Chinese scientists breed edible lilies for red soil

Through 20 years of research, Xu Yongyan’s team from Southwest Forestry University has successfully bred edible lilies suitable for red soil growth.

The lilies, with edible flowers and bulbs, are the result of a distant hybridization of more than 40 kinds of wild lily germplasm resources. So far, 11 varieties have been screened out, said the team.

“Compared with the current edible lilies, the ones we bred are tolerant to high temperatures, cold, drought, and barren conditions, with characteristics including high reproduction rates and fast growth,” Xu said.

“The lilies have enriched the planting structure in alpine and arid mountainous areas.”

According to the scientists, after long-term cross-breeding, the edible lily varieties have medicinal, nutritious, ornamental, and other values.

It could bring higher economic value to people living in alpine and arid mountainous areas. It could also promote the development of primary and secondary production through the development of tourism.