Mrs R.O. Backhouse Lily Lilium × dalhansonii 'Mrs R.o. Backhouse' (Iic/d)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
lily 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse'


The plant known commonly as 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse' is a captivating delight in the garden that emanates charm through its unique floral attributes. Its striking flowers are trumpet-shaped, exuding elegance and showcasing a warm blend of colors, with petals that exhibit a soft pink hue blending into a creamy yellow throat. This coloring provides a delightful contrast and is often accentuated by freckles or spots in a darker shade, adding depth and character to the blossom's appearance. The flowers are typically arranged in a cluster atop a sturdy stem, presenting themselves like a crown of ornate jewels to onlookers. With each petal gently curving backward, the blooms reveal a sense of motion, as if caught in a perpetual state of graceful dance. The plant's foliage is equally impressive, with lance-shaped leaves that are lush green, creating a verdant backdrop that highlights the floral display. Emanating grace and beauty, the 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse' lily is a standout plant that brings a touch of sophistication to any garden space.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Mrs. R.O. Backhouse Lily, Backhouse's Hybrid Lily

    • Common names

      Lilium × dalhansonii 'Mrs R.o. Backhouse' (Iic/d).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as a lily can be toxic to humans if ingested. While symptoms of poisoning might not be as severe in humans as they are in pets, consuming parts of a lily could still lead to some gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is generally not life-threatening for humans, but it is advisable to avoid ingestion and seek medical attention if a significant quantity has been consumed, particularly in children or vulnerable individuals.

    • To pets

      The lily is highly toxic to pets, especially cats. Eating even a small amount of any part of the plant can lead to severe kidney damage or kidney failure in cats. Symptoms of lily poisoning can develop within a short period and may include vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy, and increased or decreased urination. Immediate veterinary attention is critical, and if left untreated, ingestion of lilies can be fatal for pets. Dog owners should also be cautious, as lilies may cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs; however, the risk is less compared to cats.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4 feet (1.22 meters)

    • Spread

      1 foot (0.30 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Garden origin


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds visual interest to gardens with its striking trumpet-shaped flowers.
    • Variety in Landscaping: Suitable for borders, garden beds, and as a focal point in floral arrangements.
    • Pollinator Attraction: Attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, which are important for ecosystem health.
    • Perennial Growth: Returns for several years, reducing the need to replant annually.
    • Ease of Cultivation: Generally easy to grow with proper care, making it suitable for gardeners of varying experience levels.
    • Seasonal Interest: Blooms during late spring to early summer, providing seasonal garden highlights.
    • Cutting Garden Use: Flowers are long-lasting when cut, making them excellent for bouquets and indoor displays.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography Subject: The striking appearance of the 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse' lily makes it popular among photographers, particularly those specializing in botanical and macro photography.
    • Artistic Inspiration: Due to their intricate details and vibrant color, this lily can inspire artists for paintings, drawings, and textile designs.
    • Educational Tools: These lilies can be used in educational settings to teach students about plant biology, hybridization, and the history of garden cultivars.
    • Culinary Garnish: Although not traditionally edible, petals of the lily can be used as a decorative garnish for special dishes, after ensuring they are safe and pesticide-free.
    • Wedding Decor: The elegant and romantic look of the lily is ideal for use in wedding bouquets, centerpieces, and venue decorations.
    • Crafting: Dried or pressed lily petals can be incorporated into craft projects like homemade paper or bookmarks.
    • Perfumery: Scent extracted from the flowers may be used in the creation of custom perfumes with floral notes, though this is not a common industry practice.
    • Specialty Soaps: The flowers of 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse' can be used in making handcrafted soaps as a design element or for their potential scent.
    • Dye Source: In some cases, pigments from plant parts may be used in natural dye processes for fabrics or other materials.
    • Mood Enhancer: Simply having the lily in a living or workspace can uplift spirits and contribute to a sense of wellbeing through its beauty.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Lilium (commonly known as lily) is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Lilium (commonly known as lily) is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Purity: The lily is often associated with purity due to its white and innocent appearance, which can convey a sense of cleanliness and virtue.
    • Beauty: With its elegant shape and vibrant coloration, the lily is commonly seen as a symbol of beauty and grace.
    • Rebirth and renewal: Lilies are recurrent bloomers and are thus connected with the idea of rebirth, regeneration, and the beginning of new things.
    • Motherhood: In Christian symbolism, the lily is associated with the Virgin Mary, symbolizing purity, chastity, and nurturing.
    • Transitions: Due to its role in funerals and sympathy arrangements, the lily can represent the soul's transition from life to death.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Early spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Mrs. R.O. Backhouse lily should be watered deeply when the top inch of soil feels dry, usually about once a week during the growing season. Provide about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water each time, ensuring thorough saturation of the soil surrounding the roots. During the dormant period, reduce watering significantly, only keeping the soil slightly moist. Over-watering or allowing the bulbs to sit in waterlogged soil can lead to rot, so proper drainage is essential. Adjust the watering frequency based on weather conditions, watering more during dry, hot periods, and less during cool, rainy spells.

  • sunLight

    The Mrs. R.O. Backhouse lily thrives best in full sun to partial shade conditions. It needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, but in particularly hot climates, some afternoon shade can help protect the blooms from excessive heat. Planting it in a spot with morning sunlight and dappled afternoon shade can provide an ideal light environment for optimal growth and flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Mrs. R.O. Backhouse lily prefers a temperate climate and can generally withstand temperatures down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit during its dormant period. The ideal growing temperature for this lily ranges between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It's important to protect the plant from extreme cold by adding a layer of mulch or bringing potted specimens indoors, and it should be shielded from sweltering heat, especially in high temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Mrs. R.O. Backhouse lily is done primarily to remove spent flowers and to deadhead, encouraging more blooms. After flowering, cut back the flower stems but leave the foliage until it turns brown and dies back naturally, as this helps the plant store energy for the next season. Pruning should be done immediately after the flowers fade, and foliage should only be removed after it has completely died back.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Martagon lilies, like 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse', prefer a well-drained soil mix with a slight acidic to neutral pH of 6.0-7.0. A mixture of loamy soil, sand, and leaf mold or compost is ideal.

  • plantRepotting

    Martagon lilies, such as 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse', generally do not need frequent repotting and can be left undisturbed for several years unless the bulbs become overcrowded.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Martagon lilies like 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse' thrive in average garden humidity conditions without specific humidity requirements.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light; cool temperatures.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade; shelter from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    'Mrs R.O. Backhouse' lily (Lilium × dalhansonii) begins its life as a bulb, which undergoes a period of dormancy typically during the cold months. In spring, the bulb sprouts and develops into a stem with linear leaves and the plant enters a phase of vegetative growth. By early to mid-summer, the ‘Mrs R.O. Backhouse’ lily reaches maturity and produces large, trumpet-shaped flowers that are a soft pinkish-yellow hue, with brownish spots towards the base. After pollination, which can occur through wind or insect activity, the flowers develop into seed capsules. Once the seed capsules mature, they release seeds that have the potential to germinate and grow into new bulbs, thus propagating a new generation. Should conditions not favor seed development or germination, the lifecycle of the lily persists through the enlargement of the original bulb or development of bulblets which can be divided and replanted.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • The most popular method of propagating the Lilium × dalhansonii 'Mrs R.O. Backhouse' lily, commonly known as the Backhouse lily, is by scaling. This process is best done in late summer after the plant has flowered when the bulbs are most actively producing new scales. To propagate by scaling, a gardener would carefully peel away a few of the outer scales from a mature bulb, ensuring that each scale has a portion of the basal plate (where roots develop). These scales are then placed in a moist medium, such as a mix of peat and perlite, and kept at room temperature in a well-ventilated spot out of direct sunlight. Over a period of several weeks to months, small bulblets will form at the base of the scales. Once these bulblets have grown and developed their own scales and roots, they can be planted into soil. This method allows for the creation of new plants that are genetically identical to the parent lily.