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LA Hybrid, Asiatic and Oriental Lilies Used By Florists & 3 Lily Buying Tips

Today I finally had a chance to catch up on all of the blogs I read. Since it was discussing one of my favorite flowers, lilies, one particular blog caught my eye. As a cut flower, lilies are simply wonderful and I absolutely adore them in my garden. I grow Asiatic, Oriental, Trumpet and Tiger lilies in my home garden and at our garden center. But the difference between lily types is often confusing to many; especially which are used in flower shops and which are grown in the garden.

Kenji at Flower Insolita gives a great outline as to which lilies are used by florists as cut flowers and the vase life expected of each kind. According to Kenji there are three types of lilies used: Asiatic, LA-hybrids and Oriental. Asiatic lilies are very colorful and my favorite is one called Lollypop. This lily has a snow-white center with vibrant pink edges. It adds a pop of color to any mixed flower arrangement. But as Kenji mentions, Asiatic lilies tend to be the smallest of the three with the shortest shelf life 5-7 days. On the plus side, Asiatic lilies tend to be the least expensive with a wider range of colors available.

Oriental lilies have two of my favorite flowers Stargazer and Casa Blanca. Most people are familiar with Stargazer lilies and Casa Blanca lilies. Stargazer lily bouquets have become a popular Valentine’s Day flower and Casa Blanca lilies are often used in funeral flower sprays because of their pure white color. Stargazer and Casa Blanc lilies are fantastic as, both, cut flowers and garden flowers. I have both in my garden and when they bloom the air is filled with an incredible aroma and the eyes are immediately drawn to the massive blooms. In fact, Oriental lilies display the biggest blooms and are all very fragrant. This premium flower is available in white, pink, pale yellow and a “red” (more of a dark pink) and has the longest shelf life, 10-14 days. According to Kenji, there is a dark purple oriental lily that is sometimes available called Sumatra. I am not familiar with Sumarta and would love to see a picture of it used in a mixed flower arrangement.

LA Hybrids are a cross between Asiatic and Trumpet lilies. Non-fragrant like Asiatic, but with bigger and stronger blooms and a shelf life of 7-10 days. These lilies have an abundance of bright color options. As a premier Huntington New York Florists Flower Insolita uses LA hybrids instead of Asiatic lilies.

I often cut the lilies in my garden and place them in a vase to enjoy them in the house. During the off-season, I purchase stems from my local florist. But, I never really though about what to look for when buying lilies. Kenji pointed out three great tips for buying lilies.

  1. Count the number of buds rather than the number of stems. Cheap stem price doesn’t equate to quality lilies.
  2. Look for thick study stems. Lilies are top heavy and need a good support system.
  3. Look for healthy leaves. Yellow leaves could mean ethylene damage.

Subconsciously, I always look for thick stems and healthy leaves; but bud count isn’t something I paid attention to. But the more blooms the better presentation in the vase, so it make sense to look for a good bud count when selecting lilies.

Asiatic, Oriental and LA hybrid lilies are used by florists to create a multitude of flower arrangements. Maybe some of the confusion surrounding florist lilies has been removed and we can all just sit back and enjoy these wonderful flowers. Remember, there is more to the florist’s lily world than Stargazers and Casa Blanca lilies.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion on lilies, as much as I enjoyed Kenji discussion on lilies. I thought I’d share some pictures of flower arrangements containing lilies. If you have any flower arrangement pictures with lilies send to me and I’ll post them here.

Easter Flower Basket with Lilies Easter Flower Basket

Mother Day Flower ArrangementMothers Day arrangement with pink Asiatic lilies

Secretarys Day Flower Arrangement Secretaries Day vase arrangement with yellow lilies.

Orange Lilies For Anniversary Orange lilies in a vase great for an anniversary.


  1. online personal loans says:

    I love the tiger lilies. They remind me of my grandparents house. My grandfather planted them all around the house, they were so pretty. I also purchase an easter lily every year at church in honor of my best friend who passed away several years ago. They are such beautiful flowers.

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