Lily plant: Crete
United States Patent PP06798

A new variety of hybrid lily plant bearing large clusters of flowers of excellent form and long persistence, both on the plant and as cut-flowers. The up-facing flowers of the new plant are particularly characterized by somewhat inwardly-cupped tepals with deep magenta pink coloration, no spotting, and nectaries with short pink to white hair. This combination is completely new in the upright Asiatic divisions of lilies suited to forcing and to mass commercial cultivation. The plant is highly resistant to disease and shows high tolerance of virus. It is an excellent garden plant. The bulbs may be precooled and forced for cut-flower production. The new lily plant is vigorous and is a good grower and propagator.

Van Der, Salm Gerardus C. (Rte. 1, Box 422, Woodland, WA, 98674)
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International Classes:
A01H5/02; (IPC1-7): A01H5/00
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Primary Examiner:
Feyrer, James R.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Klarquist, Sparkman, Campbell, Leigh & Whinston
I claim:

1. A new and distinctive variety of Asiatic hybrid lily plant substantially as herein shown and described.



This invention relates to a new and distinct variety of lily classified botanically as a lilium hybrid and commercially as an upright Asiatic hybrid. I have selected the name "Crete" as the varietal name for my plant.

My new variety of lily plant originated as a seedling selected from a group of seedlings growing in a cultivated area at Julianadorp, The Netherlands. The seedlings were planted as a result of breeding efforts carried on by me since 1976. The breeding efforts had as their objective the production of upright Asiatic lilies in shades of pink and rose, well suited to forcing for cut-flower production out of season, heretofore unknown in the lily breeding art.

I achieved the desired objective by extensive interpollinations among many hybrid lily cultivars.

The flowers of my new lily are characterized by an upright orientation; slightly "cupped" tepals; a deep magenta pink coloration; a lack of spotting; and soft pink to white pubescent nectaries. This combination of form and color is unique in this type of lily.

In addition, my new lily plant possesses to a high degree desirable characteristics of hybrid vigor, great hardiness, and disease resistance, including a high tolerance of virus. It possesses all of the desired characteristics of excellence of form, color and habit. Its excellently formed flowers, of large size, are produced on a single stalk. The new lily plant is vigorous, a good grower, and a rapid propagator, as observed at Julianadorp, The Netherlands, and at Woodland, Wash.

Also, my new lily plant has versatility both as a garden plant and as a cut flower producer. It is well suited to forcing out of season when the bulbs are dug at the appropriate time and properly precooled. For example, October-dug bulbs, properly precooled and potted in January, will flower under glass in Western Oregon, with no supplementary lighting and at moderate greenhouse temperatures, in an average of seventy to eighty days.

My new variety of Asiatic hybrid lily most nearly resembles the lily "Winesap, " but it has no spots, broader but more "cupped" tepals, and pubescent nectaries. My new variety of lily also resembles "Debutante" in color, but my new variety differs from "Debutante" in that my new variety has more upfacing flowers which are less reflexed at the tepal tips, has tepals which lack spotting, has "cupped" tepals, and has much taller stems.

My new variety of lily plant has been asexually reproduced by me and under my direction at Julianadorp, The Netherlands and at Woodland, Wash. Successive generations produced by bulb scale propagation and by natural propagation from bulblets have demonstrated that the novel and distinctive characteristics of my new variety are fixed and hold true under asexual propagation from generation to generation.


My new variety of lily plant is illustrated in the accompanying photographic drawing, which shows the open bloom in full color and illustrates the flower form, the tepal arrangement, the connection of the flower to the stem, and in particular the novel and distinctive unspotted, deep magenta pink flowers with their pubescent, "frosted" nectaries.


The following is a detailed description of my new variety of Asiatic hybrid lily, with nomenclature according to the International Lily Register (Royal Horticultural Society of London, Second Edition, 1969), and with color designations according to the Colour Chart of The Royal Horticultural Society, published by the Society in 1966.

The Plant

Origin: Seedling.

Seed parent: Unnamed seedling.

Pollen parent: Unnamed seedling.

Commercial classification: Hybrid Lilium clone.

Horticultural classification: Division I-A, upright Asiatic hybrid lily, according to the Horticultural Classification of Lilies, Royal Horticultural Society of London.

Form: Single stem, erect and stately.

Height: 70-100 cm from bulbs 15 to 18 cm in circumference, provided their light levels are adequate; low light levels may cause "stretching."

Growth: Vigorous and upright.

Foliage quantity: Abundant.

Size of leaf: Averages 8 to 12 cm long by 5 to 12 mm wide; leaves are longer near the top of the stem and shorter at the base.

Shape of leaf: Lanceolate (pointed).

Texture: Leathery and glossy; apex of leaves may be lightly pubescent.

Color: Dark green, lighter on lower side.

Bulb size: Any size, ranging to 25 cm in circumference commercially.

Bulb color: White.

The Bud

Form: Obtuse, ovoid and long.

Size: 8 to 9 cm long and 7 cm in circumference just prior to opening.

Opening: Bud opens slowly, in response to morning light; this takes about one hour.

Color: R.H.S. CC red-purple 59 B/C overlaid with light green along the midribs, just prior to bud's opening. The tepal reverse retains its deep rose color after the bud opens.

Peduncle: Averages 4 to 6 cm, but it may elongate if light levels are too low or if bulbs have been improperly stored prior to forcing. Color is dark green with plum overlay.

The Flower

Blooming habit: Annually in midseason; flowers once and profusely.

Size: Flowers are large-sized for Asiatic hybrids. They average 14 to 17 cm in diameter; the outer tepals average 2 to 2.5 cm wide, and the inner tepals average 3 cm wide. Tepals cup inwardly slightly along their margins.

Borne: In a single racemic inflorescence producing 7 to 12 buds (from a bulb 18 cm in circumference).

Shape: First open in cup shape, which flattens as tepals recurve somewhat by their second day.

Tepalage: Typical of genus Lilium, with 6 imbricated tepals.

Tepal color: Flowers are distingusihed by their deep magenta rose coloration, basically R.H.S. CC red-purple 63 A-B, shading to R.H.S. CC 64 B just above the nectaries. The coloration is even upon first opening, but may fade near the tepal tips to R.H.S. CC 63 B/C under conditions of unusually warm temperatures, extremely intense light levels, or extremely low light levels. The nectary furrows are pubescent, "frosted" with short hairs which are very light pink to white.

Tepal spotting: Tepals are unspotted.

Tepal longevity: Tepals stay on stems about three weeks.

Pedicel length: Average 6 to 12 cm long.

Pedicel color: Deep green with plum overlay.

Pedicel form: Sturdy and ascending up to 45 degrees from the horizontal. Occasional secondary buds.

Color changes: As the flowers age, they may become slightly lighter and a more lavender-toned pink, approaching R.H.S. CC 63 B/C to 64 C/D. Light levels which are extremely high or low and extreme heat may cause the pink pigmentation to decrease; changes will be inconspicuous if light levels are adequate for cut-flower maintenance.

Appearance: Flower is shiny.

Disease resistance: The flower and plant are resistant to disease; in particular, they are resistant to Fusarium bulb rot and Botrytis blight.

Fragrance: None.

Lasting quality: The flower is long lasting, both on the plant and as a cut-flower.

The Reproductive Organs

Stamens and anthers: Arrangement typical of genus Lilium. Six stamens with soft pink (R.H.S. CC greyed purple 184 D) filaments 5 cm long.

Pollen and anthers (dehisced): R.H.S. CC greyed red 178 A.

Pistil: One in number, 5 cm long.

Stigma: Soft cream to very light pink, medium in size.

Characteristics of ovary: Characteristic of genus Lilium.

The Fruit

Fertility: The fruit is fertile.

Shape: Ovoid.

Color at maturity: Soft brown, sometimes overlaid with soft plum.