THE BLACK LILY - Lilium 'Landini'

Image credit -

If you consider yourself to be a connoisseur of the dramatic, then the black lily - Lilium 'Landini' could be right up your street. Named after the Italian ‘Landini’ tractor factory (don't ask me why), it is currently the darkest lily in cultivation. While the flowers do not express a true black pigment they are an extremely rich, black-purple.

Like most ornamental lilies, Lilium 'Landini' a hardy bulbous perennial with erect stems. It will growing between 3-4 ft tall with spirally-arranged, glossy, dark green leaves. It will produces large, upward-facing, non-fragrant purple-black flowers in  June.

Image credit -
When grown in northern European climates it can be grown outside in full sun although in warmer mediterranean or sub-tropical climates the tips of the flowers can become scorched and so a position that is shaded during the hottest part of the day would be more suitable.

Black lily bulbs are purchased on the spring as soil-free, pre-packed and will need to be planted as soon as possible to prevent them from drying out. If this is not practical you can delay planting for 2-3 weeks by keeping the bulbs in a cool, frost-free position but any longer and you risk damage to the bulbs. Lilium 'Landini' will perform best in a well-drained, sandy loam in a position that has good air circulation. Avoid soils prone to waterlogging soils, and improve heavy soils with horticultural grit, perlite, leaf mold or moss peat. Lilium 'Landini should be planted approximately 4 inches deep in light soils but maybe only a couple of inches deepin improved, heavy soils.

Alternatively plant Lilium 'Landini' into well-drained, raised beds 8 to 10 inches above ground level. If your lily corms are at risk of damage from rodent then secure 1/4-inch galvanized hardware cloth on the bottom of the bed.

Remove the flowers as they fade in cluding the seed heads, but do not cut back stems until autumn. Allow the stems to die back naturally as this will help to bulk up the corms for the following year. Provide a dry mulch such as gravel, or bark-chips over the winter.

For related articles click onto the following links:
Mid American Regional Lily Society