|This photo will be on the cover of our Fall 2013 catalog.|
Bigger in flower size than 'Casablanca', more tolerant of heat, and with a stronger stem to hold up its heavy flowers, this impressive variety is a good choice for areas with warmer summer temperatures that may cause heat stress in purebred Orientals.
Blooming later than many OT (Orienpets) 'Conca d'Or' and 'Flashpoint'—two of my other favorite lilies—and most of the Orientals like 'Siberia', 'Star Gazer', 'Muscadette' and 'Acapulco', it makes a good "end of season" show in my garden. Scent is more akin to Orienpet Hybrids, not the sweeter, spicy scent of 'Casablanca', but it's not overpowering and doesn't become obnoxious to the senses after 10 to 14 days of indoor floral use.
|'Conca d'Or' in the garden.|
Officially, bloom time begins mid-July and the first year average height is 3 feet or more, but last summer's bulbs were still blooming at the very end of August due to our wet, cold summer and were pushing 5 feet tall in our southern field. In the garden, with light shade, stems can be 6 feet tall the second year, so give them room to reach for the sky—no low overhanging branches.
Luckily, we do not plant all bulbs of a single variety in the same field because they need to be scattered throughout the farm to make the early fall harvest easier. We only dig what is needed during the rush in October to fill orders. The rest of that fall harvest is actually finished up in winter, often up to Christmas week, weather permitting, for the spring catalog and early Flower and Garden shows.
See how the anthers are beginning to open up in this closeup of 'Purple Lady' and that you can actually see the individual pollen grains beginning to dry? Simply pull anthers off with your fingers before they begin to unfurl. (Our oldest son called these "antlers' when he was 4 years old, much to the surprise of garden visitors.)
P.S. If entering a stem in competition, pick just as the bottom flowers are starting to open and do not remove the pollen or you will most likely lose points during judging. Do not cut more than 1/3 of the leafy portion of the stem though, lilies need their leaves to rebuild the bulb for next year's flowering.—Dianna