Lilium candidum, the Madonna lily (known as the Christmas Lily in Australia as it flowers around Christmas), is a plant in the true lily family, the Liliaceae. It is native to Balkans and the Middle East, and naturalised in other parts of Europe (France, Italy, Ukraine, etc.) as well as in North Africa, the Canary Islands, Mexico, and other places.
It forms bulbs at ground level, and unlike other lilies, has a basal rosette of leaves through the winter, which die back in summer. A leafy flower stem, typically up to 1.2 metres high, sometimes up to 2 metres high, emerges in late spring and bears sweetly and headily fragrant flowers in summer. Flowers are white, flushed yellow at the base.
It has long been cultivated, but is susceptible to virus diseases of lilies, and to Botrytis fungus. One possible way to avoid problems with viruses is to grow plants raised from seed. We have these beautiful lilies growing in our garden and they are quite healthy and flowering prolifically.
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