Lilium species profiles

  • A brief introduction to a species will appear below around every three months.

  • After reading this short introductory profile you are invited to contribute your experiences and photographs of this species. These contributions will be used to compile a more comprehensive Species Profile which will appear in ‘Lilies and Related Plants’.

Please send your contributions to Mel Herbert at


Lilium rubellum Baker, Gard. Chron. Ser. 3(23): 321 (1898)

Lilium japonicum var. rubellum (Baker) Makino, Iinuma Yokusai [Ed.) Somoku-zusetsu ed. 3 (5): 425 (1907).

John Gilbert Baker, keeper of the Herbarium at Royal Botanic Garden Kew described the beautiful Japanese pink trumpet lily as Lilium rubellum Baker in 1898. He also mentioned that the new species had been exhibited at the RHS great Temple Flower Show which was the forerunner of the Chelsea Flower Show and added that L. rubellum had been introduced from Japan by Messrs Bunting & Sons of Colchester who were nurserymen and suppliers of plants and seeds from 1820.

Found in Japan, on the eastern side of Honshu, growing on grassy slopes at elevations of 600 to 1800 m, this species has some affinities with L. japonicum Thunb. ex Houtt. from southern and central Honshu and the rare endemic L. nobilissimum (Makino) Makino from Kochinoshima.

It is generally considered a little easier to cultivate than its close relatives and enjoys a cool moist climate.  Seed is fairly frequently offered in the exchanges and usually gives good germination of the delayed hypogeal type.  When conditions are right L. rubellum can be fairly long lived and will produce its lovely pink flowers regularly.






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