Lilium superbum L.
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
Synonym(s): Lilium canadense ssp. superbum, Lilium canadense ssp. superbum, Lilium gazarubrum, Lilium mary-henryae
USDA Symbol: lisu
The tall, flowering stem bears several somewhat drooping, orange flowers, spotted reddish-brown, with strongly recurved petals and petal-like sepals; a green streak at the base of each flower segment forms a green "star."
The largest and most spectacular of the native Lilies; up to 40 flowers have been recorded on a single plant. The recurved sepals and petals, which presumably resemble a type of cap worn by early Turks, and the showy extruded stamens, are distinctive features. Indians used the bulbs for soup. A somewhat smaller southern species, Carolina Lily (L. michauxii), also has its floral parts bent strongly backwards but lacks the green central star. Its whorled leaves are thick, whitish, and broadest toward the tip.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , MN , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: Southern New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York; south to Georgia and Alabama.
Native Habitat: Wet meadows, swamps, and woods.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Loam, Sand. Good drainage essential.
Conditions Comments: Like moist but well drained soils
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed 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
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Lilium superbum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lilium superbum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lilium superbum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2019-03-06
Research By: TWC Staff