Ssp. croceum Lilium lancifolium Lilium lancifolium Lilium lancifolium

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Orange Lily

Lilium bulbiferum

  • Name also: Fire Lily
  • Family: Lily Family – Liliaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Bulb underground.
  • Height: 40–100 cm (16–40 in.). Stem rigid, unbranched, upper part leafy, uppermost axils usually with black bulbils.
  • Flower: Perianth regular (actinomorphic), yellowish brown–orange, 5.5–8.5 cm (0.22–0.35 in.) wide. Tepals 6 in 2 similar whorls, almost straight, curving outwards at tip, black-spotted, insides with glands. Stamens 6. Gynoecium composed of 3 fused carpels, ovary trilocular, style solitary. Inflorescence a 1–5-flowered umbel.
  • Leaves: Alternate. Blade linear–lanceolate, flat, parallel-veined, with entire margin, hairy-edged.
  • Fruit: Obovoid, 6-edged, 3-parted capsule.
  • Habitat: Yards, parks, gardens, roadsides, forest margins, broad-leaved forests. Ornamental, sometimes left over from old gardens.
  • Flowering time: July–August.

Perennial lilies are native to the continental climate of the steppes, the Mediterranean countries, south-east Europe and central Asia. None of the lilies grow naturally in the Nordic countries, but a few species are cultivated ornamentally to such an extent that they have spread into the wild and can now be said to be established.

Orange lily is an undemanding and hardy ornamental; indeed it is one of the most beautiful ornamentals, and as such is a common sight in gardens. Despite being native to southern Europe it has adapted very well to the Finnish soil and climate, as can be seen from the way that it grows in places that were once gardens, but where now the only sign that people once lived there is orange lily flowers waving in the long grass. Orange lily doesn’t mind being crowded by other plants, and can last a lot longer than the garden, the house and other obvious signs of habitation. It often grows wild in Finland, although it is rare outside parks and gardens. Apart from its seeds and bulbs, it also spreads via its dark brown bulbils, which develop in the upper axils. The similar, but slightly more robust and big-flowered ssp. croceum has no bulbils.

Tiger Lily

Lilium lancifolium

Tiger lily is also a handsome and familiar garden flower. It is native to China, but it thrives wonderfully well in Finland and doesn’t need much care and attention. It can sometimes be found in abandoned yards and grassy rocky outcrops, if the bulbs or bulbils have struck out on their own – tiger lily never spreads from seed. Tiger lily can be recognized by its powerfully recurved tepals and the dark spots that gave it its name (despite the fact that tigers are striped!).

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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