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Of all the bulbous plants, the lily has shown very considerable growth in terms of hectares cultivated in the last few decades.
In 1960, it was being cultivated on just 160 hectares.
Now, this figure has risen to 4200! The lily is responsible for 25% of the total export value for bulbs.
Its increase in cultivation is primarily due to the new groups of lilies that have been developed for cut flower production.
The lily has become a very popular cut flower throughout the world.
One of the lily groups, known as the Asiatic Hybrids, offers lilies in orange, red, yellow, white and pink.
Also favoured are the Oriental Hybrids with their large white, pink or red scented flowers.
Lilies in the Longiflorum Group (including the white ones sometimes known as Easter Lilies) have been grown for a long time, but recent breeding efforts involving the crossing of these lilies with Asiatic Hybrids has produced certain new groups known as the LA-,OT-,LO- and OA Hybrids.
These groups are becoming more and more important. In the Netherlands, lily bulb production involves planting the bulbs in the spring and lifting them again before winter.
For the production of flowers, the bulbs can be planted throughout the year in many different climate zones, both in the field and in greenhouses.

Watch here the Lily Picture book from IBC