Monday, August 30, 2010

Wood Lily

Posted by: Dawn

I'm glad Tina has posted many of her wildflowers for Wildflower Wednesday, wildflowers are among my favorite spontaneous surprises in the world.

The three photos are of wood lilies that have decided to take up residence in my yard.

The wood lily (Lillium philadelphicum) is also known as; Philadelphia lily, prairie lily and western red lily, they are native to North America. This flower is recognized by it's unique open petals and the ability for the gardener to see through it by the spaces at the bottom of each petals. The wood lily can be between 1 ft and 3 feet tall, it has whorled leaves and will grow in most all conditions (shady, part shade and full sun). It prefers well rotted soil that is dry. They seem to have popped up wherever they want to, germinating by airborne seeds although it has a rough pineapple looking bulb. The wood lily is endangered in Maryland, New Mexico, Tennessee, and North Carolina. They are threatened in Kentucky and Ohio. It is featured on the Saskatchewan flag and is protected against uprooting, picked or destroyed. It grows along edges of woodland forests but this one likes my group of phlox.

The Indians used this lily as a boiled paste, for application on sores, bruises and swelling wounds. They used it as a tea for stomach problems.

This wildflower blooms from July (about the 4th) to August. It almost seems to me that the blooms last for about 2 weeks.

Pretty flower, In the Garden

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team


  1. Dawn,

    Not sure I have seen this one before. Yesterday I missede a field trip where the rare pine lily is always found.

  2. What a wonderful lily. I love the color and the fact that you can 'see through' the flowers.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  3. Good morning!
    Randy, I'm going to google the pine lily and see if it's up here, I love to see one.
    Flowerlady, these lilies have a fragile look to them especially when it's swaying with a breeze.
    High temps today in Maine, we are grabbing it while we can!

  4. I've never seen these before and they are so unique and pretty. How wonderful you have them growing in your woods! I'm glad you explained about the petals. It is very neat. Do they smell good?

  5. The freckles remind me of the Tiger Lily. What a nice surprise to have these beauties popping up!

  6. What a pretty lily! I like its freckled leaves. I'm enjoying Wildflower Wednesday, too, and learning about so many native plants that I've seen but never really took time to appreciate before.

  7. Tina, They don't seem to have a scent. I first spotted them on the powerlines and thought they were planted by our power company.
    Darla, They look alot alike, the wood lily likes to face up and most of the time, they have one flower. I've seen 2 though.
    Rose, It's amazing what we can see around us and think wa-la! My mind goes on overload when I drive by a meadow! What fun it is to stop sometimes.

  8. Oh that is a very stunning flower and I don't think I have ever seen one before. How lucky you are to have them just come to you.

  9. That's gorgeous.

    I have wild california poppies in mine, that just come up. I didn't have to plant them or anything.

    I think that's another neat thing I am learning about gardening. Some things just pop up in my garden, with no planting or anything. Which is real neat and exciting for me.

  10. Very nice. If there were "lifers" for wildflowers as for birds, I'd have one for this beautiful lily. I saw my first ones this summer at Hayden Prairie in Iowa. The prairie is named after the first ever female PhD graduate at Iowa State Univ. in Ames Iowa. Her specialty was wildflowers. :)

  11. Dawn, it's fabulously gorgeous! Oh to have them in my garden! Glad you joined the Wildflower celebration~gail

  12. It's so pretty, I'd love to find them popping up in my garden. How great that the flowers last so long, most lilies in my garden only last for a few days.

  13. Dawn that is a gorgeous lily. I have never seen one. I hope that they aren't wiped out in the states where they are threatened.

  14. Thanks for sharing this wildflower with us Dawn. I've never seen or heard of it. :)

  15. It really must be disappearing. I don't recall seeing it when we lived in the Midwest. It has a beautiful bloom and some interesting herbalist lore. I wonder if its scarcity has anything to do with its medicinal uses? When we lived in Illinois, I heard something about a law being passed to protect wild ginseng from overharvesting by herb "poachers."

  16. Lily tea actually sounds kind of refreshing. Love to hear about ancient remedies.
    It is a stunning color!

  17. Such pretty lilies Dawn! I'll be keeping an eye out for them at our local native plants nursery.

  18. Lucky you. This is a beautiful lily.

  19. Mom, I'm surprised you haven't spied one of these at the edge of the woods on your road, now that you know maybe they will pop for you.
    ZZ, I would love some poppies to show up! Isn't it fun!!
    Troutbirder, I'm a "lifer" for this one! So glad you got a chance to see one.
    Gail, A wonderful posting day for sure!
    Catherine, Yes, I'm so amazed everytime I walk by one of these and I think....tomorrow you will be gone and it's there.
    Lola, Me too!

  20. Racquel, Your welcome, it's my pleasure.
    Walk to write, I had heard that about ginseng, the root can bring up to $2000.00 dollars (I'm told), and Maine ginseng harvesters have to be approved and registered with the state who conducts many on-site inspections.
    Rosey, I like to hear about the herbal remendies too, of course the big on is birch being a asprin!
    Thanks, Carla.
    Garden girl, I think they have this in the nurseries under commercial applications, least that's what I read.
    Thanks Joey and Grace, I feel honored it will spread so easy for me.

  21. I just am in awe when something pops up without me planting it! Such a great joy to the soul....

    Beauty of a lily there!

  22. I think one of the best things about wildflowers is their wildness - they pop up when and where they choose to.That lily is beautiful.