‘Lily’ is such a vague designation. So many of the popular flowers that are known as ‘lily’ are not even remotely related to real lilies, which are of the genus Lilium. It is no wonder that many of them are confused about their obligations to the gardens that they inhabit. Some bloom unseasonably. Some develop unusual floral or foliar color. Their confusion can be contagious to flowers that are not even classified as lilies, such as #3 of these Six. Fortunately, the weird behavior of these flowers that live in denial of their true identities has been harmlessly and undeniably delightful. Such aberration is how new cultivars are sometimes discovered.

1. Lily of the Nile is in denial of its bloom season. After all others have been deadheaded, this one continues to bloom. It should be copied if its delayed bloom schedule is genetic.

2. Belladonna lily, or naked lady, followed its lead. Mr. Stephens of Garden Ruminations explained that it may be another variety or species. Other naked ladies have gone seedy.

3. Dahlia is the one of these Six that does not try to be a lily. However, it is trying to be a new color. It was simply yellow last year. Perhaps it got this idea from ‘Cleopatra’ canna.

4. Canna lily, or canna, is trying an unexpected foliar color. Its parent is a bronze Canna musifolia, like the other seedling at the top of the picture. I anticipated genetic stability.

5. ‘Cleopatra’ canna generally, although not always, displays weirdly random red stripes on spotty yellow blooms. It seems to have shared much of its red with the yellow dahlia.

6. ‘Wyoming’ canna bloomed exclusively orange until this richly orangish red appeared. Perhaps ‘Cleopatra’ of the Nile was seedier than naked ladies with more than the dahlia.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate: https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/


18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Lily Of Denial

  1. Here on the Gulf Coast, our Lily of the Nile bloom in early May. Unfortunately, we have a neighborhood deer that has eaten mine to the ground for the last few years. I don’t know if they will ever come back. Cannas keep going unless we have a freeze.

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    1. LIly of the Nile bloom likely lasts longer with the humidity there. They last a good while here also, and are splendid until about Independence Day on the Fourth of July. It would be nice if they lasted longer. Canna continue until frost, and not much disrupts them. I mean, I dug a bunch after they had already started to grow last spring, and they simply replaced the damaged growth as if it was spring again. A large and old colony of simple pink canna lived in an old park in Beverly Hills (in coastal Los Angeles county) for as long as anyone can remember, but was more recently removed because grooming the old growth out was so much work. Without frost, the new growth in spring grew up with old growth from the previous year. I think that I would have just cut it all down at the end of winter, and let it start over annually. Alternatively, I would have kept a row of the original colony in front of or behind where it had been.

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    1. ‘Cleopatra’ is my least favorite of the ten or so Canna here, but might also be my favorite for the public gardens. People like its weirdness. I really hope that it eventually blooms with those weird red stripes, and generates its distinctively bronze and green banded foliage.


    1. When I was a kid, I thought that the bare floral stalks with those horizontal floral buds emerging from the ground looked like the tall protruding weapons on top of the Martian spaceships of the original War of the Worlds movie.

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      1. The bright pink is . . . too bright. I only like them because they grow wild on the roadsides here, and everyone else likes them. When I deadhead them, I toss the seed into areas where they do not live yet, just in case some survive long enough to get watered in by the rain in autumn. Incidentally, I would like to get some that bloom white for the white garden. I have a rule against purchasing anything, but would make an excpetion for this one.

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      2. Yes. Because the perennial pea is also very bright pink, I dug, canned and copied one that blooms white. I still like the bright pink sort because they are so familiar, but the white sort is very pretty.

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      3. You always talk about liking white flowers of different kinds. I prefer bright colors, but to each their own. I haven’t been writing or even reading blogs much and need to get back to it. I hope you are well. I always enjoy our conversations, even the silly ones. 😁

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      4. This is pretty silly, although potentially offensive.https://tonytomeo.com/2017/09/21/white-supremacy/
        Although white is my favorite color, and I do enjoy the white garden at the Chapel (El Catedral de Santa Clara de Los Gatos), I do not like much white for the public gardens at work. Bright colors are more fun for those gardens. Too much white would be boring. Besides, bright colors supposedly repel certain scary reptiles.

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      5. No not offensive, but funny. You were much younger, wow, don’t we all get older. Yea, taking your favorite color to those extremes is really silly. Oh, I didn’t know that certain colors repel certain reptiles. And I don’t know that any are scary except maybe alligators and Komodos; I wouldn’t mess with either of them.

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