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Mother of Gardens

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Begging for food

REGAL LILY
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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