Reasons to Love an LA Hybrid

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways"  

Elizabeth Barret Browning's sonnet came to mind as I was preparing to write this week's post....For how do I love thee, LA Hybrid? Knit together with the colorfully warm traits of the Asiatic and the resiliency of the Longiflorum, the LA Hybrid truly is a specimen to be adored--so, let me count the ways...

1. Performance: As mentioned above, LA Hybrids get their resiliency from their Longiflorum side -- this means they have a thicker petal texture, making them some of the most durable and long-lasting cut lilies around.  Their unparalleled vase life adds incredible value to these already worthy blooms.  Hands down, this is one of their most enviable traits, but by all means, it's not all. Let's keep counting the ways...  

2. Appearance: The longiflorum gene isn't just responsible for LA Hybrids' "bullet-proof" qualities--it is also the reason the flowers themselves are larger than regular Asiatics and have a slight trumpet shape.  Now, what do the Asiatic genes bring to the table? They're responsible for the blooms facing upward (instead of down, like a longiflorum); but, more notably, the Asiatic genes are why LA Hybrids have a color palette more varied than any other class of lily.

A small sampling of their color range; click here to see the full spectrum
3. No Scent: Yes, yes, this calls to mind another sonnet... "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"....but what if you don't want a sweet smell?  Many people equate lilies with fragrance, but not all lilies act the same!  I, myself, really enjoy the scent of an Oriental Lily (the most fragrant lily of them all), but not all the time.  And sometimes fragrant flowers aren't always appropriate, such as an  office or home where those with allergies share the space. So when I gift lilies, I almost always choose a bouquet of LA Hybrids, unless I know for sure that the recipient appreciates the fragrance of an Oriental.  This unique trait makes LA Hybrids the perfect lily for allergy sufferers and sensitive noses.  

LA Hybrid's genetic characteristics are reason enough to love them, but wait-- I am still counting the ways.  After all, I am a firm believer in nature and nurture, and our environment nurtures LA Hybrids into something even more fantastic...something we call Royal Lilies.

How to Grow a Royal Lily:

To get a superior Royal Lily, one must grow them in the perfect environment, and here on the foggy shores of Northern California, we have the perfect environment.  Royals need diffused light and cool evenings to get fully saturated colors; so we grow them in hoop houses in Arcata, a region known for its temperate climate and coastal fog.  As you can see from the city-data graph below, the weather here in Arcata stays fairly stable during summer... as the rest of the country's temperatures upsurges, we hover around a high of 65 degrees.  No good for a summer suntan, but perfect for a LA Hybrid! 

Yes, Oriental Lilies also do well in this weather, but they require a little bit more warmth and protection from the cool night air, which is why we grow them in greenhouses.  But LA Hybrids? They thrive with that little bit of cold stress, and the hoop houses allow the coastal breezes to circulate freely.

And most importantly, we don't rush the flowers. It takes anywhere from 12-16 weeks until Royal Lilies are ready for harvest, and this style of flower farming allows sufficient time for their bulbs to release every bit of energy and nutrients into the flower itself, giving the flower strength and helping the colors absolutely pop.

Our patience, experience, and of course, total flower devotion amplifies the already-positive traits in a LA Hybrid even more--turning it from a great lily to a superior Royal Lily. 

So go on, fall in love with our Royal Lilies.

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