Many lilies are too brash for the flower border and are far more successful in large containers, but the demure martagon lily is an exception. Its muted colors and swept-back petals blend seamlessly into the shade between shrubs and under deciduous trees. It is elegant, balanced and poised, flowering in June and July. The dozen or so flowers on every stem have none of the heady lily fragrance. But it is a survivor, colonizing shady areas by self-seeding. Many lilies fade away within four years but this one will outlive the gardener who plants it.
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