Difference between Asiatic and Oriental Lilies

Lily flower is one of the most popular choices when it comes to gifting and centrepieces. It has gained popularity due to its beauty, fragrance and availability. There are many hybrids of lilies but the most common choice is between Asiatic Lilies & Oriental Lilies.

Difference between Asiatic and Oriental Lilies

One of the most common questions asked is “Are Asiatic & Oriental Lilies the same?” Well, No they are two different types of lilies. It is a common perception since they look similar. These both are different types of lily hybrids and their own beauty & essence. Both hybrids are grown commercially and in home gardens.

What is the difference between Asiatic and Oriental Lilies?

Scientific Name:

Asiatic Lilies- Lilium Asiatic

Oriental Lilies- Lilium Oriental


Asiatic Lilies- As the name suggests, Asiatic Lilies are native to Asia, and are found in several regions in Asia.

Oriental Lilies- Oriental Lilies are hybrids developed from a few species native to Japan.


Asiatic Lilies- Asiatic Lilies have no or very little any fragrance.

Oriental Lilies- Oriental Lilies are heavily scented flowers. Most people find the fragrance as pleasant, but some people find it unpleasant.

Flowering Time:

Asiatic Lilies- They are early bloomers and bloom in early spring.

Oriental Lilies- They bloom later than most of the lilies in summer and mid-fall.

Flower Colour & Shapes:

Asiatic Lilies- Asiatic Lilies vary greatly in colours and shapes. They range from pastel to bold colours, except for blue. Asiatic Lilies are usually found in a single colour, except for lollypop hybrid.

Oriental Lilies- These huge blooms are found in the shades of white, yellow and pink. There are different colours on their rims, which is usually a combination of two to three colours.

Growth Rate:

Asiatic Lilies- Asiatic Lilies can double themselves within a year as they produce smaller offspring near the surface.

Oriental Lilies- They multiply at a much slower rate as compared to Asiatic Lilies. The bulbs multiply from a natural division, which is better to lift and divide every 3 to 5 years to avoid overcrowding.


Asiatic Lilies- They are easiest to grow and is the shortest hybrid of Lily. They are usually 2 to 3 feet tall but can range between 1 to 6 feet of height. The blooms are usually 6 to 8 inches wide.

Oriental Lilies- Oriental Lilies gain height every year and range between 2 to 8 feet tall. They are usually taller than Asiatic Lilies and are often referred to as Tree Lilies.

Leaf Shape

Asiatic Lilies- Asiatic Lilies have long glossy leaves, which are skinny and usually 4 to 5 inches. They are bright green in colour, and when Asiatic Lilies grow, they get long stalks and develop multiple narrow leaves near the stem placed closely.

Oriental Lilies- Oriental Lilies have somewhat heart-shaped leaves which are coloured dull green. They are wider and further apart as compared to Asiatic Lilies.

Random Lily Flower Trivia

  • Some species of the lily flowers are edible. Bulbs of lily flower contain a lot of starch and they are used as root vegetables.
  • Cats should be kept away from the lily flower as they contain compounds which induce renal failure in cats. Even a small amount of pollen can be poisonous for cats.
  • Lily flower is widely used in traditional Asian medicines for the treatment of depression, and several toxicities.
  • Lilies have different symbolism around the world. In China, lily flower is considered as lucky. In Assyrian civilization, they are labelled as holy flowers. In Greek culture, the lily is associated with motherhood. And as per Christians, lily flowers symbolize chastity and innocence.
  • Lilies have a long vase life, and it can be increased by removing the pollen found in water.
  • Lilies are one of the top ten flowers in the world, and this is why they’re a popular choice for bouquets and centrepieces.
  • Lily flowers can also be grown in containers.