July 20, 2010 | Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator & Director of Outreach

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin...(Mathew 6:28)

Botanists tell us that those lilies may actually be tulips, poppies or some other Mediterranean wildflower. But for me, the image of a meadow filled with naked, lackadaisical lilies, lolling in lassitude is just too appealing. Denver Botanic Gardens is chockablock full of these languid lilies as we speak. I don't know when and where we suddenly became a lily showplace, but you can find dozens of dazzling lilies here and there throughout the Gardens. There is something sumptuous and extravagant about these aristocrats of the bulb world. Their colors seem somehow brighter than other flowers, and the rich texture of the petals is irrestible.  You just have to touch them! And the smell! Pure heaven....

Most of the lilies at the Gardens blooming now are the giant Asiatic sorts, many hybrids of L. speciosum and L. aurantiacum, although there are a few species such as L. henryi and L. longiflorum as well.

I am including pictures of some of the magnificent lilies that I found at the gardens (and a local nursery) in recent weeks.  One can truly see why flowers like these inspired Mathew in the Bible (and in turn the classic Sidney Poitier namesake movie which was inspired by an events that occurred at a convent that was once in my home town of Boulder).


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