Lilium alexandrae Couts 1934

Japan (Uke Island and surrounding Islands of Prefecture Kagoshima, South Japan); on steep cliffs

According to Markus Hohenegger Lilium alexandrae is rather difficult in culture and said to be almost extinct in the wild. Lilium alexandrae is supposed to be the next relative to Lilium nobilissimum. In a study of Nishikawa et al. (1999), the authors compared nuclear ribsomal DNA (internal transcribed spacer region) of 55 species including L. alexandrae and L. nobilissimum. Both species were monophyletic and the authors assume that the two species have arisen from the same ancestor. Kew Gardens regard Lilium alexandrae as a synonym for Lilium japonicum var. japonicum. With all modesty, we have our doubts.

Lilium alexandrae in courtesy of Pontus Wallstén

Laboratory comment:
Nearly extinct in Japan, it is almost inflationary presented in our laboratory and at the moment we are cultivating a few hundred plants that almost double each year. This also confirms that this plant is actually quite unproblematic where it can grow protected. We hope and work on the resettlement of this lily in Japan and freely contribute in a reforestation-program here. Lilium alexandrae has been one of the first lilies which got tc-ed from seed-material we got entrusted by George Battle from the RHS.

sowing Lilium alexandrae GB # 1 ´11.16 (Lalex1)
75% germination –> seedlings –> tissue-culture (06.19)

sowing Lilium alexandrae RHS # 2 ´02.17 (Lalex2)
50% germination –> seedlings –> tissue-culture (06.19)

product-image in courtesy of Pontus Wallstén