Lilium "The Empress"

Lilium The Empress

I first came across “The Empress” in the B & D catalogue way back in the ‘80s.  It was the first Orienpet or OT Hybrid that I had ever grown and it blew me away with its exotic elegance, seductive fragrance and sturdy stems.

“The Empress” is an interspecific tissue culture cross between L. oriental and L. trumpet.  Orienpet offspring take after either the Oriental (reflexing petals, sometimes down-facing and spotted, always fragrant) parent or the Trumpet parent (trumpet-shaped flowers usually out-facing, again fragrant).

The cross produces an extremely hardy and robust lily which lives for years with the bulbs finally growing to the size of small melons and the stem heights easily reaching 7’/ 2m.

Orienpets were first developed by Lesley Woodriff in Washington State where I grew up.