Being able to recognize types of lilies flowers is an excellent skill, especially when choosing the varieties that you’d like to plant and grow.
Lilies offer style, elegance, fragrance, and a gorgeous pop of color for your landscaping needs. Seeing their stunning blooms in spring and summer is so wonderful!
Lilies are famous among various types of flowers, and there are almost a hundred species and hundreds more hybrids for your selection.
Choosing from among the many, many options of types of lilies flowers may be overwhelming, but this guide highlights the different types of lilies anyone can grow, with photos and their characteristics to make your job easier.
First, we’ll examine some of the most popular types of lilies flowers for your summer garden, and then explore another 35 more exotic varieties.
The History of the Lily (The Marvelous World of Lilies)
Wild lilies grew worldwide until people noticed their beautiful flowers and planted them in their homes. The more Europeans explored the continents, looking for various types of trees, the more they discovered exotic species and wanted to take them back home.
For easy transportation, they pre-packaged them in bulbs that kept them intact. Their population grew steadily by the 1920s until Jan de Graaf, a lily enthusiast, formed a breeding program that led to the birth of various popular hybrids you have grown to love.
People realized how amazing the hybrids looked, leading to their increased fame. Today, you will find various types of lilies flowers in homes and other structures, and you will first notice the beautiful fragrant blooms coming in different shapes and colors.
Relationship Between the Lily Authority and Types of Lilies Flowers
The International Cultivar Registration Authority is in charge of the Lily Register, which accounts for all lily species and how many types of flowers are there. This record entails all new hybrids and sorts all species and subspecies of the plant’s family into nine divisions.
These divisions or groups are based on how similar the flowers are in maters growing patterns (bloom times), parentage and other characteristics. Division 1 (Asiatic) and division 7 (Oriental Hybrids) are the most popular, followed closely by division 6 (Asiapets) and division 8 (Orienpets).1
Why Are There Many Types of Lily Flowers?
Given the hundreds of hybrids and parent lily flower species, botanists have a simple system to help them identify and distinguish particular types. The plants are divided into nine divisions according to genes and mode of hybridization.2
This way, professionals and gardeners can tell what the flowers look like, their bloom time and their favorable growing conditions. There are more subdivisions beneath the nine main divisions, and there are hundreds if not dozens of types of lilies flowers in each category.
8 Types of Lilies Flowers for Your Summer Garden
If you are looking for the most exquisite types of lilies flowers to grow in your garden, whichever you choose will be pure or interbreed of either of the following groups.
Asiatic types of lilies flowers are not usually as fragrant as other species and are smaller than the rest. They are a cross between various lilies and come in multiple colors, from yellow and red to white.
Each stem has 3-6 flowers, but the downside is that they are favorite for rabbits and deer.
These types stand out as the most scented of all other varieties. They feature massive leaves, excessive pollen, and large flowers.
They grow to 2-5 feet and are deer and rabbit resistant.
Trumpet lilies come first to mind when thinking of classic lily shapes. They are also called the Aurelian lilies and have a rich scent and colorful, long-lasting petals without spots and star shapes at the throat.
The name Orienpet is from the parent lilies, the Oriental and Trumpet hybrids. The flowers boast various shades and grow 6-10 wide.
This group is preferred for summer gardens and cut flowers thanks to the unique shape and size of the flowers.
Some of the most popular Orienpet hybrid lilies to grow in your garden include the Lilium ‘Dizzy’, Lilium ‘Tom Pouce’, Playtime, and Red Eye.
Turk’s Cap Lilies
Turk’s cap lilies resemble tiny butterflies on regal flower stalks. They are also called the Martagon lilies and take shades of red, yellow, and orange.
This variety grows as tall as 6 feet, and most flowers are scented.
LA Hybrid Lilies
These magnificent hybrids between Longiflorum and Asiatic lilies are not fragrant, but they make excellent cut flowers and bloom for weeks. Each flower measures about 7 inches wide, and the plants can grow to 4 feet.
They can survive under the shade, unlike most lilies and the flowers are usually in shades of yellow and orange.
These famous hybrids are called the Easter lilies and have a mild fragrance. The flowers are white, trumpet-shaped and elegant, explaining why they are ideal holiday and indoor plants.
Types of Lilies Flowers Hybrids and Species: The Nine Divisions
According to the Lily Register, there are nine divisions of types of lilies flowers, and the following is a breakdown of the most common types in each category.
Division I: Asiatic Hybrids
Division 1 – Asiatic Hybrids are blends of the main Asian breeds like the Lilium lancifolium (Tiger Lily).4 However, there are also hybrids of the Lilium bulbiferum (Fire Lily), a European native lily.
The following are the most popular and elegant Asiatic Hybrids to grow in your garden.
#1: Netty’s Pride
Netty’s Pride is a striking plant that adds color and drama to your garden. Its flowers feature a deep purple look that gradually fades into white at the tips.
The blooms face upwards and stand on 3-4 feet stems. The plant blooms later in spring or sometimes early in summer and is a popular species thanks to its deep contrasting color.
#2: Night Rider
If you shy away from types of white flowers and prefer unique dark ones, the Night rRider is the perfect flower for you. It is a hybrid between Trumpet and Asiatic lilies and is known for its almost black color.
The dark blooms stand out from other lilies and show in early summer.
It blooms in early summer or spring and grows 2-3 ft tall, perfect as a stylish planter decor and display flowers.
Its petals are mostly red but orange at the throat and end, a bright and elegant color combination. It usually blooms in summer and reaches 3-4 feet on thick stalks.
#5: Lilium ‘Enchantment’ (Enchantment Lily)
As its name suggests, this lily is quite a charmer, thanks to its vivid orange shade with soft dark spots.
It thrives in zones 4-8 and doesn’t usually have a fragrance, but it is easy to grow and forms an amazing cut flower. Like most lilies, the enchantment blooms in summer and loves growing under the full sun.7
#6: Lilium ‘Connecticut King’
Another famous lily known for making an excellent cut flower is the Connecticut King. Unlike other blooms, it doesn’t have the signature spots near the base and features simple yellow/golden petals that blend nicely with the green plant color.8
It grows to 2-3 feet and usually blooms in June, thriving under the full or partial sun in zones 4-8.
It reaches 4 feet high and loves the full sun, making it a perfect flower for your garden and landscaping.
It blooms in June-August and thrives in USDA zones 2-9 under full or partial sunlight.
The light pink petals have brown freckles that add color, and the plant grows best under zones 3-8 and blooms in mid-summer.
Caring for Asiatics
Like other lilies, Asiatics love well-drained soil and grow best under sunlight. They can live in soil with a little amount of lime but ensure that there is a lot of organic matter.
They usually bloom between early and midsummer, and most attain 30 inches in height in year one.
Division II: Martagon Hybrids
Division 2 – Martagon-type Hybrids are a product of breeding between the Lilium martagon (Martagon Lily) and L.hansonii. They are also called the Turk’s Cap and are originally from Asia and Europe.
They are famous for their tall and thick stalks reaching 4-6 feet with up to 50 flowers in a stem. Homeowners also go for Martagon Mix or lilies that grow in different flowers to make their landscape more colorful.
The most common among the Martagon hybrids to grow in your garden is the L. X Dalhansonii ‘Marhan’.
#10: L. X Dalhansonii ‘Marhan’
Marhan hybrid has been a widely grown lily for over a century. It shares several features with its parents, the L. martagon and L. hansonii, although its petals are not as strong.13
Its most impressive feature is its light honey-like colors with heavy spots. It grows to 4-6 feet, preferably in zones 3-7 in partial sun or slight shade.
Caring for Martagon Hybrids
The Martagon hybrids are less demanding than other types of lilies flowers and usually grow in various soil types, provided that there is proper drainage. It can also survive under a little shade, and you can grow it in a planter indoors.
Division III: Candidum (Euro-Caucasian) Hybrids
The most renowned member of division 3 – Candidum hybrids is the elegant Lilium candidum (Madonna Lily). It is known for its pure white trumpet-like flowers and sweet scent.
It is native to the Middle East and Balkan Peninsula. You can find hybrid varieties with orange, pink, mauve and yellow petal shades, often featuring darker shades on the underside.
The following are the most popular commercial hybrids.
#11: June Fragrance
From the name, you can tell that the June Fragrance is widely known for its sweet-smelling flowers. The flowers are cream-white and have a very strong smell after blooming in spring.
Its stems grow to 4 feet high, and the tree is a interbreed of the L. monadelphum and L. candidum salonikae.
The Nankeen lily has bright or light-yellow flowers, and a tree typically produces 12-18 fragrant flowers.
Division IV: American Hybrids
Most boast whorled pendent flowers, and the tree forms rhizomatous bulbs that reach outwards through the years, forming a scaly growth pattern. There are two popular American hybrids to grow in your garden.
Additionally, it blooms during midsummer forming stately, stunning, bright red, yellow, and red blooms.
#14: Lily ‘Cherrywood’
Red flowers will always be stunning, and you can have the Scarlet Cherrywood lily growing in your home. You can identify it by its colorful dual-colored flowers that contrast well with the green leaves in the background.17
The flowers have red tips that convert to orange hues at the center, and like its parent, the leopard lily, its foliage also forms whorls, well arranged on the sturdy stems.
Caring for American Hybrids
The American hybrids enjoy light woodland environments, particularly growing among shrubs. If you want to propagate them, you can carefully lift the rhizomatous bulbs; otherwise, you will cause damage by roughly digging them up.
Division V: Longiflorum Hybrids
The parent of Division 5 – Longiflorum Hybrids is the Lilium Longiflorum (Easter Lily), a favorite plant for florists due to its stunning fragrant pure white flowers resembling a Magnolia tree.
However, homeowners have issues with the Easter Lily, tenderness that makes them vulnerable to frost and other conditions. It explains why experts have bred tougher hybrids that can withstand any weather.
The following are the top Longiflorum hybrids to grow yourself.
It usually blooms in summer, and each 2-3 feet stem bears 3-6 gentle flowers. On the downside, the white heaven’s delicate nature makes it unsuitable for planting in a container.
Its upright stems grow lance-like leaves and trumpet-like flowers with greenish ends and orange anthers. It prefers growing in hardiness zones 4-8 under full sun or partial shade and typically reaches 3-4 feet high.20
Division VI: Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrids
Division 6 – Trumpet Hybrids form the largest lily division, and many regard them as the most important members of the lily family. They boast the classic funnel-shaped flowers, which is the shape most picture when thinking of a lily.
These hybrids are a cross between two Chinese lilies leading to stately tall plants that bear about 25 flowers in a stem. The following are the most cherished Trumpet hybrids to grow in your garden.21
As the name states, the Regale hybrid is an elegant plant, a favorite for landscaping and flower gardens. The tree produces massive pure white trumpet blooms that are yellow at the base and pinkish at the edges.22
Growing to 3-4 feet tall, the regale produces 10-12 flowers a stem, and its looks make it a classic trumpet lily.
#18: Lilium ‘African Queen’ (Trumpet Lily)
The African Queen is a stunning, fragrant plant that adds a tropical feel to any space. You first notice the vivid orange flower color with hints of mild purplish-pink hues on the ends of the petals.
It can reach an impressive 6 feet in height, perfect for growing at the front of your house for others to catch the sweet scent when they visit or walk past. It is a hardy species that lives in most climates as long as the soil drains well and there is sufficient sunlight.
#19: Lilium ‘Golden Splendor’
The distinguishing feature of the massive Golden Splendor is its yellow blooms and complementing purplish buds. It reaches 4 feet, and like other trumpet hybrids, its flowers have a powerful sweet scent.
Another desirable feature of the plant is that it is tough, withstanding harsh weather conditions. Therefore, it will still live in the coldest regions.
#20: Lilium Pink Perfection Group
Plants in this group have signature massive flowers, often measuring 10 inches wide. It is a favorite if you love vivid and dramatic flowers, given their bright purple and dark pink colors.
They also have a sweet fragrance besides the massive size, explaining why they are an award-winning group of lilies. You can plant them in a container, flower bed, or as a border to showcase their beauty and excellent scents.
#21: Lilium ‘Bright Star’, Lily ‘Bright Star’
This outstanding plant is a hybrid between the Lilium henryi (Henry’s Lily) and the L. centifolium that gets its name from its flower’s color pattern.
Its blooms are bright white with bright orange shades at the center, forming a star-like shape. The pattern gives it character and drama, perfect for growing at home.
Caring For Trumpet Hybrids
Trumpet hybrids thrive in soils rich in organic matter, and in most cases, they perform better in their second year than in their first. On the other hand, their bulbs can grow in containers when well-spaced with a 12-inch gap.
Division VII: Oriental Hybrids
Division 7 – Oriental Hybrids are a creation of interbreeding between the Lilium speciosum (Oriental Lily) and the Lilium auratum (Golden-Rayed Lily). They inherited their parents’ sweet scent, beauty, and flowers have a signature backward bend.
The following are some common oriental hybrids to grow in your garden.
It is a top choice for cut flowers for indoor décor and weddings, and you can plant them in your home for landscaping.24
#23: Dwarf Muscadet
Like its cousins, the Dwarf Muscadet bears creamy white fragrant, showy flowers. Its petals have mild pink bars and freckles, giving it a signature look for all your decorative needs.25
Given that it grows to 2-3 feet, people prefer it as a container plant.
#24: Magic Star
The Magic Star is an ideal fragrant pink lily with a distinctive look. It features whitish hues and dark stripes with light freckles.
You can use it as an ornamental tree thanks to the fluff 3 feet blooms that show in mid-summer.
#25: Soft Music
Another pink flower many have grown to love is Soft Music. It is a scented pollen-free flower that grows to 12 inches, perfect for bouquets. The plant reaches 3-4 feet and will spruce up your garden from summer to fall.
Each stem reaches 3-4 feet and bears 6-8 lilies.
#27: Tiger Moon
The Tiger Moon has an interesting pattern with dark red marks on cream-yellow centers that gradually fade to white at the ends. It grows to 4 feet, and the lilies extend to 9 inches wide.
The impressive feature is its enchanting fragrance, making it perfect for creating a bouquet.
Caring For Your Oriental Hybrids
Most Oriental hybrids don’t like lime, therefore, if the soil around you is alkaline, you may have to keep your plants in pots filled with ericaceous compost. They will thrive in the planter and make excellent decorative plants.
Division VIII: All Other Hybrids
Division 8 – Inter-Divisional Hybrids include the breed that doesn’t fall in any other division. There are several striking flowers in this category, like the Lilium Black Beauty and Lilium ‘Scheherazade’; most are LA and LO hybrids.
#29: Big Brother
Big Brother lives up to its name, with its massive petals over ten inches wide. It has white and yellow blooms and grows to 5 feet tall.28
You can grow it if you love enormous flowers that add character to your space.
Corleone is a cross between the Longiflorum and Asiatic parent breeds, making it one of the best LA Hybrid lilies to grow in your garden. It has bright red petals with a mild fragrance that will rejuvenate any flower garden.
It reaches 4 feet high and can work as a cut flower.
#31: Lilium ‘Forza Red’
‘Forza’ means power in Italian, and this Lilium doesn’t disappoint. Given its Longiflorum parentage, it is no wonder the Forza has massive flowers that are entirely dark red, making it perfect for florists.29
#32: Gloriosa superba
If you cannot resist giant lilies, the Gloriosa superba is your go-to. It is one of the most impressive Hybrid lilies to grow in your garden and features flowers with ruffled ends growing on giant 8 feet tall stalks.30
#33: Lilium ‘Heartstrings’
Another LA hybrid to watch out for is the ‘Heartstrings’. It boasts yellow flowers that turn vivid pink toward the edges.
As long as it receives adequate sunlight and grows in well-drained soil, it will always bear abundant fragrant flowers that last weeks.
Division IX: All True Species
The last and one of the most crucial divisions of types of lilies flowers are the wild lilies (also known as Division 9). They are the most vital group because they feature the original or parent lilies; without them, the hybrids you have grown to love would not exist.
Many overlook them and opt for the flashier hybrid versions, not knowing that the true species are often as stunning and fragrant. The following are some of the most popular wild lilies to grow in your garden.
#34: Flore Pleno
One of the best features of wild lilies is that they always stand out since they are in their original form. The Flore Pleno adds personality to your home with its signature orange petals and dark freckles.31
It is a double L. Lancifolium or tiger lily that is fragrant and blooms in summer. Each stalk that grows to 6 feet bears up to 25 flowers, making it an ideal decorative species.
Bulbs can bear up to 25 flowers, growing to 3-4 feet high. The lilies face downwards and boast bright orange petals covered in black freckles.
You can use it to add a dash of color to your flower garden or use it as a cut flower.
What Should You Know When Growing Different Types of Lilies?
Lilies are easy to care for and make a wonderful indoor garden and cut flowers. When buying different types of lilies for planting, note that there are various species and hybrids to choose from based on your needs, whether you want vivid, multicolored, massive, or fragrant flowers.
Also, remember to let the lilies die back naturally; avoid cutting the leaves because photosynthesis continues throughout the growing season.
Where Can You Grow Lilies?
An impressive feature about lilies is that they can survive harsh winters to -30 degrees, and some, like the Turk’s cap, can live through worse. The flowers thrive under winter dormancy since the bulbs need the cold to bloom.
If you live in a hot region like Florida, you can place the bulbs in your fridge to replicate chilly winter. Afterward, plant them in a container in a perfect spot and wait for growth.
How To Plant Lily Bulbs (How Can You Plant Lily Bulbs?)
Ensure that the stem faces upwards and the root disk is down. All types of lilies flowers thrive in well-drained soil under 6-8 hours of sunlight; hence it is crucial to pick where to grow your plant carefully.
Otherwise, the bulbs will rot if the soil is too soggy, and the plant will grow stunted and crooked without sufficient sunlight. When planting, ensure that the top of the bulb is 3 inches below the soil surface, and add a 1-inch layer of compost and mulch.33
How To Breed Your Own Lily Hybrids
Instead of hiring an expert to breed lilies for you, you can do it in a few simple steps. First, remove the anthers of the flower you want to pollinate, leaving the style intact to prevent self-pollination.
Next, find a second lily and remove its anthers, transferring the granules to the stigma of the first lily. After successful pollination, you can tag the plant with the species names.
It may be a long process until the seeds ripen, but when they do, you can plant them in compost and care for them until you see the seedlings appear.
Lilies are some of the most colorful scented plants to grow in your garden and the best part is that there are many parents and hybrids to pick from based on your preference. You can go for the dwarf species with tiny blooms or massive 12-inch-wide lilies that grow giant.
There are also mild and strong scented types, while others don’t have a fragrance, but regardless of your choice, you are sure to land breathtaking flowers. They are also easy to care for as long as there is sunlight access and well-draining spoil.
You can buy bulbs from a trusted supplier or get creative with developing interbreeds and seeing the outcome. Various types of lilies flowers come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, and you can always choose any species for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Lilies Flowers
Why Are There So Many Different Types of Lilies Flowers?
Interbreeding of the parents and hybrids has led to an increased population of lilies and flowers worldwide. There are so many that experts have to group them into eight divisions with similar characteristics and origins.
Read More About Types of Lilies Flowers
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