Shirui Lily
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Shirui Lily
ative lanceshaped Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Shirui lily, Siroi lily, Siroy lily • Manipuri: ꯁꯤꯔꯣꯢ ꯂꯤꯂꯤ Shirui lily, Siroy lily • Hindi: Siroy kumudini सिरोय कुमुदिनी • Tangkhul: Kashongwon, Timrawon
Botanical name: Lilium mackliniae    Family: Liliaceae (lily family)

Native to the north-eastern hill state of Manipur in India, Shirui lily is surely the most beautiful of all lilies. As many as eleven of its white bell shaped flowers, flushed pink at the base, may appear on a single stem. However, mostly only a few flowers are seen on one stem. Frank Kingdon-Ward came to Manipur with his wife (the daughter of a Bombay, high court judge) for botanical research, in 1946. They set up base at Ukhrul in a building which they called "Cobweb cottage alias Bug bungalow" :-) Frank made the exciting "discovery" of Siroi lily, and named it after his wife Jean Macklin. Siroi lily is the state flower of Manipur, but has unfortunately become a rare and endangered species in India. The plant is about a foot tall. The leaves are longish and narrow like most lilies. The flowers are pinkish white, delicately flushed pink at the base, and hang looking down. In fact, in Manipur the flower is compared to a beautiful and modest girl. In India the plant blooms in May-June, and is a local tourist attraction. Shirui is the state flower of Manipur. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flower.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed at Shirui Hill, Ukhrul, Manipur.

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