Flower of NMNS --- Lilium speciosum Thunb. var. gloriosoides Baker, showy lily
Lilium speciosum, showy lily grows in clusters of habitats on precipitous rocks around northeastern Taiwan, topographically characterized by abundant rainfall year-round. It's known to bloom in the summer, the colors bright and arresting. Showy lily has dwindled in numbers, so the botanical garden relocated the plant to a cultivation conservatory and started mass reproduction to preserve this rare species (See reference: Chang, et al., 2000), and began researches on tissue culture, flowering, and seedling propagation (see Chang and Chen, 2004). The seedlings had been organized at the outdoor exhibition terrace for several years, and the bottom-up lantern-like blooms effloresce every year, dressed in alabaster whites dotted with puffs of rouge, mesmerizing tourists as they gasp in awe.
Former director Li was behind a campaign in promoting showy lily as the mascot flower of the museum. Showy lily is a protophyte native plant to Taiwan. It surmounts physical hardships and treacherous terrains, blossoming in all of its grandeur, symbolizing the Museum’s determination to be an international visionary, with its feet planted firmly in Taiwan. We hope to awaken conservation awareness of this gorgeous flower species amongst residents by providing them with a place for relaxation, education implements/exhibitions and exploration at the botanical garden.
We visited northeastern Taiwan to investigate the habitats of this flower species and track their growth patterns for researches on population genetics from different locales; meanwhile we explored species redesigning possibilities. The flower is known to reproduce and propagate by seedling and tissue culture; it can therefore be steadily multiplied in undisturbed habitats under careful supervision. Our most stringent mission hence is made clear: to preserve the integrity of showy lily's endangered habitats.