Mother of Gardens

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Begging for food

Lilium regale
In grand botanical garden beds and countless humbler household plots, regal lilies reign supreme. While ubiquitous today, the regal lily's only natural habitat is a 30-mile stretch of rocky cliffs in a narrow valley in the Hengduan Mountains. It is Wilson's most famous introduction, both for its beauty and for nearly costing him his life. In 1910 a landslide devastated Wilson's party as they were collecting hundreds of lily bulbs. A falling rock shattered Wilson's leg and left him with what he later nicknamed his "lily limp."

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