Lilium lancifolium (Tiger Lily)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; roadsides, yards, woodland edges|
|Bloom season:||July - August|
|Plant height:||3 to 6 feet|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A raceme of a few to 40 nodding flowers on lateral stalks arising from the upper leaf axils and at the top of the stem. Flowers are about 4 inches across with 6 orange-red petal-like tepals strongly recurved backward, covered in many purplish brown spots and hairy near the throat. A long style and 6 long stamens flare out from the throat, the stamen tips (anthers) dark rusty brown and up to ¾ inch long.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are smooth with distinct parallel veins, webby edges on the upper leaves, narrowly lance-like, 3 to 7 inches long and about ½ inch wide, numerous and alternate throughout becoming more oval and clasping at the top of the stem. In the axils of upper leaves are 1 to 3 small purplish black bulbets, that can emit roots while still on the plant. The main stem is unbranched, purple to nearly black, covered in fine cob-webby white hairs.
Notes:Tiger Lily flowers resemble those of the native Michigan Lily (Lilium michiganense) but the leaves are distinctly different, and Tiger Lily has the unique bulbets in the leaf axils. An early historical garden introduction, it is not as aggressive as other gardening icons that are making their way into natural habitats, such as Orange Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva), though it is apparently more likely to naturalize in wetter than drier habitats, as it has in the eastern U.S. Persistent or not—time will tell—it is neither an aesthetic nor ecological replacement for native lilies.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Battle Creek Regional Park, St Paul. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in both garden and roadside settings in Hennepin and Anoka counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?