What are Martagon lilies?


What are Martagon lilies?


The Martagon lily (Lilium martagon) is one of the most widely distributed lilies in the world.  It grows naturally in most of Europe and parts of Asia.  It is also referred to as Turk’s cap lily. 

The Martagon lily has 2 distinguishing characteristics.  Plants produce small, waxy, downward facing flowers with strongly recurved petals.  The shape of the flower somewhat resembles a turban, hence the common name of Turk’s cap lily.  The nodding flowers may be white or purplish red.  Hybrid varieties with yellow, orange, or pink flowers are also available. 

The second distinguishing characteristic of the Martagon lily is the plant’s leaf arrangement.  Martagon lilies produce leaves in whorls.  Six to nine leaves are attached to the stem at a single point (node).  A stem usually has 3 to 4 whorls of leaves.  Plants grow 4 to 5 feet tall. 

While most lilies require partial to full sun, the Martagon lily performs best in partial shade.  It also likes neutral to slightly alkaline soils.  Martagon lilies are long-lived if given a favorable growing environment. 


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