The regal lily was discovered by Ernest Henry Wilson, a British explorer, and it almost cost him his life. In the summer of 1910,
the most successful of the many plant hunters stumbled upon their wild habitat in a remote mountain area of western China, where he and the
members of his expedition dug up over 6,000 bulbs. Wilson was seriously injured by falling rocks. With his leg shattered, he remained lying on the
a precipice and gave orders for the botanical collection to be brought to safety first before he would allow himself to be rescued.