Double-flowered Tiger Lily
"Great tiger-lilies are old ladies
who keep watch that the dancing
is well done, & that everything
goes on with propriety."
-Hans Christian Andersen
The eye can't help but do a double-take when seeing this double-flowered tiger lily. It has the same deep orange petals with chocolate spots as seen on regular tiger lilies, but with up to thirty-six petals arranged as turks caps within turks caps.
The inner petals at first poke straight out with an almost squid-like tentacled appearance, but slowly all the petals fold back in the classic turk's cap pose.
'Flora Pleno' (improperly 'Florapleno') grows four or five feet tall, occasionally six or seven feet. It has a great many blossoms on a single stalk, the opening throughout August.
They prefer an organically rich moist well-draining acidic soil, but will do well in neutral to slightly alkaline soil too. It likes a lot of sun or a very little shade.
An heirloom variety introduced in 1870, there has been considerable disagreement whether it is a sport of a true species or a hybrid. It is thought to be less likely than single tiger lilies to be viral carriers, even though it has been speculated that the double form arose due to a virus-induced mutation. Though less likely to be virally infected, as with regular tiger lilies it is best to plant them far apart from other species of liliums which do not live with the virus as well as do the tigers.
Late in the season little black bulbils form at the leaf axils from which new plants can be started, growing true to the parent.
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