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 maculatum Thunb.

Lilium maculatum is a stem-rooting, dwarf lily with lance-shaped leaves, to 15cm, flowering stems to 60cm, bearing cup-shaped, erect, yellow, orange or red flowers, variably spotted, in summer.  It is unknown in the wild but was much cultivated in Japan and there are many named garden varieties.  Possibly a hybrid of Lilium dauricum Ker-Gawl. and Lilium concolor Salisb., L. maculatum has given rise to a large number of very showy garden forms.  See also Lilium dauricum Ker-Gawl.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Several superb plants of this showy species are flowering in full perfection at Messrs. Rollinsons.  Superficially examined it presents certain characteristics which are almost sufficient to distinguish it from the L. aurantiacum; yet we are induced to regard them as the same.’  The following differences were noted: leaves, dense, more pubescent, flowers large and of a deeper orange, more numerous.  [MB p.167/1840].  ‘There are many varieties of this excellent lily, varying in colour from pale lemon-yellow to the colour of a rich orange-brown wallflower.’  [Jekyll].  Lilium thunbergianum was also introduced in 1835.  [PD].  ‘This noble Lily was drawn in the nursery of Messrs. Rollissons, in June 1838, and is one of those introduced to Europe from Japan, by Dr. Siebold.  It was originally found by Thunberg, who first referred it to L. philadelphicum, although its sepals and petals are sessile, and subsequently to L. bulbiferum, although it has no bulbs, and is also destitute of the papillae which render the inside of the flower of that species scabrous.  It is doubtless a distinct species.’  [BR f.38/1839].

History at Camden Park

Only listed in the 1845 and 1850 catalogues.


Lilium aurantiacum is also given as a synonym in later editions of Paxton’s Dictionary, and L. philadelphicum Thunb. and L. bulbiferum Thunb. in the Ornamental Flower Garden: ‘It was originally found by Thunberg, who first referred it to L. philadelphicum; and subsequently to L. bulbiferum, although it has no bulb.  It is doubtless a distinct species.’  [BR f.38/1839].  This is possibly the source of confusion with L. bulbiferum.

See also Notes under Lilium aurantiacum Pax.

Published Feb 16, 2009 - 02:41 PM | Last updated Jul 25, 2010 - 04:24 PM

The image shows an upright, funnel-shaped flower, petals orange-red.  Botanical Register f.38, 1839.

Lilium maculatum Thunb. | BR f.38/1839 | BHL

Family Liliaceae
Region of origin


  • Lilium thunbergianum Schult.
  • Lilium dauricum Ker-Gawl. var. Thunbergianum
  • Lilium x elegans T.S.Ware
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Lilium Thunbergianum 

Confidence level high