Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Lilium canadense (Canada lily)
Cressler, Alan

Lilium canadense

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

90 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: 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 Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil Description: Cool, moist, organic soil.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: 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

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Lilium canadense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lilium canadense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lilium canadense


Record Modified: 2023-02-16
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back