Lilies, Freckles, Trumpets, and Chia Pets

My ‘Conca d’Or’ Orienpet Lilies are in bloom, creating a deeply luxurious sensory overload.

'Conca d'Or'
‘Conca d’Or’

The fragrance, which can be detected from about six feet away, is deliciously sweet but not heavy. I planted these lilies near the sidewalk, and passersby close their eyes as they are momentarily enveloped by the scent.

DSC_0300 orienpet lilies

The flowers themselves are a glowing mix of cream and golden yellow, although here’s an odd thing: the clump I planted last year has freckles, while the clump I planted two years ago does not. Photographs generally show this variety without freckles.

'Conca d'Or' with freckles.
‘Conca d’Or’ with freckles.

Possibly the freckled lilies are really a different variety. On the other hand, The Lily Garden website says that Orienpet Lilies have color variations due to a “complex ancestry and the interaction of many pigments.”

With or without freckles, the flowers look so delicate but when you touch them they feel stiff, waxy, and thick.

'Conca d'O' with 'Summer Beauty' Allium
‘Conca d’O’ with ‘Summer Beauty’ Allium

Orienpet Lilies are relative newcomers to the hybrid Lily scene. They are a cross between Oriental, Trumpet, and Aurelian varieties. To the Lily breeders I say: well done!

Unrelated to Lilies
Unrelated to Lilies

However, I think the people responsible for naming lilies could have done a better job. “Orienpet” is a singularly clumsy word. Also it sounds too much like Chia Pet. And I’m not sure that the average person would understand that the “pet” part comes from Trumpet. My suggestion: call them “Eastern Trumpet” Lilies. Same number of syllables as “Orienpet”, but rolls off the tongue much more easily.

DSC_0227 orienpet lilies

As for ‘Conca d’Or’ I was trying to figure out where the name came from but got tired of googling. ‘Golden Conca’ is as far as I got. Not sure what a Conca is, though there are towns in Italy, Corsica, and Catalonia with ‘Conca’ in the name.

DSC_0969 orienpet lilies

Anyhow, ‘Conca d’Or’ plays very nicely with both the lavender ‘Summer Beauty’ Allium and the orange ‘Eye-yi-yi’ Daylily.

As these Lilies mature, they should get much larger. I can’t wait.

What’s the favorite Lily in your garden?

57 Comments on “Lilies, Freckles, Trumpets, and Chia Pets”

  1. Your lilies are beautiful. The freckled ones are interesting – I’ve not seen them before in that colour.
    We have a single yellow lily that blooms very early. It’s my favorite for that reason.
    But we have a deep creamy yellow lily that is just gorgeous. And I like the double orange day lilies.
    Now the reason I stay away from white lilies is that the powerful smell always reminds me of funerals. But it sounds like yours is simply very fragrant, without the strong odour. Is that right?

  2. I love all the orange in your front garden! I have big white trumpet lilies that are immensely fragrant. I tried bringing some of them into the house once and they were too strong. I ended up moving the vase outside. I think the freckles are cute. 🙂

  3. I can help with the name “conca” it means a bay or protected part of the coast so the lily name means golden bay. Not quite sure what a bay has to do with lilies but it sounds good in Italian. I’m with you on the group name; I would have thought the “pet” part of the name meant it was small like a pet. Your lilies are fabulous whatever their names.

  4. So hard to choose a favorite.
    I have lilies that look identical to your Conca d’Or without the freckles, but didn’t remember the name! They are very tall and bloomed last month. Right now, I have Casa Blanca, the gorgeous pure white Oriental lily in bloom.
    And, naked ladies (Belladonna lilies) are springing up, some in unexpected parts of the garden. I love them too.

  5. Gosh, you are trying to make me go look up names of lilies in my garden. I have one that looks similar to the one you have pictured here. It is a beauty. So cheerful. Mine have no freckles. I love their stately stance above most of what else is blooming and growing in the garden right now. They are a surprise when you touch them. They look so delicate yet they withstand the storms and the occasional brush with a dog’s tail. This summer my favorite is ‘Roselily Thalita’. It is a Stargazer that the pollen has been bred out. No more ruined clothes. It looks like a rose in that it seems to be a double. Interesting. I don’t find it as heavily scented as the Stargazer but a beauty no doubt.

  6. Glad to see your lilies thriving. Here from the east coast heading west, is the Red Lily Beetle, Lilioceris lilii. It is destroying the lilies, chewing the leaves, with buds looking anemic. The bulbs then become small and non-producing for the next year. I do not have it on my lilies yet, but many of my garden club friends do. I hope they get contained before reaching Chicago. I know you like your lilies too.

  7. 0ooooooo – it looks like I will need to add more Lilies to my garden! I do have a few Trumpets that grow under a cluster of antique roses and much love the scent, also from The Lily Gardener, I believe they are Golden Sceptre. I have also noticed differences that have caused me some confusion. So thanks, Jason, for clearing that up!

  8. I have lots of lilies in my garden and they flower from early June to late September – I can’t get enough of them and intend to add more. I have a freckled one flowering right now called ‘Muscadet’, it has pink freckles but my favourite lily this year is ‘Blueberry Crush’ an oriental trumpet with gorgeous colours and scent. In a few years’ time it will reach 2m tall. I loved your ‘Conca d’Or’ – a beautiful colour and shape 🙂

      • It’s more like the juice of blueberries, purple shades from really dark to very light. I have photos of it on my July GBBD post, but the colours there isn’t right on my computer, they came out too red. They only thing I can’t show you is the scent, it is heavenly! This lily didn’t need any staking in its first year, time will show for next year and onwards when it will grow much taller. Well worth the money, I will buy more of this one.

  9. Lily blooms always look so delicate and yet as you say tough and waxy to the touch. I love the wide shot with the oranges Jason, great combo.
    The oriental lilies growing in the ground here have been devoured by slugs (as has many other things) but my newest lily is still in a pot and full of buds. I hope that by this time next month, it will be my ‘new favourite’ 🙂
    Re the name, I read you title and thought you’d got yourself a new breed of dog. I agree that they could have thought of something just a bit different.

  10. Beautiful post, I’m confused with my lilies though aside from not knowing the actual species. Some bloomed about 4 weeks ago, and had different foilage, and now the scented ones are blooming and they are just heavenly. I am just putting the finishing touches to my “gardening post” and I’d like to tag your blog and also Garden Walk, Garden Talk’s blog as I gather a lot of inspiration from both. :).

  11. I love all the orange in that border of yours. I planted several orange toned lilies in big pots but only one of them is budding up. Therefore, my favorite (and only) lily must remain ‘Casa Blanca’. It is so tall that when the flowers open it is too heavy for the stem and leans way over, giving me a good excuse to cut it and enjoy that wonderful scent in the house.

  12. Hello Jason, I love your lilies; I hope you don’t suffer from lily beetle. That was a real pest in our last garden. I think I prefer the freckle-less lily as the colour looks just like lemon curd swirled through cream. I’m trying to get a border area ready for the planting of a whole mass of bulbs to flower next season. “Conca d’Or” might very well be in the shopping list!

  13. Your lilies are beautiful; I can almost see the lovely fragrance. The only lily I have blooming in my garden doesn’t seem to have much (any?) fragrance, but I have a number of fragrant daylilies in bloom right now. Just this afternoon, I had that experience of walking through the garden and stopping in the middle of the path just to inhale and enjoy the fragrance.

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