Data specific to Lilies (Edit)
Division: IX. Species and Species Cultivars

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Plant Height: 2 to 6 feet
Plant Spread: 10-16 inches
Leaves: Other: Herbaceous
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 3"-4"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Bulb
Uses: Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Toxicity: Other: All parts of the plant are lethal to cats
Propagation: Seeds: Will not come true from seed
Other info: Species lilies will come true from seed; cultivars and hybrids will not.
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Other: Bulb scaling.
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Madonna Lily
  • Lily
  • White Lily
  • Annunciation Lily
  • Species Lily
  • St. Joseph Lily
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Lilium candidum
  • Synonym: Lilium candidum var. cernuum
  • Synonym: Lilium candidum var. salonikae

Photo Gallery
Uploaded by Mutisia

Date: 2021-05-29
In the neighbor's garden.
Location: -Tasmania 2014
Date: 2023-08-13

Date: 2022-05-19
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina Where

Date: 2021-05-19

Date: 2023-08-01

Date: 2020-05-17

Date: 2020-04-22
Uploaded by Mutisia
Location: Crosses, Arkansas
Date: 2015-05-30

Date: 2021-02-02

Lilium candidum Carl Franz Gruber (1803-1845)
Uploaded by Lucius93
Location: Romania
Date: 2022-04-07

Date: 2006-06-24
Credit PRA

Date: 2021-05-27
In the neighbor's garden.

Date: 2022-07-22
Location: -Tasmania 2014
Date: 16-10-20
22 days,then emergence👍
Location: -Tasmania 2014
Date: 2020-07-05
Uploaded by DianeSeeds

Date: 2015-07-05
Credit Meneerke bloem

Date: 2022-05-19
Location: Pleasant Grove, Utah
Date: 2011-07-04
with Miscanthus

Date: c. 1931
photo from the 1931 catalog, Stummp & Walter, New York City
Location: Hood, Alabama 
Date: 2024-05-11

Date: 1794
illustration from 'The Botanical Magazine', 1794
Location: Rosetta-Tasmania
Date: 27-11-11
Candidum[Christmas Lily]

Date: 2006-02-19
Credit Stan Shebs

Date: 2021-05-05
Location: Garden of a famous Tasmanian[DEC] gardener
Date: nov 2006

Date: 2021-05-09

Date: 2015-05-23
Credit Zachi Evenor

Date: 2013-01-18
Credit Roger Culos

Date: 2010-06-26
Credit Isidre blanc

Date: c. 1880
illustration by W. H. Fitch from Elwes' 'Monograph of the Genus L
Location: Southern Ontario
Date: 2011-07-08

Date: 2021-05-05
10 months old from scale.
Location: RHS Harlow Carr, Yorkshire, UK
Date: 2020-07-25
Location: Rosetta Tasmania[next to my garden chair]
Date: nov 2010
Location: my garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2008-02-17

Date: 2011-06-12
Credit Alexxx Malev

Date: 2021-05-08
Uploaded by Lucius93
Location: Crosses, Arkansas
Date: 2015-06-02

Date: 2012-06-07
Location: Rosetta- Tasmania
Date: 24-11-11
Budding Candidum
Location: my garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2007-10-28

Date: 2008-12-16
Credit Hectonichus

Date: 2015-07-05
Credit Andrew Butko

Credit Kurt Stueber
Location:  -Tasmania
Date: 5-10-13
  • Posted by gwhizz (Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia - Zone 7b) on Nov 27, 2011 3:53 AM concerning plant:
    Finally the 'Madonna' blooms-It's lily season, I can sit outside every evening 'weather permitting' and smell the bloom that everyone only dreams of. Summer and lilies are my world [for 2 months, at least]
  • Posted by gwhizz (Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia - Zone 7b) on Oct 10, 2011 10:13 PM concerning plant:
    The famous 'Candidum'-Madonna lily/November lily/Christmas lily [in Australia]. Fabled to have been formed from a drop of 'breast milk' from the Madonna. Dating back to Egyptian times and has been depicted in carvings and scrolls. It is a proverbial 'canary in a coalmine' and is very susceptible to disease. Should be kept well away from other liliums for this reason. Has a smell like no other lilium and would have to be my favourite and most memorable lilium.
  • Posted by bonitin (Ghent, Belgium - Zone 8a) on Oct 6, 2011 11:32 AM concerning plant:
    I have had no luck with this Lily, no matter how much I like it, the leaves emerge healthy and vigorous in late summer - autumn, they stay nice all winter long until the warmer weather in spring sets in, then the leaves slowly start to looks diseased, maybe a virus I don't know, I never had a bloom on mine..:( I have also tried it in more shady locations but to no avail..
  • Posted by Lucius93 (Croatia - Zone 9a) on May 19, 2020 11:46 AM concerning plant:
    The purest white lily in the world with unique fragrance. It forms bulbs at ground level, and, unlike other lilies, grows a basal rosette of leaves during winter. A leafy floral stem emerges in late winter and bears up to 20 flowers. One of my favourite lilies.
Plant Events from our members
Australis On April 25, 2023 Potted up
Moved into a large pot. Trying an amended mix with sand, grit and perlite added to improve drainage and more closely mimic the rocky soil it naturally grows in.
Australis On October 11, 2022 Obtained plant
Purchased two seedlings in small pots from The Diggers Club, as the bulb from Cam Lilies was mislabelled and my seed-grown ones did not return in 2021.
Australis On February 11, 2018 Potted up
Carefully slip repotted into a much larger pot, as some seedlings were breaking dormancy; only disturbed one bulb.
Australis From December 4, 2017 to January 24, 2018 Entered Dormancy
6 of the 7 surviving seedlings went dormant at different times during this period.
Australis From January 31, 2017 to February 21, 2017 Plant emerged
A few seedlings went dormant briefly during December/January; the next round of true leaves emerged during February and March. Only two of the eight had sent up true leaves prior to this date.
Australis From September 24, 2016 to October 11, 2016 Plant emerged
8 seedlings emerged - 57% success rate. Probably didn't have ideal conditions.
Australis On August 29, 2016 Seeds sown
Obtained as seeds from Chiltern Seeds.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Lilium candidum by Tamalpa Jun 5, 2020 11:47 PM 0

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