Lilies forum: Seed question for the lily fanciers

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Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Lilies Dog Lover Garden Photography Daylilies
Sep 21, 2016 7:08 PM CST
Okay I'm trying to understand something. Lilies do not self pollenate, so how do people get seed of a certain cultivar. Like say rub rum uchida for example? Or any other of a single named cultivar? Is this something done in a lab via embryo rescue? Tissue culture? This part had me confused. I wanted to keep this out of the starting lilies from seed sticky.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Seed Starter
Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography
Sep 21, 2016 7:17 PM CST
Hi Dave,

Basically, you can't get seed of a cultivar unless it happens to be a grex (a group of similar lilies, such as 'Golden Splendour', and then only if they're fertile). Most registered cultivars are clones and so must be propagated through tissue culture, scaling, bulblets, etc. You can always cross two similar clones and hope for similar offspring, but then it would be pod parent x pollen parent, not seed of the specific cultivar (and crossing two similar plants is no guarantee of similar offspring... one post somewhere here on hybridising mentions crossing two pinks and getting an orange!). My understanding is that you need to go through two or three generations from the first cross before you could be reasonably sure of a strain of similar-looking lilies.
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Lilies Dog Lover Garden Photography Daylilies
Sep 21, 2016 7:51 PM CST
Then how do places sell seed from a named variety? Like Auratum, kelloggi, davidi, pumilum, regale, etc. Without adding strain to it.
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
Sep 21, 2016 8:13 PM CST
Those are all species you mention, not cultivars. Species do come true from seed and there is a natural variation that will occur among the offspring. (No two will be exactly the same, even though they may look like it.

The exception in your list is L. regale, which is self fertile (or apomictic, I don't think anyone knows for sure), and may produce exact copies by seed or natural variation.

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