The history of SZO Martagon

   On September 15, 1964, the Lily Growers´ Department in Prague was formed. This group of lily growers were a sort of predessor of the later created specialised interest society Martagon.

   In April 1967, the first issue of the bulletin Liliář was launched.  It was published by the organisation Martagon. A simple, two-page paper was prepared by Mr Blahoslav Vajgent from Lhoty p. Dolní Břežany, who also coined the title Martagon, referring to the well-known fact that Lilium  martagon is widespread in our country and it is well -known across the world.

   Originally, there were 55 members and contributing guests in 1967. The original list of addresses includes lily growers from various parts of Bohemia and Moravia and two from Slovakia. There was a great upsurge in the number of new members in the 1980s, when the organisations had over 300 lily growers. At present, in 2006, Martagon has about 180 members, some of them from abroad.

   The organisation focuses on the training of its members by lectures, meetings with video presentations and trips during which information for both experienced and starting lily growers is provided. Members´ meetings with interesting programmes and a tombola are held in Prague three times a year on Saturday afternoons. 

   Further successful and very popular events include autumn auctions of the most rare bulblets of the lilies of special quality. The first was held in 1989. There is also the consignment auction of lily seeds from inside and outside the country.

   Continual publication of lily literature is of an indispensable importance. The bulletin Liliář appears four times a year and it is sent to all members and some institutions. In 2004, there was its 150th issue. Moreover, there are various yearbooks and other manuals about lily growing. The edition of Liliar, published during its 35 year, should be highlighted. It is number 4 from November 2001, which contains special articles focusing on Lilium martagon. The edition is richly illustrated with glorious coloured photos.

   Martagon also holds annually lily exhibitions. The current two chief club exhibitions with the opportunity of including other flowers are held in Rakovník and Volyně. Our members also commonly attend the prestigious flower exhibitions in Lysá nad Labem and Žirovnice.

   Numerous members of our society have managed to create new hybrids of lilies with very good qualities, which have entitled them to the registration with the International Register of Lilies.

   It can be stated that lily growing within Martagon has already established a tradition. The voluntary activity of the members of the society, headed by an eight-member committee with the support of the Czech Gardening Association, develops a work fully comparable with other lily-growing organisations in the world.

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