Lilies forum: Reliability of L. lankongense hybrids?

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Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 5, 2011 6:52 AM CST
I have purchased and planted quite a few L. lankongense hybrids, all from The Lily Garden and hybridized by both North and Freeman. I was dismayed to read in one lily book that the North hybrids tend to be "fleeting" in the garden. Has anyone here found that to be true?

Please comment on reliability, hardiness, multiplication rates, bulb size (these were the smallest of all the bulbs I planted) and health.

Thanks in advance for any advice or comments,
Corey
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Nov 10, 2011 8:08 PM CST

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It seems like the L. lankongense hybrids do not tolerate wet soils. The ones I have in a sandy soil mixture seem to fair better than others I have purchased and planted in the silt loam I have that grows just about anything else. It could also be a pH problem too. My soil is very alkaline, like 7.6-7.8, unless amended.
Tracey
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 10, 2011 8:58 PM CST
Wow, this is just the type of information I was hoping for when I asked this question. Thank you, Tracey! Luckily I planted my L. lankongense hybrids in the best drained sites I have. My pH here is very similar to yours, in the 7.5-7.8 range.
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Nov 10, 2011 9:07 PM CST

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If I get energetic, I will add a bit of soil sulfer to soil around the orientals. It takes a while to work, but the orientals certainly prefer it.

Corey you are growing lilies very close to me. Your zone is a touch warmer. I live near Madison, WI.
Tracey
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 10, 2011 9:36 PM CST
I recently used some slow-release garden sulfur on a raised bed where I had planted Lilium speciosum var. rubrum and var. album. I am hoping it works fast enough to allow them to establish and grow well. I will try to get some more for my L. lankongense hybrids as well.

My garden is on the north side of Chicago about a mile away from Lake Michigan, which explains my somewhat moderated temperatures.

I know Madison well. I love the Dane County farmers market and the restaurant L'Etoile.
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Nov 11, 2011 7:50 AM CST

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Lilium speciosum var. rubrum and var. album should fair well. They both do well here and I haven't amended anything there. So, you should be good.

Corey, you have great taste. Those are two of my most favorite things in the city. L'Etoile moved about a half a block and also added another dining place in the same building called Graze.

Take my kids to the DCFM every week. Our last market was last Saturday. Now the market moves indoors and we don't attend nearly as often. We like to support the local stuff all we can. Too bad they can't grow mangoes around here!
Tracey
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 11, 2011 5:14 PM CST
Tracey, you have made me so happy by telling me that your Lilium speciosum do well in your alkaline soil. It seems like every lily book I have states something like "lime is poisonous to Lilium speciosum" or "do not even bother with this species in alkaline soil; it will perish immediately." LOL, maybe I am exaggerating a little... Smiling I did pick up some more garden sulfur today to sprinkle over my L. lankongense hybrids.

L'Etoile is amazing. I certainly can't afford to go there every week, but as an occasional treat it is superb and always "just right." I actually have plans to go in December, so it is good to know that they have moved.

Yup, the DCFM is awesome. I have never seen a farmers market here in Chicago that can even somewhat compare to the quality. That said, my favorite market here in the city is the Logan Square market on Sunday mornings. It is much better and more authentic than the much-touted (but disappointing and over-priced) Green City Market. My partner and I also strive to support local food and businesses as much as we can. It was challenging at first, but you learn to adapt soon enough. It has also been much easier lately to find really excellent quality local produce, meats and foods since the demand is now so high. Still, nothing beats growing your own! Smiling
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
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Leftwood
Nov 11, 2011 6:08 PM CST
Thanks for bringing this thread back to the surface, Tracey. I was going to respond (Really!) but then got sidetracked, and forgot all about it.

I've grown a few different clones of the species Lilium lankongense for about eight years now. I don't have sandy soil, only clay based, with a pH of neutral to slightly alkaline. Though I don't think the lankongense are as happy as they might be, none have perished, and barring the occasional rodent munching, they get a little larger each year. For me in clay, I think the key is the right moisture.

While correct watering is much more easily achieved in sandy soil, it seems that it is not impossible in my case either. Cultivation is kept to a minimum, to preserve the natural structure of the soil that not only is beneficial to soil ecosystems, but also drainage. I'll never forget what turned out to be a happenstance experiment in my early years at this house:

The previous owners had a vegetable garden, sort of. It was the native subsoil clay topped with 4 inches of topsoil. Well, I wouldn't have that, and I began incorporating copious amounts of organic matter. It was the second or third spring, as I was waiting, waiting, waiting for the garden to dry enough to work, I decided to just turn over big chunks (shovelfull size) with my digging fork. Just turn over once, no breaking up, nothing else to damage the soil structure. This, in an attempt to expose more of the soil to drying.

Starting on the "drier" side of the garden, I worked about half way through, where I deemed it to be too wet even for the most gentle forking. Then I waited some more. In the end, the untouched wetter end drained and dried faster than what I had ever so gently turned over!

What happened? I severed the vertical column of capillary action that pulls water down through the soil. Ironically (and fortunately), this is the same capillary action that moves water up to the surface as the top soil layers dry too much. Isn't nature grand!

Well, I digress...

My point is that if clay is dry enough, but not too dry, lilies can be happy. Such a "revelation" has born out not only with L. lankongense, but also L. fargesii, L. szovitsianum, L. duchartrei and L. papilliferum.

But "dry enough, but not too dry" is a precarious high wire to walk. Go the easy route, and use sandy soil.

Somewhere along the line, I acquired Karen North in 2008. Was it from you, Tracey? Due to its hybrid origin, it is predictably easier to grow and more vigorous. Other than my own hybridized seedlings, I don't grow any other lankongense hybrids.
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 11, 2011 6:20 PM CST
Rick, this is first class information. Thank you for sharing your garden knowledge! You and Tracey have both been immensely helpful.

Please tell us more about your L. lankongense hybrids! Smiling
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Nov 11, 2011 9:53 PM CST

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I don't think it was from me Rick, though it could have been. For a long time I had a little confusion over who Eros was, who Karen North was and some other odds and ends of langkongense hybrid stock acquired over a few years. Now that I know who is who for sure (I reordered them both to compare) I think Karen North is a spectacular grower. The North hybrids tend to be special that way. He combined all those genes in there just right, that Dr. North did such a great job, didn't he?
Tracey
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
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gwhizz
Nov 11, 2011 10:02 PM CST
Grapus was telling me of a new 'Lankongense x Longiflorum' bred. Anybody know anything? Confused
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Corey
Chicago (Zone 6a)
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Ispahan
Nov 11, 2011 10:05 PM CST
I saw this one offered by Faraway Flowers in the States this year. It looks awesome for sure!
[Last edited by Ispahan - Nov 11, 2011 10:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Øystein Hermansen
Østfold,Norway (Zone 5b)
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grapus
Nov 12, 2011 1:13 AM CST
Even though it's quite new i got one big bulb from a friend. So next year i will see it myself. And try to polinate it. But since i don't know how frosthardy it is i keep it in my refrigerator this winter. But i have some scales of it that are doing fine so next winter i will have some of them in the ground.
Ille bra,se.
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
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Leftwood
Nov 12, 2011 10:34 PM CST
Actually Tracey, I had the source for my Karen North as NSLS (North Star Lily Society plant sale) with a question mark. So then it must be from them. I tip my hat to you.
The color quality is what really captivates me with Karen North. The blend of orange and magenta with the almost sparkling sheen is impressive.

Corey, my oldest homemade lankongense hybrids are only a year old... not much to tell, yet.

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