No longer sold here but here is the variety info...
Lily varieties that have been culled, trashed, destroyed, SOLD OUT or otherwise.....no longer sold at Valley K Lily Ranch as the business was retired in 2020, but I've kept the information here for reference after hundreds of requests to do so. Your welcome!
Click on a category title to see the list of lilies within.
There is more for me to add.....I was deleting the pages as they sold out the last few years in business, until I decided to preserve the information online.
This will be done as time permits so don't be surprised at new additions next time you visit this section. Over 900 unique varieties (registered and unregistered) grew and/or were sold here over a period of 30 years (1990-2020). This archive contains approximately 500 at the moment (August 2021) so lots to add back yet. Then there are tons more photos to go with each lily variety, last count close to 60 thousand total on my photo hard drives, ha!
Asiatic lilies are the hardiest lilies available and are often mistakenly called tiger lilies. Flowers from the asiatic class have different bloom orientations and vary dramatically in height and color. There are usually 3 to 12 flowers per stem, which open from late June through August. Some can have over 50 flowers per stem!
Asiatics are very hardy with amazing strength and substance. They are also virtually pest free!
Did you know that there were no pink lilies before the 80's? Hybridizing has come a long way in a very short time. Light pink, dark pink, all shades of pink lilies can be found in this category. There is no shortage of pink lilies at Valley K Lily Ranch due to my penchant for pink!
Red lilies can be difficult to capture the true color when taking photos and it doesn't matter if they are old fashioned print types or digital photos, some shades of red are elusive. Often lilies in this category may appear a deep shade of burgundy or more pinky-purple than red.
Orange flowers, just like Yellow flowers are often shunned by gardeners because the colors are so common. Don't ignore them as they often produce the strongest and most vigorous long lived varieties to be found! They also show up the best in the garden contrasting well with greens & browns.
Yellow lily varieties are often ignored by gardeners because the colors are so common. Don't forget that they show up the best in the garden contrasting well with almost everything and can produce a stunning effect when planted near or with blue flowering perennials and annuals. Literally a splash of color!
White lilies can produce a beautiful display in a dark corner of the garden, often brightening it up when in bloom. Plant them with contrasting reds and oranges for a nice effect.
Lilies in this category contain more than one color in the petals. Quite often bi-color lilies bloom differently from year to year depending on the weather and temperatures at bloom time. Under cool conditions they will bloom with vivid colors and the contrast is stunning in some cases. Under warm or hot conditions they may appear washed out or fade very quickly.
Aurelian/Asiatic or Asiapets (AA) hybrids are yet another breakthrough in lily breeding; crosses between hardy Asiatics and the Aurelian trumpets, resulting in hardy bulbs with magnificent, huge, fragrant blooms which show themselves in late August through September. Finally, a fragrant AND hardy lily for the prairies!
Plant them 6 inches deep, mulch in zones 1 and 2 is recommended, be sure these are in full sun. Most, if not all varieties in this category originate right here in Canada.
LA hybrids (longiflorum asiatic) were an exciting breakthrough in lily cross-breeding. They are a cross between an asiatic and an Easter lily. Very large blooms on a hardy and reasonably tall stem, along with fragrance (on some) are this hybrid's features, although there are some short varieties as well. They multiply rapidly and perform well in the garden, although they are bred for the cut flower trade. Because the flowers are huge, with wider leaf margins, the cut flowers and those remaining on stems in the ground have a longer blooming life.
Not too many LA hybrids have a large number of blooms per stem, but they do make up for it in their size and staying power! For those that do produce numerous buds, I usually make a note of this in the description. Blooming starts in mid July.
I find these hybrids to be reliably hardy to zone 3, although I have reports of zone 2b hardiness, there are many in zone 2 who say they are not.
We grew and sold number of unregistered, registered & named martagon bulbs, which were from the collection of a dear friend who needed to reduce her garden size. Displayed here is a portion of her beautiful labour of love and you can see all the martagons towering in the background. All varieties have been verified and confirmed to be true to name by lily & martagon experts, and a great majority of the varieties are Canadian hybrids.
Martagons make a lovely addition to any garden, with amazing longevity often living undisturbed in clumps for many, many years unlike asiatic lilies which require splitting & dividing frequently. They will grow in full sun or in part shade or dappled shade but in my experience you will still see more flowers when they are in full sun. Most varieties sport many flowers on tall stems, an average of 1.4 M tall but many grow even taller. They all carry a scent - whether you like the scent or not is for you to decide!
Martagons are known to 'pout' after being disturbed, so it is no surprise when a bulb sends up no growth or very little growth its first year in a new home. Patience is key with martagon lilies, keep in mind it can take up to 7 years for one to flower when grown from seed! They are extremely hardy making them ideal for cold zone gardens. Unfortunately I cannot speak for how they might do in warm climates, but they do fabulous here in Canada.
Here is another breakthrough in lily breeding, tender orientals crossed with hardy asiatics! As I planted these in the Fall of 2006 for the first time, I am now able to give a true evaluation of their hardiness and performance in the garden. At present, I can tell you they overwinter without extra protection and although they come up late in spring, each one comes up and blooms profusely, even those of small bulb size.
If you are in Zones 1 to 2, and if you have not planted these previously I suggest mulching them for winter, planting deeply and only in spring to help ensure they overwinter in your garden the first year. They are hardy for all other zones. Another alternative, if they are not hardy in your zone is to overwinter them in pots.
Orientals have wider leaves and a later bloom date than asiatics, but your reward is the strong and spicy perfume. Orientals can have 3 to 12 large, open faced blossoms on each stem in shades of pink, white, yellow and red. They bloom from August through September here at this central Alberta, rural location. The most common of the Orientals is Star Gazer, truly a beauty to behold!
Orientals are borderline hardy here on the Prairies, and require extra help to make it through the often harsh winters, in most locations. They should be planted deeper, only in spring, and mulched heavily in the fall. Part shade is also preferred. They can also be grown and overwintered successfully in pots. Have a look at this very good article on overwintering orientals in Alberta.
Please note that I do not plant them in the ground due to their lack of hardiness and unreliable overwintering habit. Your results may vary!
Orienpets combine the beauty of Orientals with the garden traits of the Trumpets and Aurelian hybrids. They often have more intense colors in cooler weather, with the colors fading in high heat. Outstanding fragrance is another bonus with these vigorous lilies. Orienpets can grow quite tall and bloom late for the most part, from mid-August through to October, depending on the weather.
I grow a number of Orienpets from Dr. Wilbert Ronald and Lynn Collicut's selections and I find those that grow best on the Prairies are also bred on the Prairies. In recent years a number of new varieties are being released by the breeders in Holland, bringing exciting new colors and shorter varieties onto the market at a reasonable cost. Orienpets should be planted in spring, mulched heavily in fall or overwintered in pots on the Prairies unless you have previous experience and know they will survive your typical winter.
Many of the common mail order bulb catalogs have been marketing these varieties as 'Tree Lilies' for a number of years now, but the truth is, although they may have the size and substance of a small tree when you buy them potted, or even the first year in the ground when spring planted, they will take YEARS to attain the same substance when grown on the Prairies - unless you take extra care in overwintering that is. Please note, I did say on the PRAIRIES they will not grow in this manner. Please don't email me to tell me yours grew into a tree when you grow in Zone 4 or warmer, however I would love to hear from you on how they do in your bald prairie, Zone 1 to 3 garden!
My experience growing them here in zone 3 shows that they take about 4 years to establish, then they begin to thrive and multiply readily on their own. I've also noted that the longer I leave a bulb alone (completely alone - meaning not disturbing, digging or moving it once planted), the better it performs, often achieving the heights and bud counts the hybridizer says it is capable of, sometimes even exceeding that - but note it takes them 5 years to get there! They do equally well in heavy soil and in sandy based, lighter soil although the bulbs certainly grow bigger and faster in the sandy beds. Some years they bloom much later than the asiatics, starting for example in mid August and continuing well into October providing frost doesn't get them. Other years, they are up out of the ground and blooming the same time as the asiatics. As in everything gardening, it is all weather dependent!
Check out my trials with these types of lilies, made when I first began growing them some twenty or so years ago. My climate AND my micro-climate have changed since then, as my landscape has matured and provides much more winter protection and shade.
Species lilies are regaining in popularity. Species lilies are not considered hybrids since they are in their natural form, the way Mother Nature created them. Many species of lilium are very easy to start from seed, which is the preferred and recommended method to propagate them. Some can produce copious amounts of seed, and once they start you will find they will reseed themselves and you will never go without their blooms in your garden again. A good example of this is the species L. pumilum. It produces enough seed that I frequently find myself giving it away.