Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Rubrum Lily, Red Japanese Show Lily
Lilium speciosum var. rubrum

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lilium (LIL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: speciosum var. rubrum
Additional cultivar information: (aka Rubrum)

» View all varieties of Lilies

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

9 - Species

Flower Habit:
(c) Down-facing

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Flower Shape:

Bloom Size:
Unknown - Tell us

Color Pattern:


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
By dividing the bulb's scales
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By carolann
Thumbnail #1 of Lilium speciosum var. rubrum by carolann

By carolann
Thumbnail #2 of Lilium speciosum var. rubrum by carolann

By Bob1947
Thumbnail #3 of Lilium speciosum var. rubrum by Bob1947

By Sue_WA
Thumbnail #4 of Lilium speciosum var. rubrum by Sue_WA

By mosquitoflats
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By Galanthophile
Thumbnail #6 of Lilium speciosum var. rubrum by Galanthophile

Thumbnail #7 of Lilium speciosum var. rubrum by TBGDN

There are a total of 9 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive canipity On Feb 4, 2009, canipity from Parkesburg, PA wrote:

I had the same experience as mentioned above. I had planted several of these bulbs and most of them came up as this species. A few flowers turned out to be larger and less recurved. I think they may be the "Uchida" cultivar of this species. They are however just as beautiful.

Positive lyndzi On Sep 29, 2007, lyndzi from Liverpool, NY wrote:

my fiance just recently bought this lily for me and i absoloutly love it, its so beautiful. I did however hear that this flower is under the Poisonous plant catagory......this is just what i have been told i don't know if its true, i really hope it isnt.

Positive TBGDN On Feb 6, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have grown this beautiful lily for at least 10-12 years. It is a magnificent plant with large 7-8" outward/downward facing blooms. It is the last of the lilies to bloom here beginning around the end of July into August. I have measured stalks as high as 7', and with clusters of 10-15 flowers per stem. Very nice fragrance, and the flowers attract a lot of butterflies.

On Aug 16, 2006, TBGDN from Macy, IN (Zone 5b) added:

I have been growing for ten years what I 'thought' was this lily. This past winter I ordered an 'extra' bulb for the sake of comparison, and planted it beside the cluster that I had 'thought' this was. Was I ever surprised when I saw the marked difference between the two flowers! Whatever I was growing as Rubrum speciosum, although beautiful, was not to be compared to the unique beauty of this lily: It is totally different in coloring, form and appearance. Both are outward/downward facing; both are quite beautiful, fragrant and tall. However, the one I 'thought' was Rubrum has a lighter color and is much taller at 7 feet, with enormous flowers, and its petals are not as recurved as the real Rubrum.

This bulb arrived and was planted the first week in May 2006. To my amazement it has grown to about 40" and produced 4 buds. Three have opened and a fourth will open this week. Now I need to search the Plantfiles to see what I had been growing erroneously as Rubrum really is.
Positive debi_z On Oct 31, 2004, debi_z from Springfield, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

my rubrum planted in late spring 2003, blossomed in september. in 2004, the 2nd year, it surprised me by sending up a second stalk and producing another set of beautiful blossoms, blooming in september as well. i can't wait to see what 2005 has in store for me.
this is the last lilium to blossom in my gardens.
i adore the small, recurved, pink, white and red down-facing, "smelly" & "heady" blossoms.

Positive gardenhoe On Sep 5, 2004, gardenhoe from Chesapeake, VA wrote:

This plant has done very well for me in my area zone 7b,,,Mike

Neutral Baa On Aug 28, 2002, Baa wrote:

A variety of a species lily from China, Japan and Taiwan.

Has broad, lance shaped, mid to deep green leaves with short stalks, borne on brownish stems. Bears large, turkscap, white flowers flushed heavily with deep reddish pink and darker spots.

Flowers July - September

Loves moist but well drained, acid soil in light shade and is best grown as cool a spot as possible.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Stamford, Connecticut
Gainesville, Florida
Macy, Indiana
Hebron, Kentucky
Sadieville, Kentucky
Durham, Maine
Springfield, Massachusetts
Mason, Michigan
Florence, Mississippi
Auburn, New Hampshire
Hudson, New Hampshire
Southold, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Chesapeake, Virginia
Seattle, Washington

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