Regal lily Lilium regale (Ixb/a)
The Regal Lily is a highly ornamental plant that boasts an exceptional display of trumpet-shaped flowers. Its blooms are exquisitely fragrant, presenting a palette that blends pure white with a flush of pink and a touch of yellow at the petals' bases. These flowers possess a distinctive charm that adds a note of elegance to any garden setting. Each flower is characterized by long and curved petals leading outwards, giving it a flared profile. The exterior of the petals has a soft, blush-pink hue, while the interiors are almost luminously white, drawing in the eyes of any onlooker. Inside, you'll notice the striking golden-yellow anthers that provide a brilliant contrast to the white of the petals. The Regal Lily presents its flowers in clusters at the top of strong, upright stems which are adorned with narrow, lance-shaped leaves that spiral elegantly up the length of the stem. These leaves are bright green, adding a lush backdrop that highlights the blooms. This striking plant exudes a royal presence, making it a coveted choice for garden enthusiasts seeking to introduce a touch of majesty to their outdoor spaces.
About this plant
Regal Lily, Royal Lily, King's Lily.
Lilium regale E.H.Wilson.
The plant referred to as Lilium regale, commonly known as Regal Lily, is not considered to have significant toxicity to humans. While the ingestion of any plant material can potentially cause mild stomach upset, the Regal Lily specifically does not contain toxins known to cause severe poisoning in humans. Consequently, there is no specific set of symptoms associated with poisoning from this plant in humans. However, it is always advisable to be cautious and prevent ingestion of plants that are not meant for consumption, as individual allergic reactions or sensitivities might provoke undesirable effects.
Lilium regale, commonly known as Regal Lily, is highly toxic to cats. Ingestion of any part of the plant, including petals, leaves, stem, or pollen, can result in severe and acute kidney failure for felines. Symptoms of lily poisoning in cats can start with vomiting, lethargy, and a loss of appetite. As the condition progresses, cats may exhibit signs of kidney dysfunction such as decreased urine output, increased drinking, dehydration, and possibly leading to death if not treated promptly. It is critical for pet owners to keep lilies out of reach of cats and seek immediate veterinary attention if ingestion is suspected. Dogs are not affected in the same way, but ingestion could still potentially lead to mild gastrointestinal upset.
Color of leaves
3-4 feet (91-122 cm)
1 foot (30 cm)
- General Benefits
- Ornamental value: The plant, known as Regal Lily, is highly regarded for its large, fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers that can enhance the beauty of gardens and landscapes.
- Attracts Pollinators: It attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects that are vital for pollination in gardens.
- Easy to Grow: Regal Lily is considered to be relatively easy to cultivate and can thrive in a variety of soil types with minimal care.
- Cut Flower Usage: Its long sturdy stems and attractive blooms make it a popular choice for floral arrangements and bouquets.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Lilium regale, commonly known as the Regal Lily, can be used as a natural pest deterrent in gardens due to its strong fragrance which some pests find off-putting.
- The plant's sturdy stems can be used as natural supports for weaker, climbing plants in garden arrangements.
- Extraction of the color from petals of the Regal Lily can be used for natural fabric dyes, offering a gentle, plant-based dying solution.
- The striking appearance of the flower makes it an excellent candidate for botanical illustration and photography, often used in art projects and workshops.
- Its residual plant matter, after blooming, can be composted to enrich soil as it is high in organic matter.
- Regal Lily bulbs can be used in educational programs about plant propagation and bulb gardening techniques.
- During blooming season, Regal Lilies can provide an opportunity for citizen science projects, such as monitoring the impact of climate change on flowering times.
- The strong scent of Regal Lily flowers can be captured in potpourri mixes, providing a natural room freshener alternative to synthetic fragrances.
- As an ornamental plant, the Regal Lily can be used in urban landscaping to increase the aesthetic appeal of public spaces.
- The flowers can be used in cultural and religious ceremonies that require ornate, fragrant decorations, such as Easter celebrations.
- Feng Shui
The Regal Lily is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Regal Lily is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Purity: The Regal Lily, with its radiant white flowers, often symbolizes purity and virtue, reflecting its immaculate and pristine appearance.
- Royalty: As suggested by its name, 'Regal', this lily is associated with royalty and majesty, conveying an air of nobility and elegance.
- Innocence: White lilies, in general, are often linked to innocence and chastity, which is also a trait associated with the Regal Lily.
- Renewal: Blooming in the early to mid-summer, the Regal Lily can symbolize rebirth and renewal, embodying the season's sense of new beginnings.
- Beauty: The Regal Lily's exceptional beauty makes it a symbol of its own grace and often represents the idea of exceptional beauty in various cultures.
- Divinity: In some cultural contexts, lilies are seen as a bridge between the earthly and the divine, with the Regal Lily sometimes carrying this same symbolism.
The Regal Lily should be watered deeply, so the soil is moist but not waterlogged, around once a week, especially during the growing season. Adjustments may be necessary depending on weather conditions; during hot, dry spells, you might need to water every 3-4 days, whereas in cooler, wetter weather, watering can be reduced. Ensure the water reaches the root zone, which may require around 1-2 gallons per plant per watering session. During the winter months when the plant is dormant, reduce watering significantly to prevent bulb rot.
Regal Lilies thrive in full sunlight to light shade, so they should be placed in a location where they get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. However, in regions with very hot summers, offering some afternoon shade can help protect the blooms from scorching. An ideal spot for planting would be an east-facing garden that receives the soft morning sun and is protected from the harsh afternoon heat.
The Regal Lily prefers a moderate climate and performs best when the temperature ranges between 60°F and 70°F. It can survive minimum temperatures as low as 20°F but should be protected from frost. Maximum temperatures for optimal growth are around 75°F to 80°F. If the temperature falls outside these ranges for an extended period, the plant might not flower well or could suffer damage.
Pruning the Regal Lily is not required for the health of the plant but deadheading spent flowers can encourage the growth of new blooms. After flowering, remove only the flower heads and leave the stems and foliage to die back naturally, as they provide nutrients for the bulb for the next season. Cut back the stems to ground level once they have completely yellowed and withered, usually in late fall.
The best soil mix for the Regal Lily, the most common name for Lilium regale, is a well-draining, loamy soil enriched with organic matter. A slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.0 is ideal for this plant.
Regal Lilies generally do not need to be repotted often as they are not typically grown in containers; they are perennial bulbs best planted directly in the garden soil.
- Humidity & Misting
Regal Lilies thrive in moderate humidity levels; however, they are adaptable and do not have specific humidity requirements, making them quite versatile.
- Suitable locations
Provide bright light and cool temperatures for indoor Regal Lilies.
Plant in well-draining soil with full sun to partial shade.
- Life cycle
The life of the Lilium regale, commonly known as the Regal lily, begins with seed germination, which requires a period of stratification to simulate winter conditions. After germination, the seedling emerges and develops into a small bulb over a period of months, sending up shoots to photosynthesize. The plant enters a vegetative stage, whereby the bulb grows in size and strength through seasonal cycles, producing larger leaves and stems annually. Once mature, Regal lily bulbs send up a tall flowering stalk in summer, adorned with trumpet-shaped, highly fragrant white flowers with a golden throat and pinkish-purple streaks on the outside, signaling the reproductive stage. After pollination, typically by insects attracted to the flowers, seed pods develop and ripen, eventually releasing seeds to disperse for the next generation. The plant then enters a period of dormancy in the winter months, where the bulb lies quiescent underground until the next growth cycle in spring.
The most popular method for propagating the Regal Lily, or Lilium regale, is by using scales from the bulbs. The best time to do this is in late summer after the plant has finished flowering. To propagate using bulb scales, one must carefully remove several scales from a healthy, mature bulb and place them in a mixture of moist peat and perlite. This should be stored in a plastic bag in a warm place around 70°F (21°C) until tiny bulblets form at the base of the scales. Once these bulblets have grown to a reasonable size, they can be planted out in the garden. It typically takes a couple of years for these new plants to mature and flower. This method is preferred due to its straightforwardness and the propensity for a single bulb to produce multiple offspring.