Our Conca d’Or Lilies are blooming now. These are Oriental-Trumpet hybrids, also known as OT or Orienpet Lilies. I don’t like either of those names. Orienpet sounds too much like chiapet (“ch-ch-ch-chia!”). And when I hear OT I always think of “overtime”. Overtime Lilies would require time-and-a-half pay, double for holidays. So for me it’s Oriental-Trumpet.


‘Conca d’Or’ has big luscious flowers that make me hungry. They are highly suggestive of lemon meringue pie, or possibly banana pudding with cream. The petals look delicate, but they are in fact thick, waxy, and rigid to the touch.


There is a single ‘Conca d’Or’ that stands like a sentinel at the foot of the Driveway Border. It is the only survivor of the first 4 that I planted. Why I lost the other three I couldn’t say. But this one looks very sturdy, with a thick, upright stem. It blooms in concert with the ‘Eye-yi-yi’ Daylilies (Hemerocallis).


Here’s the same Lily a couple of days later, with more flowers open. ‘Conca d’Or’ is sweetly fragrant, though the strength of the scent varies with the weather and time of day. It seems to be at peak strength in late afternoon and early evening, when it reaches as far as the front door


A newer clump of 5 Lilies is located at the far end of the Sidewalk Border, among the Bee Balm (Monarda didyma). As Oriental-Trumpet Lilies grow about 6 feet tall, ‘Conca d’Or’ is able to hold its own with the rampant Bee Balm as its neighbor.


The sight of these cream and gold Lilies emerging from a mass of dark red Bee Balm is very appealing, to my eyes at least.



‘Conca d’Or’ blooms about 2 weeks before our other Lily, the Oriental ‘Casa Blanca’. Both of these Lilies need protection from the varmint scourge of rabbits, and so I shield them with chicken wire while they are small. That other Lily scourge, the Red Lily Beetle, has not yet shown itself in our garden.

We used to have a bunch of Asiatic Lilies growing on the other side of the driveway, but they have been mostly shaded out by the Crabapple tree at this point. I miss them a bit, but not terribly – they have great color, but no scent.

My feeling for ‘Conca d’Or’ and ‘Casa Blanca’, though, is that I want to keep them around. They are beautiful, but also their fragrance is irresistible, an necessary part of high summer. So if the bulbs don’t last, I intend to keep replacing them.

43 Comments on “Let the Oriental Trumpets Sound”

  1. I agree, your garden is looking delightful …I guess this is the peak of summer for you? The cream and gold lilies against the dark red Bee Balm are stunning in the sunshine. I would love to have such layers of colour. I know it is time for us to plant Lilies, so your post has spurred me on to buy some tomorrow.

  2. Those lilies are absolutely stunning. I love the combination with the Monarda. I’m envious! Here our problem is deer; our native cottontail is all but extinct. I suppose I could plant them in our vegetable garden but then we’d miss the glorious scent. Your garden is looking beautiful.

  3. Your Conca d’Or lily is beautiful! I like it with the bee balm and with the Eye-yi-yi daylily. My only lily is Casa Blanca. It also has a lovely fragrance. I rarely comment but I do love following your blog.

  4. This is a beauty. I can see why you thought my ‘Legend’ lily looks a lot like your Conca dOr. I believe Legend has less yellow on it. It sure smells wonderful though. I brought one bloom in and it filled the living room with fragrance. I had to put it to the opposite side of the room from where I normally sit. I couldn’t resist it though. Mine don’t have so many blooms on a stem. I think it is because I don’t have it in so much sun. Seeing yours makes me realize I want more and I need to get them into more sun. The rabbits are horrid here too.

  5. I agree with Pauline about those wretched lily beetles. They came to Maine about fifteen years ago and decimated those beauties. Sigh. But yours look splendid, and it’s to understand why you will keep planting. Final thought: Lucky, lucky neighbors. Your yard is a place of beauty.

  6. It’s gorgeous – I love pale colours like that. I planted a few lilies in the garden a couple of years ago and they are just now settling in. A couple are now in bloom & I hadn’t thought to check them for fragrance, but will have to do that.

  7. I love lilies so much, it’s my favorite flower form. But I’ve never tried to keep the types straight — Oriental, Asiatic, Orienpet (I agree with you, ugh!) — anything that isn’t a daylily is just a lily to me. Mine in the front where they get a lot of sun are nearly finished blooming, but some in the back in shade are just starting. They filled the front with fragrance just last week, it was delicious. Thank goodness you don’t have any sign of lily leaf beetle, they killed off every lily I had in Massachusetts. I haven’t seen them in my garden here in Washington yet.

  8. I always make it a practice to avoid certain stores here before Easter, as those lilies they sell don’t seem at all fragrant to me; their scent is rather sickening, actually. Now I’m wondering if its the species they sell, since everyone here is celebrating the fragrance of lilies. The only lilies I remember seeing in gardens here, or even wild in the ditches, are daylilies. I’ll have to give them a sniff, and see if their fragrance is more pleasing than those commercially produced ones in the stores.

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