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Most Elegant of Them All | Garden Maine

August 6, 2020

Most Elegant of Them All

Roger Sampson Photo | Lilies in bloom in New Zealand

Roger Sampson Photo | Lilies in bloom in New Zealand

If one needed a single word to describe the genus Lilium, elegance might be that word. There are numerous types of lilies around the world, natives to Europe and across Asia and Japan and into the New World across Canada and the United States. The name lily is often applied to plants that are not true lilies, which are divided into nine horticultural divisions that group similar species. For example, Division I is the Asiatic hybrids while Division VI is for trumpet lilies. Others include Martagon hybrids, Candidum hybrids, American hybrids, Oriental hybrids and species. As a genus, lilies are perennials that can range from 2 to 6 feet in height, growing from bulbs. The showy flowers come in a selection of colors from white to orange to red to purple, often marked with spots or “brush strokes.” Oftentimes, the flowers are fragrant, with a strong perfumed scent. Countless hybrids have been created from the species lilies, which are the natives that grow around the world. Here in Maine, one such native is the wood lily, which is on the decline because it is a favorite food of an ever-increasing deer population.

This lily was photographed by Roger Sampson in New Zealand. Roger is a New Zealand photographer who describes his work as a hobby. “Nature is the star,” he says, “and I just expose nature.” You can find him on Facebook and YouTube.

These lilies were photographed at Hamilton Gardens on the North Island of New Zealand. Roger has two videos from Hamilton: here and here.