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Lilium martagon

Lilium martagon with Pink Flowers

If you are looking for a lily that is a little more subtle that some, then Lilium martagon could well be it. The flowers are plentiful and colourful with both white and rosy pink shades however they are subtle. This is a turk's Cap lily with nodding pendulous flowers that appear in mid summer.

Used widely in gardens across the USA and Europe Martagons sort of went 'out of fashion' when the big bold Asiatic types became available. They never disappeared from old gardens, they just settled int toe background. Yet we frequently hear people ask 'what is that beautiful lily', its small dainty flowers when in full bloom are magical in the garden.

The white flowering Lilium martagon var. album has wonderful pure white petals with green nectaries. The pink flowering variety is wonderful as well fragrant flowers and very pretty with 30 and upward flowers on each plant. The recurved petals some with markings are the trademark look.

And of course the cultivars, Lilium martagon 'Arabian Knight' with its orange and yellow flowers is one of many. In the first years flowers can tend to be a little small and few and far between, once established you can appreciate the full beauty and the masses of flowers.

The best place to plant these lilies is in good open soil close to but away from the fibrous root systems of smaller shrubs, they will wind their way up,through the supporting plant and flower above it. They will reach around 1.5m in height when in full growth and in a good position.


Propagation is from seed or by division. From seed they may take 4 - 6 years to flower, so be patient. You can use the baggy method to speed up germination if you like. Scaling is another possibility for the experienced grower.


Although the species L.martagon is one, four others fall into the maragon group as well, L.hansonii, L.medeoloides, L.distichum and L.tsingtauense. And all of the hybrids as well

Lilium martagon are extremely popular, a tall growing lily with up to 20 flowers they make a spectacular display in the garden. Martagon Lilies or 'Martagon Hybrids' will grow to 100cm (1m) and prefer part shade and a well drained humus rich soil. Lilium martagon var. album a white form and is widespread in the Alpine areas of europe.

Martagon hybrids are numerous and range in color from white through to red. Lift and separate Martagon Lilies every 2-3 years, replant in a different position or if growing in a pot, fresh potting mix.