Lilium duchartrei

Lilium duchartrei

If only we had more space to grow many liliums. Perhaps the garden needs a mezzanine floor.  Such a structure would solve most of our space problems… and grow more liliums.

There are plenty of online resources in relation to the selection and cultivation of species and hybrid liliums. You can also go retro by obtaining relatively cheap books on the subjects. In view of this our general comments will be brief.

Lliliums need a well-drained location with at least half a day of sunshine. If it’s too shady, the stems will stretch and lean towards the sun; trumpet lilies (regales) are the most shade sensitive. Lilies love full sun, as long as the bulbs are deep enough to keep cool when temperatures soar. Good air circulation and spacing of the plants will control disease. If you do see brown spots on the leaves, use any fungicide recommended for roses.

Description and Distribution:
The plant grows from 50 to 150 cm tall. The flowers are nodding and have a pleasent scent. The petals are strongly back bent resembling a turban. The flower is white with red/purple spots. Flowering time is mid to late summer. It is native to China in Gansu, Hubei and Sichuan. Best grown in part shade.

This species is named for French botany professor and lilium grower Pierre Duchartre (1811-1894). The species was introduced by Pere David in 1869.

Pierre  Duchartre was quite a mover and shaker in botany. He studied botany in Toulouse and was awarded his doctorate in 1840. In 1848 he became a member of the French Academy of Sciences. In 1849 he became professor of botany at the Institute agronomique in Versailles. In 1854 he founded, together with 15 other botanists the Société botanique de France. He undertook the role of President of this society six times, more than any other.

Père Armand David was a Vincentian priest who was to travel to China and convert the populace to Roman Catholicism, but soon found a greater calling in the nature of this vast country.

David was truly a superb naturalist, with extensive knowledge in geology, mineralogy, ornithology, zoology, and botany. He also had in his character an innate respect for people and their culture, no matter how foreign they may have seemed to him. It was this, and his gentle manner that allowed him to travel to regions of China where strangers, let alone foreigners, were rarely made to feel welcome.

His early collections were so much more than expected – the quality and number of specimens was overwhelming, but it was the careful documentation that made his contributions to the Museum so valuable. Word came back from France that such a fine contributor should be freed from his teaching duties and allowed to pursue his collections full time.

In 1866 he led his first expedition was into Mongolia. His second collecting expedition was to the Tibetan frontier.

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Posted on

January 23, 2018