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Lilium pardalinum

California tiger lily, leopard lily, panther lily

panhandle lily, pot-of-gold lily


rhizomatous, usually branching, continuously scaly, 1.4–5.1 × 3.9–19 cm, 0.2–0.6 times taller than long;

scales sometimes unsegmented but always some 2–4-segmented on each bulb, longest 1–3.3 cm;

stem roots absent.

rhizomatous, often branching, 1.4–2.9 × 9.6–18 cm, 0.1–0.3 times taller than long, 3–4 years’ growth evident as annual bulbs, older growth often with perpendicular thin branches leading to small new bulbs and always with noticeable abscission scars, youngest 3 years’ growth bearing basal leaves, scaleless sections between annual bulbs 2.7–5.4 cm;

scales unsegmented, longest 1–2 cm;

stem roots present or absent.


to 2.8 m, strongly clonal and thus forming dense colonies, to weakly clonal and forming small colonies or clumps.

to 2 m. Buds ± triangular in cross section.


rounded in cross section.


usually ± evenly distributed along stem, rarely concentrated proximally, scattered or in 1–6 whorls or partial whorls, 3–19 leaves per whorl, horizontal and drooping at tips to ascending, 4.9–26.5 × 0.3–5.6 cm, 3–34 times longer than wide;

blade usually ± elliptic, wide or narrow, margins usually not undulate, apex acute, often narrowly so;

veins and margins ± smooth abaxially.

in 1–5 whorls or partial whorls, 3–10 leaves per whorl, ascending, sometimes only slightly, or occasionally ± horizontal and drooping slightly at tips, 3.1–15.7 × 0.5–3.6 cm, 2.1–9.3 times longer than wide;

blade weakly to sometimes narrowly oblanceolate, occasionally obovate, elliptic, or narrowly elliptic, margins not undulate, apex acute, acuminate in distal leaves;

central vein in particular impressed adaxially, veins and margins often somewhat roughened abaxially with tiny ± deltoid epidermal spicules.


racemose, 1–28(–35)-flowered.

umbellate or rarely racemose, 1–4-flowered.


pendent, usually not fragrant;

perianth Turk’s-cap-shaped;

sepals and petals reflexed 1/4–1/3 along length from base, yellow, yellow-orange, or orange proximally, darker orange to red-orange to red on distal 1/5–3/5 (entirely orange or yellow-orange in subsp. wigginsii), with maroon spots concentrated proximally and always surrounded by yellow or orange if extending into distal reddish zone, conspicuously green abaxially on proximal ± 1/5, not distinctly clawed;

sepals not ridged abaxially, 3.5–10.4 × 0.9–2.2 cm;

petals 3.4–10.2 × 0.9–2.5 cm;

stamens moderately to strongly exserted;

filaments moderately to widely spreading, diverging 7°–22° from axis;

anthers ± magenta or sometimes orange, orange-pink, or pale yellow, 0.5–2.2 cm;

pollen red-brown, red-orange, brown-orange, rust, orange, or yellow;

pistil 3.1–7.5 cm;

ovary 1–2.2 cm;

style green, often pale, rarely sordid;

pedicel 6–32 cm.

pendent, not fragrant;

perianth Turk’s-cap-shaped;

sepals and petals reflexed less than 1/5 along length from base, yellow-orange or yellow, sometimes orange-yellow, often suffused with red distally, spotted maroon, often nearly to apex, not distinctly clawed, nectaries exposed, forming visible green star;

sepals with 2 parallel, often faint abaxial ridges, 6.2–10.2 × 1.1–1.8 cm;

petals 6.1–10 × 1.2–2.2 cm;

stamens strongly exserted;

filaments parallel along much of length, then widely spreading, diverging 14°–31° from axis;

anthers magenta, 1–1.6 cm;

pollen rust or sometimes rust-orange;

pistil 4.7–6.8 cm;

ovary 1.5–2.5 cm;

style very pale green, often spotted purple near apex;

pedicel 10–23 cm.


2.2–5.7 × 1.2–2.1 cm, 1.5–3.7 times longer than wide.

2.5–5 × 1.7–3 cm, 1.2–2.2 times longer than wide.



not counted.

Lilium pardalinum

Lilium iridollae

Phenology Flowering summer (late Jul–late Aug).
Habitat Streamsides, bogs, and seeps in wet pine woodlands, hardwood baygall scrub, wet roadside ditches, associated with pitcher plants (Sarracenia spp.)
Elevation 0–100 m (0–300 ft)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
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[BONAP county map]

Subspecies 5 (5 in the flora).

The subspecies of Lilium pardalinum display a classic pattern of discrete geographical ranges with intervening zones of introgression, and no two occur sympatrically without intermixing. Plants in the hybrid zones are confusing in appearance and cannot be assigned to subspecies. However, each subspecies is fairly well marked within its core distribution. With the exception of subsp. pitkinense, the subspecies of L. pardalinum can be common plants in the proper habitats within their rather narrow distributions.

Leaf size and shape are quite variable in Lilium pardalinum subspecies and often clearly dependent on environment. In populations that typically have narrow, ascending leaves, shaded plants often have wide, horizontal leaves. This hampers taxonomic separation as well as identification, especially of herbarium specimens. Further field study is desirable.

Lilium pardalinum is primarily pollinated by western tiger swallowtails (Papilio rutulus Lucas, family Papilionidae) and pale swallowtails (P. eurymedon Lucas); several species of hummingbirds (family Trochilidae) are also important visitors, especially when butterflies are rare.

The Atsugewi, Karok, and Yana ate Lilium pardalinum bulbs steamed or baked in an earth oven (D. E. Moerman 1986).

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

Of conservation concern.

As its vernacular name indicates, the panhandle lily is restricted to a small area in the western Florida panhandle and adjacent Alabama, where it has been much reduced in number by land-clearing for pasture and housing. It is now under consideration for federal protection.

Lilium iridollae is allopatrically distributed with its close relative L. superbum, though the latter occurs within 40 miles of the northernmost populations of the panhandle lily. Blooming times are staggered, L. iridollae typically starting to bloom as L. superbum is finishing. Diagnostic features include the usually brighter flower color, less numerous, shorter, noticeably though subtly oblanceolate leaves in five or fewer whorls (L. superbum has six or more), and few flowers, as well as very long rhizomes with basal leaves, as much as four years’ visible growth, and extended scaleless sections between the annual growth bulbs.

Lilium iridollae is pollinated by all the larger swallowtail butterflies within its limited range, especially the spicebush (Papilio troilus Linnaeus, family Papilionidae), eastern tiger (Papilio glaucus, Linnaeus), and palamedes [Papilio palamedes (Drury)].

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

1. Sepals and petals uniformly yellow or yellow-orange; sepals 3.5–7.1 cm; anthers pale yellow, 0.5–1.3 cm; pollen yellow or orange; pistil 3.1–4.3 cm; capsules 2.3–4.2 cm; n California, s Oregon.
subsp. wigginsii
1. Sepals and petals ± 2-toned, with yellow or orange proximally, distal 1/5–3/5 darker orange to red; sepals 3.7–10.4 cm; anthers magenta, occasionally purple or orange, 0.5–2.2 cm; pollen yellow to rust; pistil 3.3–7.5 cm; capsules 2.2–5.7 cm; California, s Oregon.
→ 2
2. Sepals (5.9–)6.6–10.4 cm; anthers 1.1–2.2 cm; capsules 2.9–5.7 cm; leaves 3–12 times longer than wide, blade ± elliptic; stems strongly clonal, forming large colonies; California.
subsp. pardalinum
2. Sepals 3.7–8.3 cm; anthers 0.5–1.8 cm; capsules 2.2–4.8 cm; leaves 3–34 times longer than wide, blade elliptic to linear; stems weakly to moderately clonal, sometimes forming small colonies; n California, s Oregon.
→ 3
3. Leaves 7.3–34 times longer than wide, often concentrated proximally, often ascending, sometimes horizontal, blade ± linear; sepals (4.9–)5.3–8.3 cm; anthers 0.6–1.8 cm; pollen usually dark orange; extreme nw California, adjacent s Oregon.
subsp. vollmeri
3. Leaves 3–17 times longer than wide, ± evenly distributed along stem, ± ascending or horizontal, blade ± elliptic; sepals 3.7–7.6 cm; anthers 0.5–1.4 cm; pollen yellow, orange, or red- or brown-orange; n California, s Oregon.
→ 4
4. Pollen red- or brown-orange; anthers magenta; bulb scales usually 2-segmented; n Coast Ranges near Sebastopol, California.
subsp. pitkinense
4. Pollen usually yellow or bright orange; anthers orange to magenta; bulb scales (1–)2–4-segmented; ne California, adjacent s Oregon.
subsp. shastense
Source FNA vol. 26, p. 188. FNA vol. 26, p. 193.
Parent taxa Liliaceae > Lilium Liliaceae > Lilium
Sibling taxa
L. bolanderi, L. canadense, L. catesbaei, L. columbianum, L. grayi, L. humboldtii, L. iridollae, L. kelleyanum, L. kelloggii, L. lancifolium, L. maritimum, L. michauxii, L. michiganense, L. occidentale, 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. 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
Subordinate taxa
L. pardalinum subsp. pardalinum, L. pardalinum subsp. pitkinense, L. pardalinum subsp. shastense, L. pardalinum subsp. vollmeri, L. pardalinum subsp. wigginsii
Name authority Kellogg: Hesperian (San Francisco) 3: 300. (1859) M. G. Henry: Bartonia 24: 2. (1947)
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