Lilies are among the most popular plants for landscaping, ornamentals, and container growing. Although the name Lily translates to white, these plants can come in many colors. Lilies can also come in different-sized flowers, plant heights, flower shapes, and divisions. Learn about the different types of lily flowers.
History of the Lily
The lily flower belongs to the Lilium genus of the Liliaceae family. There are over 100 species in the Lilium genus, encompassing 2,000 varieties and many hybrids, separated into nine divisions.
Lillies grow in temperate and sub-tropical climates along the Northern Hemisphere – Europe, Asia, and North America. The name Lily translates to whiteness, although this plant comes in a range of colors.
European explorers brought back many exotic lily species from their travels to Japan, America, and Asia. By pre-packaging the bulbs of wild lilies, the flowers could be transported worldwide, arriving intact.
The 1920s was an important decade for the Lily species, as many new varieties began to come out, thanks to the hard work of a lily enthusiast in Oregon. Jan de Graaff created an impressive breeding program – Oregon Bulb Farms, which made a lot of hybrids, many of that are still in use today.
Caring For Lilies
The Lilly flower starts as a rhizome – bulb – or as a seed, nodule, or scale. Plant lily flowers 4″ to 6″ deep in organic-rich soil in fall or spring to bloom between May and September.
Lilies flowers do best in full sun with periods of shade. These plants’ low maintenance and easy care make them a popular choice for beginner gardeners.
46 Types Of Lily Flowers
The name lily applies to several flowering species. However, a true lily plant refers to an upright perennial that can be 1′ to 8-feet in height with a spread up to two feet.
Because of the many different types of lilies, both the Royal Horticultural Society and the North American Lily Society divide the different types of lily flowers into nine categories:
- Asiatic Hybrids
- Martagon Hybrids
- Candidum Hybrids
- American Hybrids
- Longiflorum Hybrids
- Aurelian and Trumpet Hybrids
- Oriental Hybrids
- Interdivisional/Other Hybrids
- Wild Lilies
African Queen (Trumpet Lilies)
African Queen – also referred to as Trumpet Lilies – are an award-winning Lily species with large flowers in a trumpet shape. The stems grow 4′ to 6′ feet tall and produce 15 to 20 long-lasting blooms.
The lily blooms have a delightful aroma, while the petals are a luscious bright orange with traces of burgundy on the petal’s bottom and the stamens.
Anastasia (Orienpet Lilies)
Anastasia produces giant pendant flowers in a delightful two-tone of white tips with rosy pink hearts and pale green stamens.
These flowers bloom in mid to late summer, with each bulb producing 20 to 30 flowers in mid to late summer. This species can grow to heights of four to seven feet.
Citronella (Asiatic Lily)
Citronella Lilies have recurved pendant gold petals covered with small dark specks. Light stamens protrude from the center, topped with dark anthers.
You can get around 20 flowers per stem in early to mid-summer, with a tolerance for any sun conditions. This species can grow three to five feet in height.
Golden Splendor (Trumpet Lily)
Trumpet Lily – Golden Splendor – came on the scene in 1957. True to its name, this plant forms showy, trumpet-shaped golden-yellow flowers with exaggerated curled petal tips. The bottom of the petals can have greenish maroon tinges.
These plants reach up to six feet and form clusters composed of 12 to 20 blooms that make the stems top-heavy, typically requiring support or staking while flowering.
Entertainer (Oriental Lily)
Entertainer flowers have an appropriate name, with bright pink flowers facing upwards. The middle has a stark white center with dark speckles dotting the insides of each sepal.
In mid to late summer, this species can produce up to 10 flowers a stalk in partial shade or full sun. This Oriental Lily can reach 20″ in height as a shorter plant.
Dot Com (Asiatic Lily)
Dotcom is an Asiatic Lily that forms five to nine flowers on one stem. Flowers are a bowl shape with distinct red splotches that spread from the center outwards.
Petals are a pinkish purple color that forms a striking visual. The ability to thrive in the shade makes this species perfect for planting on borders or under trees.
Black Out (Asiatic Lilies)
Black Out is another upward-facing Asiatic Lily that grows three feet tall. At the top of the stem, it forms clusters of four to five flowers in a beautiful dark tone.
The shiny petals and stamens are an incredibly dark red with rich burgundy shading around the center in the form of embossed spots.
Regale (Trumpet Lily)
Regale – also known as Regal Lily – falls into the Trumpet lily classification. This summer flower form blooms in white with distinctive features of a golden inner throat and an underside tinted a purple plum color.
Regal plants grow six feet tall with dark green foliage in a lanceolate shape. This Trumpet lily attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.
Arabian Knight (Martagon Lily)
Arabian Knight is an exotic type of Lily that produces small russet-orange flowers sprinkled with deep red spots on a slender, smooth stalk.
These plants produce a profusion of blooms every year once the roots are established in proper growing conditions. This species requires partial shade to full sun and well-draining soil.
Robert Swanson (Orienpet Lily)
Bold and bright, Robert Swanson is an Orienpet Lily with large red flame flowers. The recurved tepals have yellow tips and pale green stigmas.
Each bulb can produce up to forty flowers in mid to late summer in any sun conditions. However, this lily is a low-grower, reaching four to five feet.
King Pete (Asiatic Lily)
King Pete belongs in the Asiatic lily category and received the Garden Merit Award. This species of Lily forms elegant and showy, long-lasting creamy yellow flowers.
Towards the center of the flower, the color starts to blend towards orange with brown spots. The blooms face downwards with ends that curl towards the outsides.
Brunello (Asiatic Lily)
Brunello is an Asiatic Lily that produces flower buds in a fantastic green that erupts into large heads of glossy flowers and dark green foliage.
This is a non-fragranced flower preferred for its pop of color that’s an attractant for pollinators. And it’s a hardy, durable plant that can tolerate anything except too much moisture.
Dizzy (Oriental Lily)
Dizzy is a hardy exotic Oriental Lily with incredible ruffled flowers in a crisp white. Stripes and spots in brownish-crimson color cover curling outward petals.
These hardy plants can survive in most environments and burst into bloom in summer. However, in winter, your plants do need a layer of mulch.
Salmon Twinkle (Asiatic Lily)
Another Asiatic Lily is Salmon Twinkle, a decorative yellowish-creamy flower with tips and midribs in salmon pink.
The blooms face downwards, with recurved petals and tall leafy stems. The dramatic look of the adorable plant makes it suitable for use solo or when used in a bunch.
Brindisi (Longiflorum-Asiatic Lily)
Feminine and soft, Brindisi has stunning upward-turned flowers in a soft pink color, darker pink centers, and pale stamens.
This species produces up to seven flowers per stalk, growing three to four feet tall in any sun condition. Peak blooming season is early to mid-summer.
Rosella’s Dream (Asiatic Lily)
Rosella’s Dream is a dreamy flower with petals in a creamy white that blends to soft pink on the edges and a darker-colored looking center.
But the center only looks dark because of the reddish-gold anthers that make the petal’s center look like it has brown freckles. This plant does well in partly sunny to full sunny conditions.
Lady Alice Lilies
Lady Alice Lilies is a Lilium Henryi hybrid known for pendulum flowers in orange-apricot colors that turn white at the tips. There are also cinnamon speckles along the throat.
This species can reach three to four feet in partial shade or full sun.
Leichtlinii Lily (Leichtlins’ Lily)
Leichtlinii is a lily originated in Japan, beloved for its month-long flowering cycle. This lily is in the Leichtlin category, with pendulum-like yellow flowers, freckles, and overexposed stamens.
The roots of the Leichtlinii are utilized in many Japanese culinary traditions. While the extended bloom time of the plant is a favorite for pollinators like butterflies and bees.
Claude Shride (Martagon Lily)
Claude Shride is a Martagon Lily with exceptionally noticeable rich maroon flowers with edges and leopard-print markings in orange.
Fully exposed pollen-covered anthers in gold complement the dramatic flower color. This type of flower loves shady areas.
Starlight Express (Oriental Lily)
Starlight Express is a bowl-shaped Oriental Lily in shocking fuchsia color, with white ruffled edges and yellow stamens.
These plants can grow 14″ to 16-inches tall, with up to 15 flowers per stalk. They can tolerate partial shade or full sun,
Tiny Todd (Asiatic Lily)
You can choose Tiny Todd when looking for an early blooming upward-facing lily. The soft white petal color blends into a pale pink for dainty blooms.
This delicate flower is native to the Netherlands and looks as exquisite for container planting as for a summer bloom to decorate flower beds in front of houses or sunny borders.
Altari (Orienpet Lilies)
Altari is an Orienpet type of Lily with dramatic two-toned flowers that can grow 3′ to 4′ tall. Each petal has a center streak of raspberry purple that forms a large star inside the flower.
The recurved tepals have white tips and can grow 6″ to 12″ in width in mid to late summer. Not only are these flowers gorgeous, but they also smell incredible.
White American (Easter Lily)
White American – Lilium Longiflorum – is a hybrid from the Easter Lily. This hardy species can rapidly grow in the right conditions of partial shade or full sun, reaching heights of 3 to 4 feet.
This plant produces trumpet-shaped white flowers in summer with green tips and rusty orange anthers on upright stems covered with dark green lanced leaves.
Tom Pouce (Oriental Lily)
Tom Pouce is a more subtle species of Oriental lily with a delicate cream and pink petals with a faint, randomly spattered dark spots.
Despite the subtle coloring, these flowers can be 8″ or bigger, with a 2′ to 3′ height. In mid and late summer, these plants grow in partial shade or full sun in well-draining soil.
Casa Blanca (Oriental Lily)
Casa Blanca can seem understated and plain-looking at first. But the simplicity of the translucent white flowers with waxy fragrant petals can be quite stunning.
It produces large flowers on stems that grow 3′ to four feet tall, making these exceptional flowers a popular choice for weddings. This Lily has also received a Royal Horticultural Society Garden Merit Award.
Patricia’s Pride (Asiatic Lily)
Patricia’s Pride is a six-petaled Asiatic lily that resembles a star-forming inside a star. The cream-white petals display striking plum markings when the flower opens fully.
In full bloom, the plum markings line up to resemble what makes the inner star. And the attractive stamens and green filaments give this lily an exotic look.
Black Beauty (Orienpet Lily)
Black Beauty isn’t black but a deep pigmented crimson despite the name. The flowers of this Orienpet Lily form a cup shape with dramatic curls.
In the center are green highlights in a pointed pattern with embossed papillae peppering the red petals with matching anthers. This species can grow up to nine feet tall and produce 150 flowers per stem.
Fire King (Asiatic Lily)
Fire King is a hybrid Asiatic lily released in 1933. This species has deep orange-red flowers with purple spots and outward curved petals that expose orange stamens.
You can expect these flowers to be tall, potentially reaching 6′ with a light, delicate scent. Pointy dark green leaves tone down the showy flowers.
Flashpoint (Orienpet Lily)
Flashpoint is another dark red flower that can nearly be described as a plum. It forms a lovely ombre as it blends into creamy white at the edges of the petals.
The color combination enhances the bronze color of the anthers making for an exquisite sight for your summertime garden. This species of Orienpet Lily is a hybrid of Netherlands breeder Mak Breeding.
Black Spider (Asiatic Lily)
Black Spider is a smaller type of Asiatic Lily, only growing to heights of three feet. It produces yellow to ivory white flowers with solid plum centers that spread out in spots.
This round-edged flower reaches peak growth in the summer, making it a popular choice of bloom to enjoy when the weather gets hot.
Pink Perfection (Trumpet Lily)
Pink Perfection is a superb vertical plant, growing up to eight feet tall. The slender stems have alternating dark green leaves with trumpet-shaped, downward-facing flowers.
As the name implies, the flowers are a beautiful finish-plum with exposed protruding golden anthers. The delightful fragrance and romantic look make these a popular choice for cut flowers.
Belladonna (Orienpet Lily)
Belladonna Lilies form large blooms in a beautiful golden yellow color and a classic bowl shape. This species can grow up to four feet with flowers up to 7″ in width.
When planted in fall or spring, these flowers bloom from mid to late summer, growing in either partial shade or full sun. You’ll need a minimum of three bulbs for a noticeable look.
Gluhwein (Orienpet Lily)
Gluhwein is a cross between a trumpet lily and an oriental hybrid. This multi-toned flower starts as a pale pink that deepens to an apricot color towards the flower’s center.
The edges of the flower are a soft yellow, while the spiral arranged foliage is a contrasting deep green. These hardy flowers don’t have any problems, possibly experiencing slug or aphid infestations as the biggest risk.
Silk Road (Orienpet Lily)
Silk Road forms in clusters of large white flowers that face downwards. They have a crimson throat with matching speckles along with the petals.
Plants can grow up to seven feet with a three food spread. If your plants get too heavy, they may require staking or support. They are low maintenance, only needing well-draining soil and part shade to full sun.
Manitoba Morning (Martagon Lily)
Manitoba Morning blooms profusely, forming 50 pinkish-red flowers in a pendulum shape with golden stamens that protrude downwards.
These blooms have red speckles and can start to flower around June. This species works as well for open gardens and tall shrubs along woodlands.
The Pumilum lily, also known as Coral lilies, is native to North Korea, Mongolia, Northern China, and Siberia.
The scarlet-red color of the pendant flowers with airy racemes makes this species a popular choice for ornamental purposes in summer gardens.
Turk’s Cap Lily
Turk’s Cap Lily – Superbum – is a unique plant that naturally grows in woodlands and wet meadows in North America in the central and eastern regions.
This species can grow to seven feet with dense foliage topped with long red-orange racemes and petals with maroon freckles. The petals curl back to resemble a Turk’s cap, hence the name.
Madonna Lily – Candidum – is known as the mother of the hybrid group Candidum. This type of Lily features long, upright stems and elongated spiral-arranged leaves.
This original Candidum Lily is most known for the bowl shape of the fragrant curled white petals with embossed midribs. It does best in dappled sunlight with moist, well-draining soil.
Ageratum – or the Golden-rayed lily is native to Japan. However, as soon as the fragrant, speckled flower reached America, it became an instant success.
This Lily has dark green lance-shaped foliage and unbranched stems that can grow to upright heights of five feet. The bell-shaped flowers are white with green-yellow stripes.\
Henry’s Lily is another tropical-looking Lily with stunning orange blooms, decorated with raised red bumps that give this flower a dense delightful texture.
This flower has curved petals in a Turk’s Cap shape, with strong sloping stems. This hardy plant is indifferent to the soil, leading to many hybrid Lily offsprings that can tolerate alkaline soil.
Gran Paradiso (Asiatic Lily)
The Gran Paradiso’s name brings to mind a tropical lily, such as this vivid orange-red flower with wide glossy petals with prominently curled tips.
The underside of the petals has darker red tints, while the center is a darker orange with yellow buds. These big, showy flowers make excellent border plants and cut arrangements.
Monte Negro (Asiatic Lily)
Monte Negro produces bold red blooms in the summer months, making them an excellent focal point for gardens. The dynamic color sets off the upward-facing bowl shape and recurved tips.
Tiny dark spots in the center add a touch of contrast to the flowers, which can grow up to 8″ wide. Each stem can form seven to ten flowers.
Grand Cru (Asiatic Lily)
Grand Cru is an Asiatic Lily that gives you a bright, cheerful note due to the yellow flowers with dark anthers. Red markings along the center add a touch of contrast to the brightness.
This lily was also awarded the Garden Merit back in 2002, as decided by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Canada Lily – Canadense – is native to North America, specifically the Eastern region. You can identify this flower by its downward-facing flowers with speckled petals.
The colors of this species can range from red to yellow, with a height potential of up to four feet. It’s found naturally growing in dappled light and moist meadows. You may get clusters or singular solitary flower formations from June to July.
The tiger lily flower – Lancifolium – is a famous Lily breed native to Far East Russia and Eastern Asia. This dramatic flower has significantly curled leaves in a vibrant orange.
Brown to black freckles covers the petals, giving this flower a resemblance to a tiger’s stripes. It’s most beloved for its ornamental use, largely chosen as a garden’s focal point and as cut flowers.
Souvenir (Oriental Lily)
Souvenir is an Oriental Lily species with a recurved flower in luscious pink and purple petals formed in an upward bowl shape. The orangish-red stamens and golden throat add contrast to the spread petals.
These plants do best in partial shade or full sun and can grow 18″ to 20″ inches, flowering in mid to late summer. Cutting the stems and leaves back after yellowing can result in self-seeding.
Find out more about the impressive Lily flower with these frequently asked questions.
What Is the Meaning and Symbolism of Lilies?
Lilies can mean love, purity, affection, fertility, devotion, rebirth, new life, passion, death, and grief.
What Are Hybrid Lilies?
Hybrid lilies are flowers bred from two different wild Lilies to create new species.
Are Lilies Toxic?
Lilies are extremely toxic to cats.
How Do You Breed Lilies?
There are five steps to breeding your lilies.
- Pinch anthers off the seed parent plant, leaving the central style – the long stalk arm with a rounded end – attached to the plant
- Take anthers from the second lily plant – the pollen plant. You’ll need to transfer this plant’s pollen granules onto the style – stigma – of the first plant. Use something soft for the transfer.
- Add a tag onto your flower identifying the cross-species after pollination. First, write it as a seed plant with an x and the pollen parent’s name. You can store collected pollen in the fridge if you need to wait for your plants to bloom at different times.
- It can take several weeks for you to get ripened seed pods. A piece of muslin or other breathable material wrapped around the seed pods can keep the seeds safe in a bag.
- After collecting the seeds, remove dead chaff and plant viable seeds onto the top of ericaceous or neutral seed compost. Cover with perlite or a thin layer of compost and soak the propagator from the bottom in water until the compost on top looks moist. Then put the tray in a plastic bag for a few weeks.
How Many Types of Lilies Are There?
Lilies fall into nine divisions, with over 90 species in the genus.
The Bottom Line
Lilies are beloved flowers that come in various styles, fragrances, colors, and looks. We’ve demonstrated how Lily can vary with these different types of lily flowers. A lily species can meet your preferences for height, flower shape, hue, and fragrance.