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Lilium brownii - F.E.Br. ex Meillez.
Common Name Hong Kong Lily
Family Liliaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Loose fertile soil along woodland edges or in grass and thickets[147]. Rock crevices, amongst coarse grass and scrub below 1,500 metres[260].
Range E. Asia - Southern China from Hong Kong, to Burma
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun


Lilium brownii Hong Kong Lily

Lilium brownii Hong Kong Lily
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of bulb
Lilium brownii is a BULB growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

L. candidum. non L. L. odorum.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Root.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Bulb - cooked[61, 105, 163]. A pleasant slightly sweet taste[183], they are used as a vegetable in much the same way as potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). A starch can be extracted from the bulbs and added to other foods[183]. The grated bulb can be added as a thickener to soups etc[183]. The bulb is usually rather small[260] - it is 25 - 40mm in diameter[266]. The dried flower petals are used as a flavouring in soups[183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antitussive;  Carminative;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Pectoral;  Poultice;  Sedative;  

The bulb is antitussive, diuretic, carminative, expectorant, febrifuge, pectoral, sedative and tonic[147, 176, 218]. A decoction is used in the treatment of coughs and haematemesis due to deficiency condition, anxiety, apprehension, oedema and difficult urination[147]. Bulbils from the leaf axils are used in the treatment of intestinal disorders[218]. The dried and powdered flowers are used as a poultice for bruises, cuts etc[218].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Prefers an open free-draining humus-rich loamy soil with its roots in the shade and its head in the sun[200]. Requires a light soil[42, 47]. Is this species lime-tolerant?[200]. Plants prefer a position that s moist in the summer but dry in the winter[260]. Stem rooting, the bulbs should be planted 20 - 25cm deep[42, 47, 143]. Said to be very difficult in cultivation[47], this species tolerates temperatures down to about -3°c[260]. It grows well at Kew but is not hardy everywhere[143]. Self-sterile, the type species does not set seed[47]. It is believed that this species is either of hybrid origin or it is a garden form of the true wild species L. brownii colchesteri. Wils.[143]. It is the sub-species colchesteri that is used medicinally[176, 218]. The flowers have a soft sweet fragrance. This fragrance is more pronounced in the variety 'Viridulum'[245]. The plant does not come into growth until late spring[260]. It should be protected against slugs at this time since if the shoot tip is eaten out the bulb will not grow in that year and will lose vigour[200]. The edible bulbs are occasionally sold in ethnic markets in San Francisco[183] and are a common food item in China[179], where the plant is cultivated for edible and medicinal use[266].
Seed - immediate epigeal germination[130]. Sow thinly in pots from late winter to early spring in a cold frame. Should germinate in 2 - 4 weeks[163]. Great care should be taken in pricking out the young seedlings, many people prefer to leave them in the seed pot until they die down at the end of their second years growth. This necessitates sowing the seed thinly and using a reasonably fertile sowing medium. The plants will also require regular feeding when in growth. Divide the young bulbs when they are dormant, putting 2 - 3 in each pot, and grow them on for at least another year before planting them out into their permanent positions when the plants are dormant[K]. Division with care in the autumn once the leaves have died down. Replant immediately[200]. Bulb scales can be removed from the bulbs in early autumn. If they are kept in a warm dark place in a bag of moist peat, they will produce bulblets. These bulblets can be potted up and grown on in the greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out[200]. Bulblets are formed on the stem just below the soil surface. These should be dug up in the autumn and replanted immediately, preferably in a cold frame for growing on until large enough to plant out into the garden[143, 163].

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Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Lilium amabile 20
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Lilium bulbiferumFire Lily, Orange lily30
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Lilium canadenseMeadow Lily, Canada lily31
Lilium canadense editorumMeadow Lily30
Lilium canadense flavumMeadow Lily30
Lilium candidumMadonna Lily32
Lilium cernuum 20
Lilium columbianumColumbia Tiger Lily, Columbia lily, Oregon Lily, Tiger Lily30
Lilium concolorMorning Star Lily22
Lilium dauricum 20
Lilium davidii 20
Lilium distichum 20
Lilium formosanumFormosa lily20
Lilium formosanum pricei 20
Lilium hansonii 20
Lilium henryiHenry's lily20
Lilium japonicumBamboo Lily22
Lilium japonicum platyfoliumBamboo Lily22
Lilium kelleyanumKelley's Lily20
Lilium lancifoliumTiger Lily, Devil Lily42
Lilium leichtlinii 20
Lilium leichtlinii maximowiczii 20
Lilium longiflorumWhite Trumpet Lily, Easter lily, Trumpet Lily32
Lilium maculatum 20
Lilium martagonTurk's Cap Lily, Martagon lily21
Lilium medeoloides 20
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F.E.Br. ex Meillez.
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Subject : Lilium brownii  

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