Can you please tell me the difference between Asiatic and Oriental lilies?  I have seen bags of both types of bulbs at the garden store.  Is one more desirable than the other?

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Both asiatic and oriental lilies are beautiful, spectacular flowers.  There are several ways to tell the difference.  Asiatic lilies bloom earlier than the orientals.  Asiatics bloom in June in my area, whereas the orientals bloom a little later, about the time the asiatics are finished.  That's convenient!  (I remember which variety blooms earlier by telling myself that "A" comes before "O".)  Both varieties bloom on long, straight stems.  The asiatic varieties have narrow, very pointed leaves that grow all around the stem, whereas the oriental leaves also grow all around the stem, but are not as prufuse, and a little wider or more rounded than the asiatic leaves.  The blossoms of both the asiatic and the oriental lilies are shaped alike.  However, most asiatic lily blossoms face upward, whereas the oriental lilies face forward.  Most, but not all asiatic lily blossoms are solid colors, whereas the oriental blossoms are usually white, yellor, or pink, often edged with a contrasting color.  Asiatic lilies are generally not fragrant, while the oriental lilies produce a fragrance that is not pleasing to many people.  Oriental lily blossoms are prized by florists, as they often use these spectacular blossoms in floral arrangements.
by Green Thumb (1.8k points)

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