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Lilium canadense L.
Canada Lily, Canadian Lily, Wild Yellow Lily
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: lica3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
This is a large, showy lily, 3-8 ft. tall, which bears flat, mostly whorled, lance-shaped leaves and is crowned with up to 20 pendulous, flowers. From 1 to several nodding flowers, each on a long stalk and ranging in color from yellow to orange-red with dark spots, are at the top of a stem that also bears whorled leaves. The slightly recurved lilies are yellow on the outside, reddish orange with dark spots on the inside.
As many as 16-20 of these beautiful, stalked, nodding flowers may be borne on one plant, either rising from the axils of leafy bracts or in a group at the end of the flowering stalk. The flower buds and roots were gathered and eaten by Indians. A similar Midwestern species, Michigan Lily (L. michiganense), has sepals and petals which curve backward until they touch the flower tube.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.S. to OH, s. to MD, SC & AL
Native Habitat: Meadows; low thickets; wet woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil Description: Cool, moist, organic soil.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagation is easiest from division of the scaly bulb, which can be dug as soon as the plant goes dormant and the seed is ripe in late summer. Seeds planted just after collection with usually germinate in the fall and overwinter as tiny bulbs, resuming
Seed Collection: Collect 6-8 weeks after bloom period when the capsule have turned brown and begun to split. Store seeds moist in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Lilium canadense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lilium canadense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lilium canadense
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-16
Research By: TWC Staff