The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links
Lilium columbianum

Columbia lily, Columbia tiger lily, Columbian lily, Oregon lily, tiger lily

Carolina lily

Bulbs

variable, subrhizomatous to ± ovoid, 3.1–8.1 × 3.6–10.6 cm, 0.3–1.4 times taller than long;

scales 2–3(–5)-segmented, some unsegmented, longest 3.1–7.3 cm;

stem roots absent.

chunky, 2–3.5 × 2.5–4.4 cm, 0.6–0.9 times taller than long, 2 years’ growth evident;

scales ± loose, unsegmented or rarely 1–2-segmented, longest 1.5–2.6 cm;

stem roots present or rarely absent, often numerous.

Stems

to 1.7 m, glaucous or not.

to 1 m. Buds ± triangular in cross section.

Buds

rounded in cross section.

Leaves

in 1–9 whorls or partial whorls, 3–25 leaves per whorl, usually ascending, 1.7–15.7 × 0.4–4.7 cm, 2.4–7.4 times longer than wide;

blade weakly oblanceolate to obovate or ± elliptic, margins usually somewhat undulate, apex acute;

veins and margins ± smooth abaxially.

in 2–4(–5) whorls or partial whorls, 3–10(–14) leaves per whorl, ± horizontal or somewhat ascending, especially distal leaves, 3.6–11.1 × 1.5–3.8 cm, 1.8–5.1 times longer than wide;

blade noticeably pale abaxially, oblanceolate, sometimes slightly or narrowly so, or occasionally obovate, texture noticeably fleshy, margins barely to strongly undulate, apex acuminate or sometimes acute, especially in distal leaves;

veins and margins ± smooth abaxially.

Inflorescences

racemose, 1–25(–45)-flowered.

umbellate, 1–4-flowered.

Flowers

pendent to nodding, not fragrant;

perianth Turk’s-cap-shaped;

sepals and petals reflexed 2/5–1/2 along length from base, yellow or orange to occasionally red, with copious maroon spots, often darker and especially reddish abaxially, not distinctly clawed;

sepals not ridged abaxially, appearing wide for their length, 3.4–7.1 × 0.8–1.9 cm;

petals 3.5–6.9 × 0.8–1.9 cm;

stamens barely to moderately exserted;

filaments moderately spreading, diverging 10°–20° from axis;

anthers pale yellow to yellow, 0.5–1.3 cm;

pollen orange or yellow;

pistil 2.4–3.7 cm;

ovary 1.1–2.2 cm;

style green;

pedicel 2.8–20.2 cm.

pendent, sweetly and strongly fragrant;

perianth Turk’s-cap-shaped;

sepals and petals reflexed 1/4–1/3 along length from base, pale green then orange proximally, burnt orange-red distally, usually with numerous fine, dark maroon spots, dull abaxially, not distinctly clawed;

sepals with 2 parallel, often faint abaxial ridges, 5.7–9.7 × 1.4–2.2 cm;

petals 5.7–9.2 × 1.8–2.9 cm;

stamens strongly exserted;

filaments parallel along most of length, then widely spreading, diverging 14°–25° from axis;

anthers purple, 1–2.2 cm;

pollen rust or sometimes rust-brown;

pistil 5–7.6 cm;

ovary 1.4–2.5 cm;

style very pale, often spotted purple;

pedicel 9.3–17.4 cm.

Capsules

2.2–5.4 × 1.1–2 cm, 1.7–3.3 times longer than wide.

often longitudinally winged, 2.4–5.6 × 1.4–2.3 cm, 1.5–3.7 times longer than wide.

Seeds

135–330.

not counted.

2n

= 24.

= 24.

Lilium columbianum

Lilium michauxii

Phenology Flowering summer (early May–early Aug). Flowering summer (Jul–mid Aug).
Habitat Coastal scrub and prairies, meadows, conifer or mixed forests, clearings, roadsides Roadsides, pine-oak or open rich woods, bluffs
Elevation 0–1800 m (0–5900 ft) 0–1600 m (0–5200 ft)
Distribution
from FNA
CA; ID; MT; OR; WA; BC
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
AL; FL; GA; LA; MS; NC; SC; TN; TX; VA; WV
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Discussion

The author citations often seen for this species derive from Baker (1874), who published the name as Lilium columbianum “Hanson in hort., Leichtlin”; this authority is given by various later writers as Hanson, or Baker, or Hanson ex Baker. However, Ducharte’s (1871) recapitulation of a letter from M. Leichtlin is apparently the first confirmed and valid publication of L. columbianum, and hence that citation is used here.

This widespread lily is rather variable. In California plants the stamens are considerably less exserted than those of plants found farther north. Lilium columbianum may intergrade with L. kelloggii along Highway 199 at the border between California and Oregon; these plants are slightly fragrant, the stamens moderately exserted, and the bulb scales unsegmented. Lilium columbianum hybridizes with L. pardalinum subspp. wigginsii and vollmeri, and extensively with L. occidentale in Oregon.

Lilium columbianum is pollinated primarily by rufous hummingbirds [Selasphorus rufus (J. F. Gmelin), family Trochilidae] and to a lesser extent by large butterflies, including the pale swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon Lucas, family Papilionidae).

Native Americans used Lilium columbianum bulbs as a food or peppery condiment, sometimes mixed with meat or salmon roe. For many, it was a staple food (J. Pojar and A. MacKinnon 1994).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

This is the only fragrant native lily east of the Rocky Mountains. The Carolina lily occurs in well-drained soils, while the three closely related congeners with which it is sympatric, Lilium superbum, L. iridollae, and L. pyrophilum, occur in either wetlands or moist woods. Where it occurs with L. superbum, as it often does along roadsides, L. superbum grows in the adjacent depressions and L. michauxii on the bank. Among its close relatives, its small stature, broad petals, and consistently oblanceolate leaves with undulate margins and acuminate tips are diagnostic. In these features it rather resembles several of the western taxa, especially smaller plants of L. rubescens; vegetative or fruiting herbarium material of the two can be confused. In L. michauxii the leaves are noticeably fleshy and pale abaxially, relatively few in number, and, perhaps because whorls are also few (commonly 2–4), the leaves seem concentrated near the middle of the stem.

This species is less common in the southwestern portion of its range, where it is sometimes encountered in vegetative form in shaded settings that preclude rapid growth and flowering.

Like the other southeastern pendent-flowered lilies, the Carolina lily is pollinated by large swallowtail butterflies including the eastern tiger (Papilio glaucus Linnaeus, family Papilionidae).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 26, p. 185. FNA vol. 26, p. 195.
Parent taxa Liliaceae > Lilium Liliaceae > Lilium
Sibling taxa
L. bolanderi, L. canadense, L. catesbaei, L. grayi, L. humboldtii, L. iridollae, L. kelleyanum, L. kelloggii, L. lancifolium, L. maritimum, L. michauxii, L. michiganense, L. occidentale, L. pardalinum, L. parryi, L. parvum, L. philadelphicum, L. pyrophilum, L. rubescens, L. superbum, L. washingtonianum
L. bolanderi, L. canadense, L. catesbaei, L. columbianum, L. grayi, L. humboldtii, L. iridollae, L. kelleyanum, L. kelloggii, L. lancifolium, L. maritimum, L. michiganense, L. occidentale, L. pardalinum, L. parryi, L. parvum, L. philadelphicum, L. pyrophilum, L. rubescens, L. superbum, L. washingtonianum
Synonyms L. canadense var. parviflorum, L. lucidum, L. parviflorum L. canadense var. carolinianum, L. carolinianum, L. superbum var. carolinianum
Name authority Leichtlin ex Duchartre: J. Soc. Centr. Hort. France, sér. 2, 5: 98. (1871) Poiret: in J. Lamarck et al., Encycl., suppl. 3: 457. (1814)
Web links