Lilium candidum

Botanical Name : Lilium candidum
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Lilium
Species: L. candidum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonym: White Lily.

Common Name: Madonna lily

Habitat : Lilium candidum is native to Greece, the western Balkans and the Middle East, and naturalized in other parts of Europe (France, Italy, Ukraine, etc.) as well as in North Africa, the Canary Islands, Mexico, and other places.It grows on rocky slopes and in scrub to 600 metres.
Description:
Lilium candidum is a BULB . It produces stiff, erect stems, 3 to 5 feet high, clothed with lance-shaped leaves. It is in leaf 7-Oct.
The flowers appear in June, flowering into July, and have a strong, sweet, penetrating perfume, so powerful as to be even annoying to some people. The honey is secreted in long grooves at the base of the white, floral leaves. The seeds ripen from Aug to September.There are several varieties, that with black stems, var. peregrinum, being the best for the garden.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

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Cultivation:
Prefers an open free-draining humus-rich fertile loamy soil with its roots in the shade and its head in the sun. Prefers a sunny position but also succeeds in shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Grows well in acid and limy soils, though it prefers a limey soil. A very ornamental plant. It is seen as a symbol of purity and in Christian tradition is devoted to the Virgin Mary, in pre-Christian times it was sacred to Juno, the Goddess of heaven. The flowers have a scent of heather honey. The Madonna lily is generally very hardy and easy to grow but it is unpredictable and does not grow or flower well in all gardens. It is also susceptible to botrytis. Only just cover the bulb with soil. It is best to leave the clumps undisturbed since they resent being moved, but if you need to transplant then this is best done in late August to early September, certainly no later than mid-October. Plants produce a basal rosette of over-wintering leaves in the autumn, these die off as the plant comes into flower. The plant should be protected against rabbits and slugs in early spring. If the shoot tip is eaten out the bulb will not grow in that year and will lose vigour.

Propagation:
Seed – immediate epigeal germination. Sow thinly in pots from late winter to early spring in a cold frame. Should germinate in 2 – 4 weeks. Great care should be taken in pricking out the young seedlings, many people prefer to leave them in the seed pot until they die down at the end of their second years growth. This necessitates sowing the seed thinly and using a reasonably fertile sowing medium. The plants will also require regular feeding when in growth. Divide the young bulbs when they are dormant, putting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on for at least another year before planting them out into their permanent positions when the plants are dormant. Division with care in the autumn once the leaves have died down. Replant immediately. Bulb scales can be removed from the bulbs in early autumn. If they are kept in a warm dark place in a bag of moist peat, they will produce bulblets. These bulblets can be potted up and grown on in the greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out. Bulblets are formed on the stem just below the soil surface. These should be dug up in the autumn and replanted immediately, preferably in a cold frame for growing on until large enough to plant out into the garden. The formation of bulbils on the stem can be induced by either removing the stem at flowering time and layering it just below the soil surface, or by removing all the flowers before they open
Part Used: The bulb.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Bulb cooked. The raw bulb contains an acrid principle, but this is destroyed by drying or thorough heating. When cooked the bulb is pulpy, sweet and sugary. Rich in starch, it can be used as a vegetable in similar ways to potatoes (Solanum tuberosum).
Medicinal Uses:
Astringent; Demulcent; Emmenagogue; Emollient; Expectorant.

The Madonna lily has a long history of herbal use, though it is seldom employed in modern herbalism because of its scarcity. The bulb and the flowers are astringent, highly demulcent, emmenagogue, emollient and expectorant. The plant is mainly used externally, being applied as a poultice to tumours, ulcers, external inflammations etc. The bulb is harvested in August and can be used fresh or dried. The flowers are harvested when fully open and used fresh for making juice, ointments or tinctures. The pollen has been used in the treatment of epilepsy.

Other Uses: An essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumery.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilium_candidum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lilmad24.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Lilium+candidum

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