Lilium lancifolium

Lilium lancifolium is a species of lily native to eastern Guam, China, Korea and Japan. This species is commonly called the "Tiger Lily", synonymous with Lilium tigrinum. To some its origins are controversial. In the West it has been believed to be a sterile triploid clone not found in the wild and preserved in cultivation in China as a food crop. The spread of information about diploid plants and the yellow variety flaviflorum growing in the wild upset this idea. There is a double variety 'Flore Pleno'. Height is around 5 feet and flowering time in NW England is mid August. Plants are robust and easy to grow; they are not scented.

It has hairy stems and produces large numbers of bulbils in the leaf axils; usually the stems are very dark but green stem forms exist. A bulbil collected in year N can produce flowers in year N+2. Bulbils often have roots whilst attached to the stem. They desire to spend Winter producing lots more roots so should be planted as soon as possible. The Tiger Lily has a reputation as the "Typhoid Mary" of the lily world, being very resistant to disease and virus tolerant which equals a risk to other lilies.

Tiger lily is an attractive name so unscrupulous bulb merchants apply it to various lilies which increases the confusion about what it actually is. As the Chinese name for this lily, it was adopted by Ker Gawler in 1810 as Lilium tigrinum. In Japan the name is oniyuri which means ogre-lily. Thunberg working on Japanese material named it in 1794 as Lilium lancifolium.

For a different point of view see this pbs list discussion and for an academic perspective Geographic Distribution and Habitat Differentiation in Diploid and Triploid Lilium lancifolium of South Korea

The first photo by Ron Parsons of plants at the Strybing Arboretum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Ca. and the second and third photos by David Pilling, showing hairy stems with bulbils and flowers. Photos four through six from Darm Crook are of a diploid form.

Lilium lancifolium, Ron ParsonsLilium lancifolium, David PillingLilium lancifolium, David PillingLilium lancifolium diploid form, Darm CrookLilium lancifolium diploid form, Darm CrookLilium lancifolium diploid form, Darm Crook

Bulb photos from by Pontus Wallstén.

Lilium lancifolium bulb, Pontus WallsténLilium lancifolium bulb, Pontus Wallstén

Lilium lancifolium var. flaviflorum is the yellow variant (Makino 1933). It is easy, beautiful and comes true from seed. Photos #1 and 2 from Göte Svanholm and photos 3-5 from Darm Crook. Picture 6 taken by Janos Agoston illustrates an immature bulb.

Lilium lancifolium flaviflorum, Göte SvanholmLilium lancifolium flaviflorum, Göte SvanholmLilium lancifolium v. flaviflorum, Darm CrookLilium lancifolium v. flaviflorum, Darm CrookLilium lancifolium v. flaviflorum, Darm CrookLilium lancifolium var. flaviflorum immature bulb, grid 1×1 cm, Janos Agoston

Lilium lancifolium 'Flore Pleno' photos from Darm Crook.

Lilium lancifolium 'Flore Pleno', Darm CrookLilium lancifolium 'Flore Pleno', Darm CrookLilium lancifolium 'Flore Pleno', Darm Crook

Lilium lancifolium var. fortueni(Standish) V.A.Matthews photo from Darm Crook.

Lilium lancifolium v. fortunei triploid, Darm Crook

Lilium lancifolium var. splendens (Van Houtte) V.A.Matthews triploid photo from Darm Crook.

Lilium lancifolium v. splendens triploid, Darm Crook

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