Monday, August 8, 2011

Colors Shifting in Asiatic Lilies?

Lily petals are composed of several layers of color cells.  As the sun "bleaches" out the topmost cells, the color just below is revealed.  This is the reason why your blossoms might look slightly different daily or even vary somewhat from year to year.  Blossom color is influenced on how intense the sun might be during flowering.  This is especially evident with lighter pink Asiatic or Oriental lilies that could appear nearly white when opening during very hot weather.  In full hot sun the flower buds can be lighter than normal but the same cultivar in a shady area could be darker in color, even during the same summer.

The Tango-type Asiatic shown is not named, it is just marked under it's field number.  This lily has been a consistent black-maroon with beige petals all last week since the cultivar started blooming, but this morning the sun was blocked by heavy mist, and guess what?  The newly opening flowers are actually light butter yellow on the petal tips -  left bud in first photo - right bud shows a flower on the same stem that opened a day earlier.  As the sun warms the farm and bleaches out the top layer of color, the petals become lighter in intensity - which we feel is a more pleasing color combination.  Asiatics do not normally bloom this time of year, but this batch was planted late in spring when we were cleaning out the coolers and realized it had been missed.

Would anyone like to suggest a name for this lily?  Names should be two words maximum and should evoke a mental picture if possible.  For instance, a plant named "Cotton Candy" brings to mind a soft pink.  You can either leave a comment below or send an email using the "contact us" form on our website.

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