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Black, Round Growths Along Lily Stems

Each summer my neighbor’s lilies produce these little black ball type things along the stems. Are they seeds or what?

These little black growths, called bulbils, are really aerial bulbs. They contain all the genetic material needed to start a new plant. They form between the leaf and stem on tiger lilies and several other hardy lilies. In nature, these bulbils drop to the ground and eventually grow into a flowering bulb. You can harvest the plump black bulbils when they can easily be pulled from the plant. Place them in a protected spot in the garden. Plant them in a furrow just like you would peas. In several years you will have bulbs to plant into the garden or share with friends.


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