Lily Germination

Saint Bonifacius, MN(Zone 4a)

There are two basic types of lily seed germination: epigeal and hypogeal. Epigeal is usually rapid, and the cotyledons rise above ground, followed by true leaves. In hypogeal germination, the seed first produces a tiny bulb and nothing above ground the first season. A cold treatment is needed before leaves will grow above ground.

These two forms of germination are subdivided into immediate and delayed germination. Most epigeal(E) germinators are immediate(I). Most hypogeal(H) germinating species are delayed(D).

amabile IE
auratum DH
bakerianum IE
bolanderi H
brownii IH
bukozanense IH
bulbiferum DH
callosum IE
canadense DH
candidum IE
catesbaei IE
cernuum IE
chalcidonicum E, often D
ciliatum DH
columbianum H
concolor IE
dauricum IH
davidii IE
distichum DH
duchartrei IE
formosanum IE
grayi DH
hansonii DH
henrici IE
henryi IE
humboltii DH, sometimes I
iridollae H
japonicum DH
kelleyanum DH
kelloggii H
kesselringianum DH
lankongense IE
ledebourii DH
leichtlinii IH
leucanthum IE
longiflorum IE
lophophorum IE
mackliniae IE
maculatum E
maritima H
martagon DH
medeoloides DH
michauxii H
michiganense DH
monadelphum DH
nanum IE
nepalense IE
nobilissimum DH
occidentale H
oxypetalum IH
papilliferum IE
pardilinum H
parryi H
parvum H
philadelphicum E
phillipinense IE
pitkinense H
polyphyllum DH
pomponium E
pumilum IE
pyrenaicum DE
regale IE
rhodopaeum DH
rubellum DH
rubescens DH
sargentiae IE
sempervivoideum IE
sherriffiae IE
speciosum I or DH
sulphureum IE
taliense E
tsingtauense DH
vollmeri H
wardii IE
washingtonianum DH
wigginsii H
wilsonii IE

Information taken from Lilies, by Edward Austin McRae.


Oh noooooooooo, you're making me part with my money! I need that book.

Thanks for the information on germination.

Fox River Valley Are, WI(Zone 5a)

I just planted a bunch of species seeds DH type in vermiculite, will that work? How long does it usually take to for the seeds to germinate during the warm period.

Thank you much,

Southern, WI(Zone 5a)

I got that book used on Amazon for a GREAT price and it was just like new....only cheaper;)(Lilies by Edward Austin Mc Rae)

Saint Bonifacius, MN(Zone 4a)

Andrew, to begin with, I am assuming you know if it is a warm germintor or a cool germinator(American species), and are working with that. See here, one of the good sites:

In fact, right now I have both warm and cool germinating delayed hypogeal seeds in fine vermiculite that have germinated and produced their tiny bulb. I haven't encountered any problems with the vermiculite.

Funny you should ask about how long it should take. I also had L. auratum and L. martagon in vermiculite upstairs for their warm period (68 F). Some of the seed was along the bag edge, where I could monitor them. They almost immediately plumped up, and did nothing. Then it looked as if they were going to go, then nothing, and they went back to a more opaque look. Then after a while they turned more translucent again, where I could easily see the embryo inside. Success . . . well, no, and they returned to their plain old plump look. Something was literally preventing them from germinating. Kinda forgot about them for a while, until had what turned out to be a bright idea: I took the seed brought them downstairs, sat them on the floor along the outside wall. A thermometer placed there gaged it at 64-65F. Within a week auratum was off and running, and it took two weeks for martagon.

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Oh Sherleft, thanks for researching and condensing all that information. I'm going to copy it to my thingy and print it out for reference. It's seems like with my wide variety of specie seeds I am always referring to Ed's book.

Fox River Valley Are, WI(Zone 5a)

Well these are the Hypos I am trying to germinate...

bulbiferum DH
canadense DH
maritimum H (Cool)
michiganense DH
parvum H
pyrenaicum DE
speciosum I or DH

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

My L auratum isn't germinating yet! They are getting a lot of daytime heat in the greenhouse, perhaps I should bring them inside where it's cooler! No majoense either.

I have a few others germinating though, i willahve to make a note of which ones. Some are in the garage and getting more shade.

Winnipeg, MB(Zone 2b)

after the warm, when mine have germinated, into the fridge with them, still in their baggies. Out into the warm for a couple of weeks, and then in and out of the fridge till they do start growing.

No signs of my martagon 'grass' yet. This is part of the garden where I dump martagon seed without a name.

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