Lily (Lilium nepalense) in the Lilies Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Lily
Give a thumbs up Nepal Lily

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 6a -23.3 °C (-10 °F) to -20.6 °C (-5 °F)
Plant Height: 4 feet
Flowers: Showy
Other: Musky nocturnal scent.
Flower Color: Bi-Color: Green with dark purple red throat.
Bloom Size: 5"-6"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Bulb
Uses: Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Species lilies will come true from seed; cultivars and hybrids will not.
Propagation: Other methods: Stolons and runners
Other: Bulbs are stoloniferous with bulblets along them.
Pollinators: Bees


Photo gallery:

Posted by Cantillon (Europe - Zone 9a) on Aug 2, 2014 3:39 PM

Lilium nepalense – Warning, acid soil - difficult

This is an ‘Asian’ lily. Lilium nepalense is a native of the southern slopes of the Himalaya, from Bhutan through Nepal to Uttarakhand. It can be found growing on wet forest borders at 1,200 to 3,000 m (3,900 to 9,800 ft).

This lily is unusual, expensive even as a wholesale bulb, and is lost to gardeners commonly for making no effort to provide it with the care it needs. It is different from the more common lilies.

The rules are:
1. Slightly acid soil (ericaceous), with 50% added grit
2. Cool feet, face in sun.
3. Well watered in spring prior to flowering
4. Stop watering after flowering and let it die back
5. Watch for the wandering bulb- stoloniferous walkabout bulb

In simple terms, plant it in ericaceous soil in a pot and take it into the greenhouse after it flowers in June/July and when the stem has died back, then leave it alone. This is supposedly only hardy to zone 5.

It is not a very attractive lily, has a disproportionately heavy down-facing flower, pendant from a short stem of maybe 30cms (24 inches), and probably should be staked. The flower is often solitary, pale lime green with a maroon throat, a combination not often seen. While I have seen photographs of a single stem of about five feet with several flowers, I have not experienced this in cultivation. The flowers are unscented during the day, but quite scented during the night. Makes it interesting for bringing it inside the house. May be pollinated by moths, bats, or some weird beetle, and maybe the flower has that nightime fluorescence the night stocks offer.

The flowers are down-facing, flared, and scented. The bulb is stoloniferous. It roves underground (a Houdini in a pot), producing many smaller bulbs on strings. Native to open scrub in the high mountains of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, India, Myanmar (Burma), Tibet (Xizang), and Yunnan province in China. Height to 120 cm (4.5'). Lilium nepalense is Zone 5, but it abhors fall and winter wet. If that's likely to be a problem where you are, grow it outdoors under an overhang or in a frame or glasshouse. I have seen this done, but horizontal glass in a garden bed makes me nervous so I won't be doing that. I think all I will do is bring it inside the garden house for the winter, and lay it on its side.

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Plant Events from our members
Australis From November 5, 2017 to November 8, 2017 Plant emerged
Both bulbs emerged at the same time.
Australis On May 24, 2017 Potted up
Australis On May 24, 2017 Obtained plant
Purchased two bulbs from the Australian Bulb Co.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Lilies 2019 by gwhizz Oct 11, 2019 2:31 AM 424
Claremont Lilium Show by gwhizz Jan 21, 2017 10:48 PM 42
Kushi Maya vs Lilium nepalense by Phenolic Jan 25, 2016 10:46 PM 17
Lilium Nepalense by patweppler Apr 27, 2015 5:17 PM 20
What did you do today? by Leftwood Dec 10, 2019 7:21 PM 3,284
Cooking with Lilies by Leftwood Aug 30, 2018 4:17 PM 121
Germinating seeds by mnorberry Oct 8, 2012 6:22 PM 20
Species Lily Bulbs by Leftwood Nov 22, 2018 5:11 PM 78
Pics of species? by PollyK Aug 28, 2019 1:45 AM 344
Faraway Flowers by Mainiac Jun 13, 2011 8:02 PM 149

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