Does anyone here grow Yurine edible lily bulbs?

I bought a Yurine edible lily bulb from local market. I had a dish made with Yurine lily bulb before and it was very delicious as I recall. Before I eat this bulb, I would like to save some scales and grow into new lily bulbs. I am looking for growing tips on how to grow lily from scales, how deep it should be planted in zine 5 etc. … I appreciate any input of growing this type of lily. Thanks


Sounds like it would taste like urine! :yum:

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You wont like what im going to say but i will tell the truth anyway which is that yurine takes six years to grow. They are picky about growing conditions also. This article The edible word of yurine - Le magazine de Relais & Châteaux will explain.

Danielle Demetriou is a British journalist who swapped her native London for Tokyo in 2007. Since then - in between eating as much sushi as possible - she has written articles about all things Japan-related – from design and travel to culture and architecture - for publications including the UK Daily Telegraph, Kinfolk, Wall Street Journal, Monocle, Conde Nast Traveller, among others.

“Here it is!” exclaims the farmer, brushing off clumps of earth before placing it ceremoniously into my hands. I’m not quite sure what to make of “it”: the size of a large onion, it is white, spherical, with peaked folds that vaguely resemble an artichoke and - according to Urushihara - it’s delicious cooked in a light tempura batter.

Welcome to the world of edible lily bulbs, known as yurine in Japanese. Unlike the global fame enjoyed by sushi and soba, yurine play a less high profile (but no less important) role in Japanese cuisine. The bulbs are a key ingredient in ceremonial New Year dishes prepared in Japanese homes every January, as well as featuring regularly in traditional Kyoto cuisine. And this corner of Japan is yurine heaven: namely, a small town called Makkari, lying in the shadow of Mount Yotei (dubbed a mini Mount Fuji due to its perfect triangular shape), on Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido.


It is here that I find myself one recent Sunday afternoon. Urushihara – who laughs easily from under his baseball cap - is the fourth generation owner of the 130-year-old farm, which spans 25 hectares and yields crops ranging from carrots and potatoes to daikon radishes to azuki beans. Gesturing towards an expanse of farmland covering less than half a hectare, he says: “This is all yurine. We’ve grown it since I was a child. We fill around 1,000 boxes carrying 5 kilos of yurine a year. Around 98 per cent of Japan’s yurine are made in Hokkaido and of those, more than half are grown in Makkari.”

This is no easy task. As high maintenance as it is low profile, yurine takes six years to grow, with heavy snowfall covering them for up to half of that time. “We move the crops every year to make sure they grow in a round shape”, he says. “We do this by hand to avoid damaging them, as they are very sensitive. It takes a lot of patience to grow yurine.”

Despite the labor intensive efforts, they are sold, on average, for around 500 yen in the supermarket. Bursting into laughter, the farmer adds: “We don’t grow these for the money. It’s bunka - Japanese culture. They are an important part of traditional Japanese washoku cuisine. It’s important to keep the culture of eating yurine alive.” They are also good for you: the bulbs are rich in minerals and iron, which make them popular during pregnancy, and are also believed to help insomnia.

The following day, in the cosily elegant confines of Restaurant Molière, in Hokkaido’s main city Sapporo, I present to the somewhat bemused chef Tomoyuki Kon my
freshly harvested newspaper wrapped yurine. A short while later, waiters brings a silver tray with bowls of yurine, cooked simply in a deliciously frothy sauce of vegetable bouillon, cream, milk and butter.

It’s a dramatic transformation from farm to restaurant – and offers a (tasty) clue as to why yurine will always hold a special culinary spot in the heart of Japanese food-lovers. "

Well, Clark, it would be too bad if it really takes 6 years to grow. If this indeed true, $16 / lb is really a very cheap price. I know edible lily bulb in China takes about a year to harvest, and I think Yurine should be in similar time frame, although I cant find sufficient growing info. to confirm that. I’m going to grow it like regular lily from scales first. I read that it might take three years from scales to grow into full size bulb which sounds reasonable. Once I have small plants,I am going to grow it like Chinese edible lily which is growing here like regular asiatic lily , very little care is needed and it flowers beautifully every year. Since I lack of hardiness info. too, I’m going to plant it into different depth to see how hardy it is. Plan B is having a plant in pot for backup🙂

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This part of the article is interesting " As high maintenance as it is low profile, yurine takes six years to grow, with heavy snowfall covering them for up to half of that time. “We move the crops every year to make sure they grow in a round shape”, he says. “We do this by hand to avoid damaging them, as they are very sensitive. It takes a lot of patience to grow yurine.”
I found another article which is almost a duplicate of the first so I suspect one used the other as a reference

Yurine is the edible bulb of the Lily plant. Yurine bulbs can be consumed either raw or cooked. Small in size, about 4.5 centimeters in diameter, these bulbs consist of tightly layered flat scales, connected at the stem base, similar to garlic. Off-white in color, the fresh petals are crisp and remove easily from the connective base. Yurine has a mild, watery flavor, similar to water chestnuts, and a crisp and crunchy texture.


Yurine from Tanba, the central mountain region of Kyoto(Southern), Japan are available from late summer through fall. Yurine from Hokkaido(Northern), Japan are available in fall through the winter.

Current Facts

Yurine is the edible bulb of the lily plant, most commonly the Lilium longiflorum and Lilium brownii varieties. Yurine, known as bai-he in China, is grown and appreciated for its flower worldwide, but is consumed almost exclusively only in Japan and China. Yurine is a time-consuming crop, taking six years to fully mature. Farmers face years of cultivation before maturation alongside the labor of hand transplanting each bulb annually to ensure bulb size and shape uniformity.

Nutritional Value

Carbohydrate is the main component of Yurine. They are also rich with potassium. Consuming Yurine can help prevent high blood pressure, muscle contractions and kidney failure.


The color of fresh Yurine is creamy white. The surface ramenta is firm and should be tightly closed, much like garlic. You might find Yurine that is already broken apart in a package at a store, however it is better to buy it whole in a box of sawdust. Fresh, whole Yurine in a box of sawdust can be stored in a refrigerator for up to a month. If there is no sawdust, you can wrap Yurine in newspaper and store it in a refrigerator. It is important to make sure the newspaper is not wet, Yurine becomes weak when exposed to moisture. A Yurine that is already broken apart can be cooked in boiling water with some salt for 1 to 2 minutes or it can be steamed, then stored in a freezer for later use. Yurine should be broken into pieces before starting to cook.

Ethnic/Cultural Info

Yurine is a lily bulb that has been eaten for its medicinal properties for many centuries. Yurine is a popular ingredient in Japanese New Year dishes. In addition, it is often used for Kyoto style tea-ceremony dishes, but it is not considered the regions traditional vegetable. Yurine is made out of 3 Japanese kanji characters. The first character means one hundred, the second character means overlaps and the third kanji character means root, despite the fact Yurine is not a root. It is said the name comes from it’s shape which is made out of many overlapping leaves.


Yurine has its origins in China, with Japanese farmers have been cultivating them since the 17th century(Edo period). Ninety five percent of Yurine is produced in Makkari, Hokkaido and 70% of Yurine is consumed in the Kansai area. It is said that Chinese and Japanese are the only people who consume Yurine worldwide."

"Yurine, known as bai-he in China, is grown and appreciated for its flower worldwide, but is consumed almost exclusively only in Japan and China. "
If above is true then it definately can be grown in Chicago land with very little care. I have Chinese Bai-He growing in my backyard. I suspected , but didnt know for sure that Yurine is just another variety of Bai-He. Thanks Clark for finding these articles👍

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that’s a long wait, but if you have lots of room in your yard, you could plant several on your first year, and then again the next year, and yearly thereafter, then you should be harvesting edible bulbs every year after the 6th year if you continue to plant serially.

the wait might be long but the bounty after 6 years and henceforth would be precious. Worthy of taking selfie’s with :wink:
will be checking on this thread 6 years from now, and looking forward to your first harvest-- a sentimental journey.


:joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:it could be a long lived thread​:sunglasses:

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threads don’t die, they just fade away, lol
but kidding aside, if you’ve seen some of the posts here from several years ago, where members post updates of their trees’ progress, you wouldn’t think several years is too long a wait. Maybe it is, but time will pass regardless :slight_smile:

“procrastinator’s remorse” is what it is… Time passes whether i like it or not…When i lived in the tropics, i felt ‘sorry’ for this man who had sizeable land and wanted to grow jackfruit trees, but couldn’t afford to buy grafted jackfruit in bulk. He planted them by seed, which i thought was a long wait. Time flew by, and when i saw his trees several years thereafter, i sure wasn’t sorry for him anymore. Heck i was green with envy, if that’s the figure of speech for it.


My Yurine edible lily flower. It looks similar to tiger lily.


I think it’s prettier, more artistically-looking than a Tiger lily.


@IL847 Annie- what is the cultivator that belong to Chinese Bai-he? I am looking to grow some. From the research I done, it seems that Tiger Lily bulb is one type that is edible. Do you know if Chinese bai-he also include asiatic lily?


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I don’t think Asiatic Lily is edible. As far as I know, as rule of the thumbs, many bai-he flowers petals curl up, tiger lily is one of it.

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This article is one of my favorites The edible word of yurine - Le magazine de Relais & Châteaux


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Perfect size and shape after years of growing. Mine was dug up by squirrels

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Is this means oriental lilies fall into the bai-he category?

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Some do some don’t. But bai he is a type of oriental Lily or its hybrids

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The flowers are gorgeous!