Today is a happy day: the Lilies are available in the Fluwel web shop! This year, we have fifty different varieties, and it gets even better: seventeen of those are new in our assortment.

Naturally, we also have the well-known garden Lilies: those have earned their stripes years and years ago. They are a terrific addition to your garden: there is African Queen, Leslie Woodriff and Casa Blanca, just to give a few examples. We also carry the antique but amazingly beautiful Lilium leichtlinii again. That one really is one of my personal favourites.

When it comes to the new introductions, I would like to tell you more about the OAO Lilies. OAO stands for ‘Oriental Asian Oriental’ which means that the Lily comes from a crossing of an Oriental Lily, which has been pollinated with an Asian Lily. The new pollens that came from that crossing were then used to pollinate yet another Oriental Lily… and thus, the OAO Lily came to be.

This type of Lily was created at the University of Wageningen at the end of the nineties. The goal was to combine the positive characteristics of both types of Lilies. The Oriental Lilies had some varieties that were immune to the moldy disease ‘Botrytis’ and in the Asian Lilies there were varieties that were not affected by viruses and another moldy disease, ‘Fusarium’.

The University group managed to produce offspring, but the project still failed, because the crossings were difficult and there were only very few healthy seeds, which made selecting the best flowers an impossibility, as there were not enough options.

This may sound a bit harsh to you, but this is just the way hybridizers are: they just want dozens of new flower children from a certain crossing, only to then throw out ninety percent of them after the selection. The only ones that get to stay are the strongest and the prettiest flowers: the rest of them are simply thrown out.

The few seedlings that came from the OAO crossing project just did not meet the hybridizer’s standards: they were beautiful, but far from suitable fo use as a cut flowers in greenhouses. The flowers were large and pretty, but the flower buds had a way of leaning over to the side, which made them unfit for a bouquet. But it is exactly this characteristic that makes these Lilies so perfect to be planted in gardens!

Luckily, this was noticed by a Friesian Lily grower, who managed to save a few of the orphaned Lily babies.

He gave them names that remind you of exotic places you have never been before: Fields of Gold, Sunset Boulevard, Hotel California … beautiful names for colourful and strong garden Lilies.

I hope you will be able to find yourself some beautiful Lilies in our web shop.

Greetings from Holland,

Carlos van der Veek

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