Dwarf Lily

"The lily it is pure,
& the lily it is fair,
& in her lovely bosom
I'll place the lily there."

-Robert Burns
(1759-1796)

'Orange Pixie'
or 'Dwarf Elf'
Asiatic Lily


   

This lily was sold with the handwritten label 'Dwarf Elf' because pot-grown from bulbs sold as "Mixed Dwarf Elf Lilies."

The specific color is sold outside of mixed collections under the name 'Orange Pixie,' a selection by Oregon lily breeder Edward A. McRae, which he began developing in 1973 & introduced in 1980.

Its immediate heritage was a lily produced by crossing 'Harmony' with 'Sunspot,' then that lily was pollinated with a cultivar called 'Charisma.' The resultant orange hybrid looks rather like a diminuative Tiger Lily.

The Elves or Pixies are Asiatic lilies that stay in the one to two feet height range, about one-third the size of most Asiatic, Trumpet, or Aurelian lilies.

Dwarf Lily 'Orange Pixie' grows to between one foot & 18 inches of height, topped with three or more large bright blooms. Being so much smaller than the average hybrid cultivar, the Elf Lilies are perfect for even small gardens, in sunny or semi-shaded borders.

Our 'Orange Elf' peeps from behind the Lion's Head Maple. It was just something cheap we grabbed in spring of 2002, during a day-trip to the hinterlands, when we were unexpectedly enticed to stop at a roadside parking lot in front of a borded-up store. Some fly-by-night flower seller had temporarily set up business for that weekend, selling primarily lilies & hostas at "I pay no rent" prices.

When we got home, we popped it in the ground near the maple & against a picket fence, where over time it became so hemmed in by other plants that it got increasingly shady, but gets barely sufficient sun through the fence slats every afternoon. It blooms each June & July, happy as it can be.

Dwarf elf or pixie lilies produce bulbils from the main bulbs. The clump can should be dug up & the separated approximately every third autumn. Pixie lilies are also perfect lilies for container gardening.

   



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