North Star Lily Society

“People are drawn to lilies because they are tough, hardy, relatively disease- and pest-free, and they multiply,” says Barbara Ronningen, North Star Lily Society (NSLS) member and convention chair. “They really stick with you. I have a clump of lilies I bought in 1984 still. Plus, they are beautiful.”

Founded for educational and scientific purposes, NSLS promotes, encourages and fosters the development of the genus Lilium. NSLS hosts two educational meetings each year, which are open to the public, and two bulb sales. It also has an annual show at Bachman’s where between 200 and 300 stems are displayed.

To preserve the work of Minnesota hybridizers, NSLS is building a photo library of Minnesota lilies and their hybridizers, as well as obtaining specimens to plant at the Heritage Lily Garden at Arneson Acres, an Edina city park, which boasts a collection of more than 80 varieties.

This summer (July 9-13), NSLS is hosting the North American Lily Society show and convention, All-Star Lilies. At conventions, “you run into knowledgeable people from around the world who specialize in certain topics and are so willing to share,” says Barbara

Propagation beds at a local lily breeder's home.

Propagation beds at a local lily breeder’s home.

Close to 500 lily stems will be shown, plus floral designs. Anyone can exhibit, and NSLS members will even help you prepare. Five speakers are scheduled, as well as a hybridizers’ panel and a bus tour to NSLS members’ gardens and Arneson Acres. The show and vendor areas are open to the public. Registration is open now.

—Brenda Harvieux