Tiger Lily (Lilium lancifolium, formerly L.tigrinum) is one of the most popular species of lilies. It is considered a classic garden flower, an “oldie, but a goodie.” It is easily identified by its 6 bright orange, curved petals with black or dark purple spots that grow on tall, hairy stems. Unlike other lilies, Tiger lilies are not scented.
Tiger lilies are native to China, Japan and Korea, but they are cultivated all around the world for its beauty. These flowers look dainty, but they are hardy and can tolerate the heat. Plus, they will also grow larger and taller each year with more spikes of flowers!
It is an easy to grow perennial that blooms in the summer and will quickly reach 1.5m (5 ft) tall. Like other lilies, tiger lilies grow from a scaly bulb, but its distinctive feature is the numerous bulblets that emerge from the leaf axis. One plant can produce up to 40 blooms!
Tiger lilies flowers would be ideal as border plants planted in masses, but can also be grown in containers, adding colour and beauty to your outdoor space. Plant in moist, well-drained soil in full sun in the spring. To prevent disease, remove old stems and avoid growing Tiger lilies with other lilies. Bulbs can be divided in the fall.
With a flower this beautiful, it’s no surprise it is a favourite cut flower among florists and consumers. Tiger lilies have a vase life of up to 2 weeks.
Climate Zones: 3-9
Fun Flower Facts about the Tiger Lily (Lilium Lancifolium):
- Tiger lily is sometimes called the “Ditch Lily,” as it is commonly found growing in the wild, in ditches.
- Tiger lily is edible, but the pollen is said to be poisonous. The bulbs, which taste like potatoes, are popular in Japanese cuisine.
- While it is safe for humans to consume these flowers, tiger lilies are toxic to cats and can cause vomiting, kidney failure, lethargy and even death.
- In the language of flowers, tiger lilies represent wealth and prosperity.
- There is a superstition that smelling tiger lilies will give you freckles.
- There is a history of medicinal use of tiger lilies.