About Us

Adam Yakabuskie

I have been exposed to horticulture and agriculture activities since my youth. Raised on a beef farm in Westmeath Ontario, I found myself learning about cultivating plants, and raising livestock. This knowledge was the foundation of my current passion which is breeding lilies for commercial sales.

I have been working with the genus Lilium for about 7 years now. The genus Lilium belongs to the family Liliaceae, which comprises more than 100 plant species. Lilies are native to North American, Asia, and Europe. The distribution of the genus Lilium is one reason for their adaptability in Canadian gardens today. Lilies have been in cultivation since the time of the Egyptians.

For the past 6 years I have been working together with lily breeding experts in Alberta, to come up with new varieties of lilies. I study under two lily breeders and hybridizers. Fred Fellner of Vermilion, Alberta, has been breeding lilies for over 40 years. Fred has over 45 lilies registered with the Royal Horticultural Society. Terry Willoughby, of Spruce Grove, Alberta, has been breeding and hybridizing for over 25 years, and has over 6 lilies registered with the Royal Horticultural Society. Both breeders offer a great deal of expertise and knowledge.

My work has focused on two lily divisions: Asiatic, and martagon lilies. This is mainly because these two types of lilies are great growers in Canadian climate, and easy to cultivate for the home gardener.

Breeding lilies to create new lily varieties for the North American and world markets is a very rewarding passion, but to achieve this reward requires a lot of time and patience.  Once your breeding program goals are established, much work has to be done. Martagon lilies take on average 7 years from seed to first bloom, and may require another 7 years of evaluation before they can be introduced to the market. Asiatic lilies, although somewhat quicker to produce first bloom (3 to 5 years), still require the same amount of time to evaluate.

At present in my breeding program I plant out about 2000 lily seedlings per year. My city property has become too small for all these new seedlings so, I rent a plot of land south of Calgary on which to grow these seedlings. My breeding program is in early stages of  development, but has attracted a lot of interest from the general public.  With the interest in my lily business, I am able to sell lilies to the public through word of mouth.  At present my lily stock is about 4000 mature bulbs, and about 8,000 seedlings.

I am finally able to offer lilies for sale, and this is how Canadian Lilies Inc. was started.

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