By Anna Hanuska
A popular variation of the Oriental lily, Stargazer lilies have petals with deep magenta in the middle, fading to pale pink around the edges. They were one of the first varieties of lilies to face upward toward the sky, hence the name “Stargazer.” Before Stargazer lilies, most commercial lilies would bloom pointing down, giving the flowers a wilted appearance. The upward-facing flowers contributed significantly to these lilies’ popularity.
Additionally, the flowers are known for their strong scent. While many flowers commonly sold in supermarkets (including certain varieties of roses) lack fragrance due to breeders selecting for appearance rather than smell, Stargazer lilies maintain their distinct aroma for multiple days.
As one of the easiest lilies to grow, Stargazers are perennials (they “die” in the winter and come back in the spring without replanting) and have strong stems that usually grow 3-6 feet tall without staking.
However, like all lilies, Stargazers are extremely poisonous to cats. Ingesting any part of a lily will cause kidney failure and death in cats, so it is recommended to avoid keeping them in a house with cats, even if they can’t reach them, lest they happen to eat a fallen leaf or lick some pollen bits off the ground. Lilies are not dangerous to other pets or humans (they can cause slight stomach upset in dogs, but are generally not considered fatal).
Overall, Stargazer lilies have gorgeous pink flowers and a strong, pleasant aroma, in addition to being easy to grow.