• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Lilium candidum (IXb/a)

Madonna lily

Madonna lily

© � RHS

  • Other common names Madonna lily
    Annunciation lily

    Ascension lily
    Bourbon lily
    French lily
    Juno's rose
    St Joseph's lily
    white lily

    see more
  • Genus Lilium are bulbous perennials with erect stems bearing whorled or spirally arranged leaves and terminal racemes or umbels of bowl-shaped, trumpet-shaped, funnel-shaped or turk's cap shaped flowers, often fragrant, and white, yellow, orange or red

  • Family Liliaceae / Liliaceae

  • Details L. candidum is a perennial with stems to 1.8m in height, with glossy dark green, scattered leaves. Fragrant, trumpet-shaped pure white flowers 6-8cm in length are carried in terminal racemes of up to 20 in summer

  • Plant range S Europe, SW Asia


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Columnar/Upright

  • Fragrance Flower



  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand, Loam

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height

    1-1.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread

    0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height

    2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in well-drained soil enriched with leaf mould or well-rotted organic matter. Tolerant of drier soil but must be planted very close to the soil surface

Propagation Propagate by seed, sown, when ripe, in containers in a cold frame or separate offsets after the foliage dies down

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Cut Flowers Cottage & Informal Garden Gravel Garden

How to care

Pruning No pruning required

Pests Can get lily beetle, aphids and slugs; plants in pots can get vine weevil

Diseases grey moulds and a virus may cause problems. See lily diseases

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