Lilium abeanum Honda
Lilium alexandrae R.W.Wallace ex R.Hogg
Lilium belladonna Baker
Lilium brownii Poit.
Lilium elisabethiae Leichtlin
Lilium krameri Hook.f.
Lilium makinoi Makinoi
Common Name: Bamboo Lily
Lilium japonicum is a herbaceous perennial bulbiferous plant producing a rather slender, leafy stem around 50 - 100cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine, and as a source of materials for cosmetics.
E. Asia - central and southern Japan.
Thickets on hills and low mountains[
] in rich loose woodland soil, often amongst dwarf bamboo, 300 - 900 metres[
Lilium japonicum is a very cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -25°c when fully dormant[
Prefers an open free-draining humus-rich loamy soil with its roots in the shade and its head in the sun[
]. Grows well in open woodland[
]. Likes plenty of moisture and some shade[
]. Just to totally confuse matters, one report says that this species prefers a poor gravelly loam with plenty of leafmold and some charcoal, in a sunny position[
]. Requires protection from winter rains[
The sub-species L. japonicum platyfolium is more vigorous than the type with broader leaves.
Stem rooting, the bulbs should be planted 15 - 20cm deep[
]. Early to mid autumn is the best time to plant out the bulbs in cool temperate areas, in warmer areas they can be planted out as late as late autumn[
A very ornamental plant[
], it is cultivated for its bulb in Japan[
] and is also a sacred flower in Japanese Shinto rites[
The plant should be protected against rabbits and slugs in early spring. If the shoot tip is eaten out the bulb will not grow in that year and will lose vigour[
Bulb - cooked[
]. It contains about 18% starch[
]. A slightly bitter taste[
]. It can be used as a vegetable in similar ways to potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). The broadly ovoid bulb is around 20 - 40mm in diameter; it is made up of many imbricate, fleshy leaf scales, without a tunic[
The bulb is antiasthmatic, antitussive, expectorant, sedative and tonic (nutritive)[
]. It is used in the treatment of coughs, haemoptysis, insomnia and fidgetiness in the later stage of febrile disease[
An extract of the whole plant is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a skin conditioner[
Seed - delayed hypogeal germination[
]. Best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in spring[
]. Stored seed will require a warm/cold/warm cycle of stratification, each period being about 2 months long[
]. Grow on in cool shady conditions. Great care should be taken in pricking out the young seedlings, many people leave them in the seed pot until they die down at the end of their second years growth. This necessitates sowing the seed thinly and using a reasonably fertile sowing medium. The plants will also require regular feeding when in growth. Divide the young bulbs when they are dormant, putting 2 - 3 in each pot, and grow them on for at least another year before planting them out into their permanent positions when the plants are dormant[
Division with care in the autumn once the leaves have died down. Replant immediately[
Bulb scales can be removed from the bulbs in early autumn. If they are kept in a warm dark place in a bag of moist peat, they will produce bulblets. These bulblets can be potted up and grown on in the greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out[