:

As far as pollination goes, a single flower will generally not pollenate itself, even if you try to make it do so. Two flowers on the same plant may pollenate each other in some instances but the offspring may not be healthy. Cross pollenating flowers between two plants of the same cultivar or type always gives best seed and gives healthiest offspring.

Edit added. Note the above linked article must have been written in the mid 1950's, around the year the Royal Gold cultivar was registered.
[Last edited by Roosterlorn - Feb 18, 2015 9:45 PM (+)]
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Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 19, 2015 6:26 AM CST

Thanks for the link and that article was very interesting and all the info on this site is very helpful as well.
What is the difference between a True Species L. Regale and a commercial Regale

The place that I am thinking of ordering some bulbs is calling their bulbs Species
also in here is the African Queen and others, Golden Splendor is In there too
so are the similar in Pollinating as the Regale then.......... ?
I am thinking of ordering 3 of each of these bulbs..........

Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
Feb 19, 2015 9:44 AM CST
Pat, the differences are that, generally, with commercial Regales the chances of them being monkeyed with by some commercial hybridizer along the way is quite probable. There are generally three main areas of difference: Generally, the Species version is more apt to have a shorter, more compact, umbrella type flower head where a commercial version flower head is generally taller, less compact and shaped more like a pyramid or pine tree. The second difference is that the Species version generally forms numerous baby offsets quite rapidly whereas generally the commercial versions do not. And, third, commercials are less likely apomictic, a feature we talked about yesterday. Notice I say ''generally' a lot because there can be variation with each, such as you will find some Species L. regale with somewhat of a pyramid flower head form, but rarely. There is nothing wrong at all with buying a commercial type Regale for a mixed garden lily or for hybridizing as long as it is from a reputable grower/source. Beware of those 'pretty, glossy', wholesaler/importer catalogs.

The same principles of pollination we talked about yesterday would apply to the Trumpets African Queen and Golden Splendour. They are real easy to do. Both African Queen and Golden Splendour are interesting because their ancestry can be traced. Luther Burbank was the first to develop a yellow Regale. He gave some bulbs and seed to LaVern Freiman who developed it further. He, in turn, sold some bulbs to Jan de Graaff who developed it into a series of of yellow gold Regales over time which led up to the Golden Splendour we see today. They are long lived and very garden hardy lilies.

Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 19, 2015 10:50 AM CST
so you can take on L.Regale and then cross pollinate it with another L.Regale.. on a different of the same type..... you mean 2 different Regale Lilies right??
sorry for all the questions...........sure can tell that I am new about all this....
how do you know the difference in the type of lily bulbs you buy...say Species version versa Commercials Regales

I know that man is very much in favour of the trumpet lilies. His feeling is they do the best in the garden for him.......

Right now I have all down faced trumpets in the garden so will look to add some up faced trumpets as well..

thanks for your help

he also told me that the biggest pollinator of all the lilies in the area that I am in and the one that he is the wind......
Bees he said do not like the lilies
and the hummingbirds only use the Asiatic lilies and on occasion some LA's..
I have LA planted at this time either so might add some of them too

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