Wild Lily bulbs (non-hybrids) making up the genus Lilium belong to the family Liliaceae comprising of approximately 200 genera made up of approximately 2,000 lily species. A journey back to the lily species that made your hybrid bulbs will lead you across the entire Northern Hemisphere. (The entire article is much too long for a single page here and just a snippet is shown below, please go directly to our website Knowledge Base for all the photographs and a bit about each species lily.)
The lily shown above is Lilium ciliatum, a native of Turkey.
"As with so many familiar plants in our gardens, we often wonder, where they came from and how were they created into so many lovely and varied forms. As we trace ancestral lines back on every lily hybrid, we eventually find that its origin was two species, sometimes a cross made by nature herself, but more commonly, one made by man. We find a wonderful array of color and flower forms in nature’s creations. A journey back to the lily species that made your hybrid bulbs will lead you across the entire Northern Hemisphere. From the plains, mountains, and swamps of North America to the sub-tropical jungles of Burma; the harsh regions of Siberia to the rolling grasslands of Greece and the plains and valleys of all Europe; to high in the Himalayas to the stormy beach grasses of northern Japan. We find tiny dime-sized dangling flowers to huge blooms, the size of a dinner plate. In the lilies of the wild, gardeners find nature’s full rainbow of colors, white, pink, red, orange, yellow, and cream, but no blue tones, the genetics are simply not there." To read more... click on Knowledge Base