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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.

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Thursday - July 21, 2005

From: Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Bulbils on Turks cap lily
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My Turks cap lily has dark pea size growths at the bass of each leaf. Are these the seeds? How and when do I harvest seeds from this plant?

ANSWER:

The dark pea size growths on your Turk's cap lily Lilium michiganense are aerial bulblets called bulbils. When they mature (grow fat, shiny and black), you can harvest them and plant them in the ground as you would a bulb. They should produce a mature flowering plant in two to three years. The bulbils are clones of the parent plant. Seeds, however, will not be clones of the parent plant. The seeds can be harvested when the seed pod turns brown, usually in the fall.

The North Star Lily Society in Minnesota has a web page with useful information and links to other lily organizations.
 

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