Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Lilium pomponium L.

Fully-hardy, slender, stem-rooting lily with green, purple spotted stems and racemes of up to 6, unpleasantly scented, pendant, turkscap, bright red flowers in summer.  To 1m.  Also occurs in a double-flowered form.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Varies with red and yellow flowers, with many flowered and few flowered racemes, some of which are so much contracted as to have the appearance of an umbel; sometimes it is only one or two-flowered.  Generally propagated by parting the scaly bulbs.  One of the oldest inhabitants of our gardens.’  [BM t.798/1804].  ‘This is the variety [‘Scarlet Pompone Lily’] so generally confounded with Lilium chalcedonicum.  [BM t.971/1806]. 

Introduced to Britain in 1659.  [JD].  

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [B.314/1857] but the first reference to this plant is a handwritten entry in a copy of the 1850 catalogue held at the Mitchell Library, inscribed on the front Wm. Macarthur, 23rd Dec. 1854.  [ML 635.9m].


Lilium pomponium Lour. = L. lancifolium Thunb. which see.

Lilium pomponium DC. = L. chalcedonicum L. which see.

Published Dec 28, 2009 - 11:24 AM | Last updated Jan 07, 2010 - 01:20 PM

Shown are lance-shaped stem leaves and nodding, orange-scarlet turkscap flowers. Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.971, 1806.

Lilium pomponium L. | BM t.971/1806 as Scarlet Pompone Lily | BHL

Family Liliaceae
Region of origin

Europe, Alps and Pyrenees

  • Lilium rubrum Lam.
Common Name

Lesser Turkscap

Name in the Camden Park Record

Lilium pomponium 

Confidence level high