Lilium japonicum Thunberg ex Houttuyn 1780

Japan (ex Kozagawa, Wakayama prefecture)

laboratory comment:
Dr. Arakawa answered to our inquiry as very little is only known of this variation, what we received is a quite interesting, clearing-up report and the background-story of a plant. Hearty thanks, dear Dr. Arakawa, for your efforts:
Lilium japonicum var. angustifolium is said to be a natural hybrid between L. japonicum and L. auratum. It has long been known that natural crosses are found on the Izu Peninsula facing the Pacific Ocean in central Honshu, where the distributions of the two species are mixed, and are called Lilium izuyuri hort. Normally, crossing does not occur due to the difference in flowering time between the rainy season, but it is possible that the flowering seasons overlapped due to abnormal weather in the past. The var. angustifolium in the image data sent this time is a Lilium japonicum found in the southern part of the Kii Peninsula, about 300 km west of the Izu Peninsula, and is characterized by its narrower leaves than the type var.japonicum. The wavy edges of the petals as shown in the image are said to be evidence of the hybrid with Lilium auratum mentioned earlier. The edges of the petals of Lilium auratum are wavy, but the petals of Lilium japonicum are not. The question remains as to why hybrids were born 300 km away from the natural distribution of Lilium auratum. During the Edo period, domestic feudal lords were ordered to make a round trip between Edo, where the shogun was, and his feudal domain every other year. It is said that when returning to the domain, some flower-loving feudal lords brought back the Lilium auratum bulbs which produces large white flowers in midsummer when there are few flowers, and that the distribution spread to the wild in the west. Lilium auratum in western Japan can only be found near houses and on cliffs on the edge of the road.

sowing Lilium japonicum var. angustifolium # 1 Ara ´03.22 (Ljapang1)
source: Katsuro Arakawa, Japan

plant-image in courtesy of Katsuro Arakawa