Lilium rosthornii



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Lilium rosthornii is an uncommonly interesting lily from China whose flowers reflect a design concept taken to its ultimate expression by an inveterate tinkerer. Three foot stems carry large, vivid orange flowers whose narrow petals are recurved into an impossible backbend with a twist thrown in for good measure. The exposed faces of the petals fairly bristle with polyp-like papillose projections while the revealed open throat displays a dark green star from which unashamedly project the very long stamens and pistils. Having traveled in India, the outlandish floral corollary that popped into our minds was of a sadhu performing in Cirque du Soleil. Google images for sadhu and all will be clear. Lilium rosthornii is similar to L. henryi but flowers a bit later with peak bloom in September for us and has narrow vertical seed capsules as opposed to more globose and pendant in L. henryi.


Plant Type

  • Perennial / Bulb

Mature Size


Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 5a (-20 °F)
  • Zone 5b (-15 °F)
  • Zone 6a (-10 °F)
  • Zone 6b (-5 °F)
  • Zone 7a (0 °F)
  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade - Part Sun

Water Needs

  • Moderate

Bloom Time

  • Summer
  • Autumn