Longiflorum Asiatic Hybrid Lilies (L.A. Hybrid Lilies) are a special breed of lily. Over the years, the demand for these flowers increased, but how are they grown? At Sun Valley Floral Farms, a lot of L.A. Hybrid Lilies are grown and CEO Lane DeVries knows all about it as it is a seasoned expert in lily cultivation having been at it most of his life. His insights on the growth and distinct characteristics of LA Hybrid lilies are why some varieties are part of the Sun Valley “Royal” Lily line.
Bill Prescott, JW Brown, Lane DeVries, Maurene Brice, and Amy Carrieri at The IFPA Global Produce and Floral Show
Lane reveals that Sun Valley grows these lilies in both Arcata, CA (NorCal) and Oxnard, CA (SoCal), choosing locations based on optimal growing conditions, currently the Royal production is in Arcata.
The Royals are planted directly in the ground, covered with plastic hoop houses. Years ago, Sun Valley grew them under glass, but they found that these lilies respond very well to the full UV spectrum of light. Glass greenhouses block UV-B, which is why you can’t get a sunburn through glass.
The UV-B is not blocked by plastic greenhouses, and they found that this additional spectrum of light creates more vibrant colors in the bloom and bigger buds. The flowers also like the cool evenings that come in a less controlled environment.
Regarding water requirements, Lane mentioned that these lilies do consume a significant amount of water. Fortunately, Arcata benefits from having some of the purest water in the United States, with an electrical conductivity level of 0.1 dS/m. This is the measure of a solution’s ability to conduct electricity. This pristine Humboldt County water source contributes to the lilies' quality.
These are the lilies varieties currently offered by Sun Valley:
- Party Diamond
- Royal Sunset
Lane explains that the infusion of the Longiflorum bloodline into traditional Asiatics has led to improvements in flower size and vase life. The Yellow Diamond LA Hybrid is highlighted as a superior lily when compared to traditional Asiatic varieties.
L.A. Hybrids also fill the niche of being fragrant-free. "Many people still believe all lilies have a fragrance. Sun Valley's longstanding relationship with these breeders in Holland ensures a consistent supply of high-quality bulb stock."
Sun Valley's Royal Lilies are ready to be shipped, "offering exceptional vase life, bright colors, and thick hardy stems. These lilies are perfect for florist’s arrangements and consumers’ enjoyment."