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.
By Texan99 on Monday, April 09, 2012