Lily Bulb Description
An easily grown and adaptable species though rarely seen in commerce, Lilium hansonii is found in Korea and Japan where it is known as "Gakeshima-Yuri". Used by Jan de Graaff in hybridizing with Lilium martagon , it contributed to the beautiful 'Paisley Hybrids' being born. Lilium martagon x 'Dalhansonii', another striking hybrid was produced from a cross with Lilium martagon var. cattaniae.
Probably the most famous cross though with Lilium hansonii and Lilium martagon is 'Mrs. R. O. Backhouse' which still is offered from time to time, more than 80 years after its introduction. All hybrids with Lilium martagon carry the unfortunate trait of requiring a year or more to recover after being moved in the garden as does purebred Lilium martagon.
Preferring a damp soil rich in leaf-mold and dappled shade, Lilium hansonii produces thick, fleshy flowers in a rich orange color. As with Lilium martagon , this is a very virus resistant species and should be grown more in the garden. We have grown this species for over 20 years but rarely have seen it bloom. Beloved by the native deer population, they bring in their fawns for a nibble just as the buds are starting to show color every year. Photo of Lilium hansonii Courtesy of Dr. Fritz Ewald.
Photo inset is closeup of stem of 'Mrs. R. O. Backhouse'