Easter lilies

Lilium longiflorum is a native of the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan. Beginning in the late 1800s, the bulb was cultivated in Bermuda and then shipped to the United States. American production of the Easter lily began when an Oregon soldier named Louis Houghton returned home from World War I with some of the bulbs and shared them with fellow gardeners.

When World War II began and Asian sources of the bulbs were cut off, suddenly imported Easter lilies became scarce and expensive. American lily nursery production began in earnest, and the bulbs were known as “white gold” to growers attempting to make a profit. By 1945, 1,200 lily growers were in business up and down the west coast. Today the market is dominated by a handful of growers located on the the Oregon-California border in an approximately 12-mile-long strip of land along the Pacific coast, called the "Easter Lily Capital of the World."

I think that explains why they're never more than moderately happy when we plant them here. They probably want it to be in the 60s all the time. They couldn't ask for a nicer day than today, though.

H/t Dave's Garden, which produces a nice email newsletter you can sign up for, free of charge.


Anonymous said...

Easter Lilies are fine . . . outdoors or in a greenhouse. Not so fine when massed around the choir platform like teenagers trying to get into a club that doesn't check I.D.! All flowers (except roses and bluebonnets) in moderation. :)


Texan99 said...

Oh -- I like them massed around the altar in reckless profusion.

douglas said...

I don't know about them liking 60 degrees constant- I can't imagine the native areas of Southern Japan and Taiwan are like that (unless limited to mountain areas), and surely Bermuda is not. Both are East coast island regions at around the same latitude though. Given that, you'd think the Oregon/California border would be too cold.

Texan99 said...

Well, somewhere in the 60s. Maybe low 70s. But anyway, not like here, where we're already back to lows in the mid-70s. By summer it will be lows in the low 80s.