Plant Profile: Martagon Lilies

claude shrideMartagon season has arrived. Every year about this time — mid June to the later part of the month, the Martagon lilies bloom in all their upside down splendor. At left is Claude Shride, one of the best known of the Martagons.

I fell for Martagons a few years, after being introduced to them by enthusiast Frans Officer, who wrote about his passion for Martagons for Northern Gardener in 2010. Martagons are a lily that likes dappled shade. Once established, they require little care and bloom year after year, with clumps slowly growing bigger and bigger. They like moderately rich soil and adequate moisture.

When we wrote our list of 30 Great Plants for Northern Gardens, we asked, why don’t more gardeners grow Martagon lilies? The answer may well be price. The bulbs are not easily reproduced in commercial situations and, as a result, they often cost upwards of $20 each, and some can cost much more. However, if you can find some, consider making an investment. Every year at this time, you will be glad you did.



  1. Sandria hensley on July 1, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    I love all lilies what is be at time to plant bulbs.for upside down lilies .

    • Mary Lahr Schier on July 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      If it’s a plant, you can put it in at anytime during the warm months. Bulbs are best planted in early spring for summer bloom. Enjoy!

  2. Mrs Sue Reveley on June 19, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    I have a beautiful burgundy martagon Lily and live on the south coast of England I would love to know the name of it, it came from the garden of a professor from Wisley Gardens near Surrey , my son bought his property. Can anyone tell me it very tall with lots of flower heads .

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