African Queen’s beautiful fragrance and peach color make this Lily gorgeous both in the garden and cut for sweet-smelling, summer bouquets.
The Fascinating story of the Regal Lily During the Victorian period, European plant explorers, mostly British, tramped endlessly through the world's jungles as Plant Explorers looking for 'new' species. Their exotic finds poured into Europe and the US like a flood as gardeners took one new plant after another into their hearts and into their gardens.
Probably the most famous explorer was a British botanist named E. H. Wilson. He discovered so many plants in China that he ended up being nicknamed 'Chinese Wilson.'
During the early 1900s, Dr. Wilson was recruited to the US by Boston's Arnold Arboretum, and working for them, revisited the Orient many times. On one historic occasion in Western China, he spotted a spectacular wild lily blooming in a ravine. He became so excited, he lost his footing trying to reach it, and tumbled down the steep slope. He did get to the lily, of course, but not until doing permanent damage to one of his legs in the fall. For the rest of his life, Dr. Wilson walked with the result, which he called his 'lily limp.'
The famously seductive wild lily was Lilium regale which the world soon knew as The Regal Lily.
In fact, the introduction of Wilson's magnificent L. regale rocked the gardening world overnight. And the rest is, literally, history. The Regal Lily is still one of the most treasured garden lilies, even though it has served as parent to a whole host of hybrids called 'The Trumpet Lilies'. But ask any expert: none of the hybrids are as lovely as the original.
Regal lilies are very easy to grow, but sometimes need staking since they grow quite tall and throw many large blooms. But who cares? The sheer beauty and incredible fragrance of this garden monarch should earn it an honored place in any gardener's collection.