A protocol for the micropropagation in different harvesting time of Lilium ledebourii
(Baker) Boiss, an endangered rare species endemic to Iran has been developed. In vitro scale culture of this species, using bulbs from three harvesting seasons (spring, summer and winter), was attempted. Among the various treatments tested, the Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.1 mg l-1
naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) + 0.1 mg l-1
benzyladenin (BA) and 6% sucrose in all harvesting seasons proved to be superior to others. The best results for fresh weight of bulblets, rooting parameters and the survival rate after transplantation to greenhouse were obtained from early winter-harvested bulbs. Summer-harvested bulbs had the highest number of bulblets per explant. The bulblets at the end of the culture period were given cold treatment at 4°C for 2-8 weeks at a 2-weeks interval and then transplanted to a potting mixture of sand, leaf mold and peat moss (1:1:1 v/v). The best emergence rate (90%) was achieved at 8 weeks cold treatment for winter harvested bulbs.