Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - November 02, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of lilies by seed
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have collected a large number of lily seeds. How can I get them to grow?

ANSWER:

We were not sure if you were referring to native or non-native lilies. We learned in our research that many of the lilies that are grown in gardens today are the non-native Asian or Oriental lilies. At the same time, there are a great many lilies native to North America, and since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to promoting and protecting plants native to North America, we hope that is what you have chosen to raise. When we looked into the Wildflower Center Native Plant Database, typing in "lily" in the plant search field, we got back 134 results, all lilies native to North America. You can look through these, perhaps learn the names of the lilies from which you have harvested seeds, and read the information about where that specific lily is most comfortable growing. Unfortunately, many of the North American native lilies are naturally distributed only in California or the Pacific Northwest. We did discover some that are found in Texas, including Erythronium albidum (white fawnlily), Habranthus tubispathus (Rio Grande copperlily), and Hymenocallis galvestonensis (Galveston spiderlily) .

Apparently, it does not really matter if they are native or not, the planting of lilies by seeds is done much the the same way. Rather than paraphrase already well-written materials, let us direct you to two links on planting lilies from seeds. The first is The Lily Nook, the second is Lilyseeds.com.

 


Erythronium albidum

Habranthus tubispathus

Hymenocallis galvestonensis

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Transplanting a Dutchman's pipe in Beaverton MI
June 10, 2010 - When can I transplant a full grown dutchmans pipe plant? It is growing along side of the house and it needs a bigger place to grow. This is June and the plant is in full bloom full of pipes, but need...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting an immature Sweet Bay Magnolia
May 30, 2006 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants: I just found what I think is a Magnolia Sweet Bay growing wild next to an oak and a pine tree in my back wooded yard. It has blooms on it and is about 2 feet tall. There are tw...
view the full question and answer

Dividing obedient plant in New Waterford OH
September 19, 2009 - I live in northeast Ohio, and have an obedient plant, which has spread, (a little) since last year when I bought it. I really do like the plant, and wanted to put it in several more areas in the garde...
view the full question and answer

Planting Artemisia Cuttings in Texas
September 29, 2014 - I've rooted a number of artemisia plants in water and have transplanted them to pots. They grow so very well in our dry drought-stricken soil and need very little water. I'd like to transition these...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of cardinal flower with variegated leaves from Wakefield RI
August 21, 2013 - I purchased cardinal flower seeds from the Brandywine museum & have had great success for over a decade. Recently I spotted one cardinal flower with variegated leaves. Is this a plant worth propagatin...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.