The Shand Greenhouse Western Red Lily Centennial Project recognized for cultural and scientific advancement
Article by: Greenhouse staff - September 21, 2007
Just as our provincial floral emblem, the Western red lily, comes back year after year to show us its splendour, so do the benefits of the SaskPower Shand Greenhouse Western Red Lily Centennial Project.
This spring as colourful blooms of the western red lily are showing up on prairie remnants near you, the Native Plants Journal is hitting the news stands. Lisa May, technician at SaskPower Shand Greenhouse, has now been published. Her article Forcing cycles speed growth and flowering in western red lily (Lilium philadelphicum L.) features the research and hard work invested in this project by Shand Greenhouse and all of its staff. This is confirmation that our peers in the growing field of plant propagation recognize this project not only for its cultural benefit, but also for its contribution to the advancement of the science of horticulture.
This project that started as a wild idea to grow Western red lilies for the provincial centenary has survived through numerous challenges. First we made it through experimenting with growing systems, then the growing of the crop, and then the even more complicated development of an allocation, distribution and shipping strategy. And finally we, the humans, survived the excitement of waiting to get feedback on survival. In the spring of 2006 surveyed recipients indicated about 40% survival, ranging from lows of 0% right up to 100% survival. We even had a report of a handful of flowers in that first spring, which was not expected at all.
So here we are two years after distribution and the project continues to get recognition. First in the form of a publication and secondly as we continue to get positive feed back from recipients telling us ‘The plants seem to be doing much better then last year” and “we are definitely going to see flowers this spring”. We’re hoping you see flowers this year too.
If you received lilies and have your own stories or pictures to pass along we would like to hear from you, please contact the Shand Greenhouse.
And, while this project is seemingly coming to a conclusion, the plants should continue to multiply well into the future. We may not have heard the last from them!