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Blooming Plants
            
 
  Blooming Plant of the Month
            Easter Lily

Botanical Name
Lilium longiflorum (LIL-ee-um lawn-ji-FLOR-um)
Common Names

Easter lily, Trumpet lily, Bermuda lily
Description
The Easter lily is a herbaceous perennial grown from bulbs. The stems are 24 to 36 inches long and carry three to six or more flowers per stem. The flowers are Trumpet shaped and 5 to 7 inches long. The fragrance is moderately sweet.
Colors
White.
Shelf Life
These blooming plants generally look good under most interior conditions for one to two weeks.
Availability
Easter lilies are available primarily in the spring. Bulbs are harvested in the fall, packed and shipped to commercial greenhouses, where they are planted in pots, and forced under controlled conditions to bloom for the Easter holiday.

Processing
1 Upon arrival, remove the plants from the shipping boxes by grasping their protective sleeves and lifting the plants out.
2 Carefully remove each sleeve by tearing upward along the seam upward from the bottom.
3 Inspect plant variety, size, color, and quality.
4 Remove any damaged stems, leaves, and blooms.
5 Inspect each plant for disease or damage. Isolate diseased or damaged plants, and report them to the grower or buying office immediately.
6 Determine water needs by pressing a finger into the soil or testing with a moisture meter.
7 Water each plant, as necessary, with room-temperature water, and allow excess water to drain from each pot.
8 Dress plants with decorative pot covers, foil/cellophane treatments, ribbon, and/or picks; price them; and place them into your displays.

In-store care
LIGHT
These plants thrive in 50 to 100 foot-candles or higher.
WATER
Water the plants only when the soil feels dry to the touch, but don’t overwater.

TEMPERATURE
Easter lilies may be stored in coolers from three to five days at 33 F to 35 F. When removed from coolers, plants should be allowed to warm up overnight in 55 F rooms. Water with lukewarm water (100 F to 110 F) when removed from coolers..

Challanges
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY
Easter lilies are moderately sensitive to ethylene gas, which can cause blossom drop. Treat the plants with an anti-ethylene product if needed.
LEAF YELLOWING
This occurs if lilies are exposed to low-temperature storage for too long, if the plants are too close to each other or if root rot is present.

Quality Checklist
BLOOMS
Look for plants with flowers in various stages of bloom, from buds to partially opened flowers.
FOLIAGE
The plants’ foliage should be dense and rich green in color, and it should extend all the way down to the soil line, indicating healthy root systems. Check the leaf axils for insects, and avoid plants showing signs of disease or insect damage.


Fun Facts

MEANING
The name “longiflorum” means “long flowers.” It is the Latin form of the Greek “leiron” (used by the ancient Greek philosopher and botanist Theophrastus for the Madonna lily, L. candidum).
ORIGINS
Easter lilies are native to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan and are members of the Liliaceae family. Common relatives include Agapanthus, Allium, Gloriosa, lily-of-the-valley, daylily, hyacinth and tulip.

Images courtesy of The John Henry Company

Some information provided by:
Easter Lily Research Foundation, www.easterlily.net
Chain of Life NetworkÆ, www.chainoflifenetwork.org
SAF’s Flower & Plant Care manual
Reach Blooming Plant of the Month writer Steven W. Brown, AIFD, at sbfloral@aol.com or(415) 239-3140.

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Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2005
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.