In horticultural circles, new varieties are released with a fanfare of publicity. But we all make mistakes, even plant breeders.
Lilies are often grown for cutting but their ample pollen has an unfortunate way (from a human-centric viewpoint) of staining paintwork and wedding dresses. In double lilies, the pollen-bearing parts (anthers) have mutated to extra petals, removing the problem. So in the last few years, several companies have been marketing double forms of Lilium orientalis as Roselilies, Lotus lilies or Double Orientals.
When I photographed Lilium ‘Roselily Samantha’ a couple of years ago, I noticed that some of the blooms had a curious blunt look before they were fully open, caused by incurved petals at the centre. I liked the effect, although it reminded me more of a bromeliad than a rose. The upper petals had a tendency to open over the tops of the previous layer rather than to overlap as a double rose would. Continue reading “Not All Plants That Glitter Are Gold”