Completely crazy for regal lilies

The strong perfume of the regal lily led to an almost ruinous purchase contract and even almost cost the life of a plant hunter. But read for yourself.
There are no half measures with the regal lily (Lilium regale), which can grow up to 180 cm tall: one either turns one's back or succumbs to its noblesse forever! The reason being the strong, heady perfume given off by the large, white funnel-shaped flowers with lemon-yellow throat and purple-coloured exterior along the median nerve.
They certainly left Beverley Nichols, the British author, spellbound. He was so enchanted at their sight that he immediately bought the ramshackle farmhouse in front of which they were growing. In his words: «I was intoxicated by their beauty. The moment I saw them, I imagined myself signing the contract for the house. The size of the building, the cost of repairs, not to mention the expense of the upkeep – all those bothersome details suddenly seemed insignificant. I simply had to own those lilies!»
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 edge of a precipice and gave orders for the botanical collection to be brought to safety first before he would allow himself to be rescued.

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