Monday, March 10, 2014

A Lily Oddity in the Garden

Flatten stem with odd looking leaves.

Have you ever seen a flattened stem lily stem with short stunted leaves and a multitude of flower buds in your garden?

If so, there's nothing to worry about,  no mysterious lily disease has invaded your garden and the bulb is quite fine.

Only about 1 in 10,000 lily bulbs create a fasciated stem, which is most likely due to environmental fluctuations of weather. The next growing season usually produces a normal stem, or perhaps even two, if the bulb has divided underground.


Golden Splendor with fasciated stem.

Look at all the flowers!

The bulb of 'Golden Splendor Strain' that produced the cluster of extra flowers on this stem had rather evenly spaced buds and almost normal sized blooms.

Usually, flowers that open on a fasciated stem can be overall much smaller, and be packed tightly together so that not all the buds open completely.  

"Garden of Weeden"

Mrs. Ruth Sanclimenti's whimsical, "Garden of Weeden" drew attention from the neighbors when her Oriental lily, 'Siberia' bloomed out several years back.  It is interesting in that the bulb was actually was planted in just the right spot to become the centerpiece.  The lily bloomed normally the second year.

Fascinated stems are an oddity to be sure, but the lilies are indeed healthy.  Because they still need all of their leaves to rebuild the bulb after flowering, and even though the plant may look strange, resist the urge to cut the stem down prematurely.  You can however, remove the flowers as they fade.

Do you have a photo of an interesting lily?  Upload it to our Facebook page for the world to see.


  1. Yes, I have seen that funny stem development but the bulb produced a normal stem the next season.

  2. I'm so glad to read about fasciated stems. I had three of these unusual lilies this year on my tall, 3-year old OT lilies, and so I was wondering what was going on. One of them had 56 buds, the others had about 40. I will be glad to see the normal-looking lily next year.