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Shirui Lily the Jewel of the Northeast India

Shirui Lily the Jewel of the Northeast India
Courtesy: John Vashum


Very rare Shirui Lily flower having 7 flowers in a plant. "SHIRUI LILY" flower is rare and famous flower in the world. It is rare because it cannot be transplanted. The flower was / is never growing in the other parts of the world and perhaps will not grow again except in Shirui Peak. No one knows why this flower doesn't grow in other places in spite of the maximum care.

The abode of Shirui Lily is in Shirui Kashung in Ukhrul district, Manipur state. Shirui is the name of the village under Ukhrul district situated in North East of the district. Ukhrul is around 103 km away from the state capital Imphal. Manipur is located in extreme North East of India. The district is famous because of this flower. It is located about 15 km in the east of the district capital, Ukhrul. Shirui Kashung range stretching from north to south ranging from 4900' to 8474' above the sea level is one of the most beautiful ranges in Manipur.

In 1946 Mr. Kingdon Ward who came to Manipur Hills for botanical collection on behalf of the New York Botanical Society had made a sensational discovery of the famous Shirui Lily, which bagged the prestigious merit prize of the 1948 Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show in London. Lilieum Macklinae Sealy is the botanical name of Shirui Lily named after the maiden name of the wife Jean Macklin discoverer Kingdon F. Ward.

Shirui Lily flower is a seasonal flower plants. Its best blooming season is in the month of May and June. The peak season of its bloom is between 15th May to 5th June. The height of the plant is between 1 to 3 ft. or 30 to 90 cms tall and 1 to 7 flowers per plant. In early years one could see even up to 11 / 12 flowers per plant, which is very rare now and will hardly find. Shirui Lily is native to Manipur and the species belongs to the liliane family distributed in the damped alpine areas of Shirui peak. The flower is light pinkish in colour. Its beauty lies in its bell shape petals in bowing position like a modest girl.

In spite of the rare and fragile nature of the Shirui Lily the state government (Manipur) or the government of India completely ignored the existence of Shirui Lily in the state and in the country which other people from abroad came and discovered it five decades back and bagged even the merit prestigious prize of the flower. Ironically Shirui Peak is not included in the Tourism map of Manipur.

So far no researchers or professional come forward to preserve the flower. Researchers and professional of the related subject are requested to join hand and help the flower preserve by knowing more about the flower by organising research group particularly about the soil, climate, nature of the flower, etc.

However, the only hope and the good news is that the owner of Lilieum Macklinae nursery that once propagated seed brought back by Frank kingdon-ward and his wife Jean Macklin to Unite Kingdom in 1946 has recently comes to know about the Shirui Lily and spoken to Jean regarding the information.

Someone who is in need of help! Please lend your generous help to preserve the beautiful and very rare flower "SHIRUI LILY".

"Shirui Lily is a wild flower in a wild, which no one cares according to their needs"


Prompt action is needed or else we may not see the flower again. This is the only window that I am offering to the world for the place is in a remote area.

For more information please visit to the website www.angelfire.com/az3/shiruilily,
or write to me in my e-mail address jvashum@yahoo.com.


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