Friday, July 24, 2009

THE MYSTERIOUS SCENT OF CASABLANCA LILIES







Potted Casablanca lilies in their second year.
Close-up of Casablanca lily.
Cobalt blue Fukagawa porcelain vase decorated with white lily.


"Phenolics," says my scientist friend, backing away from my Casablanca lilies as if from the devil himself. " Being illiterate in science, I have no idea of what he means. A quick look at the google database provides me with incomprehensible answers such as, "Lily PPO possessed a diphenolase activity toward catechol, catechin and gallic acid; catechin was the best substrate for the enzyme considering the Vmax/Km ratio. " So I begin my fruitless quest for a description of the intoxicating scent of one the most beautiful flowers in my garden. My nose decodes it as a spoicy smell with a predominant note of cinnamon. I am no expert. I could ask Chandler Burr, my learned occasional correspondent who has authored books on scents, but it would be an imposition considering that he recently answered my questions about the scent of azaleas mentioned in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca . By the way, the answer is, azaleas are scentless.
Form, color, substance and a fierce determination to are good enough reasons for planting Casablanca lilies. Mine are crammed into a faux terracotta pot--the real thing wicks out water too quickly--set at the foot of the truly enormous climbing Noisette rose Claire Jacquier. Therefore its feet are in shade while its top is up in the air, which supposedly is a good way for lilies to live. The only difference I see in its development, is that it only grows up to a foot or so. The flowers, three to a stem, are spectacular. I woulds grow fields of these bulbs if budget and voles would allow. At one point, I planted fifty of them in the rose border and now only one remains. That is when I planted a couple of bulbs into the plastic pot. This is their second year and I intend to pot a few more this coming autumn. That way I will have something of surpassing beauty next July when my garden enters its fairly bleak hot weather
stage. Nothing can possibly please the eye as much as these lilies did this evening, after a soft rain.

4 comments:

  1. Ooh! these are lovely pictures - thanks for sharing. But do give your blog a title, otherwise we can't "Pick" it on Blotanical.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have a beautiful picture of pure white lilies and a good post here. The title of this post is "The Mysterious Scent of Casablance Lilies" You need to give a title to every post that you make. When you 'create a post' you add in some words for the box with heading "title" on blogspot menu. I think you have succeeded.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely pictures. Lilies are so gorgeous!The pot is lovely too! And like Charlotte I'd like to be able to pick your posts on botanical. Every post has to have a title(heading) before you start writing the post.Val

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Valeri and Autumn Belle. I had neglected to turn on the title function at Settings. I have been so bust with my book blog the poor garden is being ignored, but it is always good to hear from my fellow blotanists. All the best.

    ReplyDelete