LILIUM TESTACEUM

J Roy Hort Soc 1944, p 230
Red seedling from Lilium testaceum
Maurice Amsler
    It is well known that the hybrid Lily Lilium testaceum practically never sets seed when selfed—though pollination is easy with its near relatives L. candidum and L. chalcedonicum. These are its two parents and in the "Jones's variety" which was a successful attempt to produce L. testaceum de novo, L. chalcedonicum was the female parent and L. candidum the pollen bearer.
    In 1935 I was extremely surprised to discover two well-formed seed pods on one of a group of L. testaceum in my garden, more especially as there were at that time no plants of L. candidum or L. chalcedonicum either in my garden or in in the neighbourhood.
    Seed was produced, some of which appeared to be good. This was sown and nine seedlings resulted, but these gradually decreased to two. In 1942 one of the bulbs gave me a flower. In size and shape it was very near L. testaceum, but the colour was a bright scarlet—even brighter than in most forms of L. chalcedonicum—in fact a more pleasing shade of red. I noticed at the time that although the stigma looked normal, the anthers were absent and were only represented by a series of aborted structures around the ovary.

The Garden 30: 70 (July 24, 1886)
Lilium Testaceum.—No Lily now in blossom surpasses the pure white L. candidum, but it is not always an easy plant to grow. One little secret in its culture is to transplant it soon after its flowers fade away, as so treated every two or three years we find it by no means hard to manage. One of the tallest and best of all good strong growing garden Lilies, however, is L. testaceum, as seen 8 feet in height, with from twelve to fifteen of its buff-reflexed bells on a stem. It is a good example of the added vigour sometimes observable in hybrid plants, for, as is well known, this variety is the result of a cross effected between the common Madonna Lily (L.candidum) and the scarlet Turk's-cap (L. chalcedonicum) (see "Flore des Serres," vol. i.). We are pretty sure of this parentage, since Col. Trevor Clarke has repeated the cross, and, as a scientific resurrection, raised L. testaceum over again. As a good serviceable garden plant I consider L. testaceum one of the best, since it grows well almost anywhere, and increases quite rapidly from its bulb scales which form flowering bulbs in two or three years, besides which its usual rate of bulb increase renders division absolutely necessary every other year. Some good masses of this Lily are now opening their soft elegant shaped flowers, and being backed by the towering stalks of some dark blue Delphiniums they show themselves to the best advantage. The dark claret-purple Martagon is also in flower (L. dalmaticum Catani), and is most beautiful. A good mass of it along with the ivory-white flowered kind would make a picture fair to see even in the time of Roses.

The Garden, 1887
     p. 194: Liliums seeding.—I have never known the different species of Lilies to bear seed so freely as this year. I have one seed pod on a plant of L. testaceum. As this Lily is supposed to be a hybrid, I wish to know if it often bears seed, as I have never known it do so before.—W. SHOOLBRED, St. Ann's, Chepstow.
     p. 394: Lilium testaceum seeding.—In answer to W. Shoolbred in THE GARDEN (p. 194), I once got a good seed-pod of this. It was exactly between Lilium candidum and L chalcedonicum. L candidum and L. testaceum both seeded under the same circumstance: the stems were cut off in flower and put into a pot of water in the open air. It is said if candidum is cut and the stems hung topsy-turvey they will seed .—F. MILES

The Garden, p. 153 (August 31, 1901)
Lilium testaceum—THIS Lily is in colour quite distinct from any other member of the genus, the flowers being of a clear nankeen tint, while the anthers are bright orange. It is supposed to be of hybrid origin, the parents being the scarlet Turk's-cap Lily (L. chalcedonicum) and the Madonna Lily (L. candidum). In growth it more nearly resembles the latter, while the flowers, which are as large as those of L. candidum, are prettily reflexed. The bulb is very much like that of the Madonna Lily, which is the earliest of all the Lilies to start into growth. L. testaceum comes next, or rather it appears above ground at much the same time as the pretty yellow-flowered L. Hansoni; while these two are closely followed by the scarlet Turk's-cap (L. chalcedonicum). Though this last commences to grow so early, it is among the later blooming Lilies, as July is often well advanced before it flowers. L. testaceum, on the other hand, usually blooms towards the latter part of June, though this year in common with all outdoor subjects, it is earlier than that. The perfume of the flowers is very pleasant. L. testaceum will grow in a light sandy loam better than many other Lilies. Besides the above name, it is also known as L. isabellinum, L. peregrinum, and L. excelsum. This last name is very suggestive, as when thoroughly established it is really a tall and stately Lily.— H.P.

Jekyll on Lilium testaceum (1903)

The Garden, p. 361 (November 26, 1904)
Lilium testaceum—THE possibility of this Lily being a native of Europe, which is discussed by your correspondent S. G. Reid, page 322, reminds one how little we know of the origin or early history of one of the most beautiful members of the genus. It is generally regarded as a hybrid between L. candidum and L. chalcedonicum, but of this we do not seem to have any authentic particulars. The most complete account of the early history of Lilium testaceum that has come under my notice occurs in a book of 122 pages, entitled "Monographie Historique et Littéraire des Lis, par Fr. de Cannart d'Hamale, Président de la fédération des Sociétés d’Horticulture de Belgique, &c," printed at Malines, 1870. Somewhat curtailed it reads as follows: "There is also another Lily with recurved petals, concerning the origin of which we have but a vague idea, but which, nevertheless, appears to be Japanese, viz., Lilium testaceum of Lindley (the Nankeen Lily). It was first discovered by M. Fr. Ad. Haage, jun., of Erfurt, accidentally in a large consignment of Martagons, which he had received from Holland in 1836, and with which it had been mixed. The plant was introduced into Belgium by L Van Houtte, of Ghent, who had received a case full of it from M Von Weiesenborn, of Erfurt, in exchange for some Fuchsias. This exchange was made in 1840 or 1841, at which time there is no question that of this unknown Lily three persons of Lille in France each possessed an offset. One only of these offsets chanced to flower at Esquermes-lez-Lille, and showed an umbel of pendant blossoms, with petals reflexed like the Martagons, but larger and of a beautiful nankeen colour slightly tinged with rose, and dotted with a deeper tint at the base. The bright orange-coloured stamens served to add to the beauty of the flower. M. Van Houtte, who happened to be at Lille, was fortunate enough to see this splendid novelty. He eventually received from M. Von Weissenborn an order for Fuchsias, with a postscript in the following terms: 'If by any chance you want the nankeen-coloured Lily I have a quantity at your service.'
    "M Van Houtte did not think twice about it, and seized with avidity the good fortune offered to him. He accepted the exchange, and soon became the possessor of a case more than a yard square full of Nankeen Lilies of all sizes, the largest bulbs measuring more than a foot in circumference. This news soon spread to Lille, and there caused much talk and great disappointment when the possessors of the three offsets were convinced that the Lily of which M. Van Houtte had become the owner was the same as those which they guarded so jealously. The Nankeen Lily passed from Belgium to England, where it flowered for the first time in 1842 with Messrs. Rollisson. It was figured and described in the Botanical Register by Dr. Lindley in 1843, under the name of L. testaceum. Dr. Kimtze, of Halle, had described it as L. isabellinum, and it also bore the name of L. excelsum among gardeners. M. Rinz Senior, a nurseryman at Frankfort, and another gardener at Leipzig, claimed to recognise in it an old friend which they had cultivated in their younger days. This was evidently a mistake, for no mention of this Lily has been made in any work on botany or horticulture. We are more inclined to believe that it is of recent introduction, and that the Dutch received it from Japan, with which country they were in constant communication. But is it really a true species? Or is it not rather the product of the white Lily fertilised by one of the Pomponium section. The general appearance of the plant would lead one to suppose so."
    Such is the early story of this Lily, which interested me greatly, and as many readers of THE GARDEN are, like myself, admirers of these beautiful plants, they too may be interested.—H.P.

The Garden 66: 399 (December 10, 1904)
ORIGIN OF THE NANKEEN LILY
H. P. Blackmore. Salisbury.
SIR,—Knowing the interest that is attached to the origin of this Lily induces me to send a short account of some experiments carried out here many years since with the special object of deciding this point. It naturally occurred to me that if this pretty Lily is really a hybrid from L. candidum and L. chalcedonicum, it might be possible to raise it afresh by cross-fertilising these two forms. Accordingly, in August, 1880, L. candidum was fertilised with the pollen of L. chalcedonicum, and also L. chalcedonicum with pollen from L. candidum; but alas! no seed resulted. The following year was wet and unfavourable, but in 1882 I was fortunate in getting seed from one pod of L. chalcedonicum, which had been fertilised with pollen from L. candidum. The seed thus obtained was sown in a shallow pan and left alone for two years. In October, 1884, the seed pan was turned out, and the small bulbs, some nearly as large as a Hazel Nut, were planted out in a dwarf Rose bed and left to take care of themselves. They grew slowly, and I began to wonder whether they would ever flower. At last, however, my patience was rewarded, and on August 7, 1895, the first flower opened. It proved in point of colour an exact counterpart of the ordinary L. testaceum, but the petals were not quite so long or twisted; in fact, they curled back more like the ordinary form of Turk's-cap Lily. A week later another of the seedlings flowered; this proved quite different in colour, a warm apricot tint, without any spots, having the petals not so tightly recurved as in the scarlet Turk's-cap Lily. This is a very distinct and handsome Lily. Still later in flowering were three or four of the seedlings, which, both in growth and habit, were like L. chalcedonicum; but the flowers were much paler, and more of a brick-dust colour, altogether lacking the brilliant sealing-wax vermilion of the parent.
    These seedlings are in every way inferior to L. chalcedonicum, and have nothing to recommend them beyond the history attached to their origin. I may add that every year since 1895 these Lilies have flowered regularly, and keep to the same time in sequence of flowering. The variety A, which resembles L. testaceum, is always the first, then follows B, the apricot-coloured one, and lastly C, the brick-dust section, opening their flowers a few days before examples of L. chalcedonicum, in other parts of the garden, are out.
    There are now good clumps of each of these three forms, and should any of your readers be in this neighbourhood next August they are welcome to see in the garden the result of this experiment, which has left no doubt in my mind that the ordinary L. testaceum is a hybrid Lily which has arisen from crossing the old Madonna Lily with the pollen of L. chalcedonicum, and was probably produced in some districts where the beautiful white Lily is sufficiently happy to form seed, which, as far as my experience goes, is never the case in this neighbourhood.

The Gardeners' Chronicle p 233, April, 14, 1906
SEED VESSELS OF THE WHITE LILY
The rarity with which capsules and seeds of the Madonna Lily (L. candidum) are produced is well known. As long ago as the time of GESNER it was the custom to cut the flower stems off level with the ground, and then hang them up in a reversed position in a well lighted situation. When the ovary swelled, a capsule was formed, and the seeds ripened. Various French writers describe a similar process. Another method of inducing fructification depends on the removal of the scales of the bulb and the bulbils, leaving the central flower-bearing stem, which in time produces capsules and seeds. NAÜDIN, in 1863, noticed in a bed of white Lilies, intermixed with Lilium testaceum, some which produced capsules. Other cases of the same kind are cited in an article in the Revue Horticole by M. L. HENRY from which we take these details. Further, M. HENRY tells us that in 1904 two clumps of this Lily were planted, separated from each other by a space of 5 to 6 metres, with a similar clump of Lilium testaceum midway between the two. In 1905, the white Lilies produced a considerable number of seed-pods, some of which ripened and produced seed. One of these capsules is figured in the Revue Horticole, 1906, p. 159, fig. 75. The question arises whether the proximity of Lilium testaceum had any influence in determing the fructification of the white Lily? In the coming season it would be easy to determine this point by fertilising L. candidum with the pollen of L. testaceum. The last-named Lily also rarely produces fruit, though in the Garden for 1887, pp. 194 and 394, instances are mentioned where it had done so when grown in the vicinity of other Lilies—as if it, also, required to be pollinated with foreign pollen.

The Gardeners' Chronicle p 112, August 10, 1907
LILIUM TESTACEUM AND L. CANDIDUM HYBRIDS
The following notes on this subject are from Herr F. SCHENBEL, of Oberlahustein, Germany, and were kindly sent us by Mr. GUMBLETON:—"Of the seedlings raised from crosses made between these two species, seven have flowered and, of these, six have bloomed for the first time. They commenced to flower earlier in the season than either parent. The one which flowered for the second time was as vigorous as L. testaceum, and reached a height of 5 feet; it bore six flowers as large as those of L. testaceum and of like form, but of a coral-red shade of colour. Of the remaining six three were of the same height as the first had been last summer, or between 3 and 4 feet, and bore two or three flowers each. In the case of two of them the colour of the flower was like that of L. chalcedonicum, but in size the blooms were as large as those of L. testaceum. The third had a large orange-coloured flower. The three other seedlings were of more slender growth, bearing only one flower each. In the case of two of them the colour of the flower was a shade redder than that of L. testaceum at their opening, but their interiors turned darker and darker every day until they were mid-way in colour between L. chalcedonicum and L. testaceum; the backs of the petals remained light and contrasted well with the interiors. The last of the seven seedlings was the most slender of them all, with a small flower much lighter than the female parent. I think that these hybrids prove two things—first, that hybrids often revert to one of their grandparents, showing little more than a trace of their immediate parents; and, secondly, that L. testaceum is a hybrid probably between L. chalcedonicum and some other nearly allied species."