Fasciated Lilium formosanum

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Fasciated Lilium formosanum with 18 flowers on a single stem

Lilium formosanum, a species from Taiwan, is one of the best lily species for piedmont gardens.  It thrives in our hot and humid summers, producing large, fragrant trumpet flowers in August, and seems immune to most of the common garden pests (though emerging stems are occasionally nibbled by rabbits in early spring). It spreads slowly by seed without becoming a pest.

Back in June, I mentioned a fasciated specimen of L. formosanum that is growing in my garden.  Fasciated plants, if they bloom, often have overcrowded inflorescences bearing dwarfed flowers, but when this L. formosanum finally bloomed, it had eighteen flowers which were normal size and nicely spread out.  The abnormally thickened stem supported them without staking, and the hundreds of miniaturized leaves looked more like fur than the usual widely spaced foliage.

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Fasciated L. formosanum, side view

The fasciated plant bloomed at 95 cm tall (150+ cm for normal plants) and had eighteen flowers (1-5, normal).  The stem was 12 cm across at the widest point (1 cm, normal) with leaves 6-12 cm long and 0.5 cm wide (15-18 cm long, 1 cm wide, normal).  Although fasciation in lilies is often temporary, reverting to normal growth in subsequent years, this plant also showed some characteristics suggestive of fasciation last year.  I have some hope that it will continue to grow in this manner in the future.

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A clump of normal L. formosanum stems