Lilium philadelphicum L.

Wood Lily


CC = 10
CW = 3
MOC = 4
SRank = S1

© SRTurner

Family - Liliaceae

Habit - Perennial forb, with white bulbs covered with thick scales, lacking the odor of onion or garlic.

Stem - Aerial stems to 80 cm, green, glabrous, sometimes glaucous.

Lilium_philadelphicum_stem.jpg Stem and leaf bases.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Alternate, whorled on at least the uppermost node(s), simple. Blades 3-10 cm long, linear to narrowly elliptic or narrowly lanceolate, tapered at both ends, glabrous, sometimes with minute, rounded papillae along the margins and midvein.

Lilium_philadelphicum_whorl.jpg Leaf whorl.

© SRTurner

Lilium_philadelphicum_leaf1.jpg Leaves adaxial.

© SRTurner

Lilium_philadelphicum_leaf2.jpg Leaves abaxial.

© SRTurner

Lilium_philadelphicum_leaf2a.jpg Leaf abaxial surface.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Whorls of 2-5 flowers, often reduced to a single flower, the flowers borne erect.

Lilium_philadelphicum_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Lilium_philadelphicum_inflorescence2.jpg Single-flowered inflorescence, probably the most common expression.

© SRTurner

Flower - Perianth bell-shaped, the 3 sepals and 3 petals ascending to spreading near the tips, narrowed to a stalklike base, red-orange with brown spots on the interior. Stamens 6, the anthers 5-15 mm long. Style 1, with a shallowly 3-lobed stigma. Ovary superior, with 3 locules, each with numerous ovules.

Lilium_philadelphicum_flower.jpg Flower.

The erect posture is unique among Missouri's lilies. The narrowed bases of the tepals are distinctive, giving an "open" appearance to the base of the flower.

© SRTurner

Lilium_philadelphicum_perianth.jpg Perianth.

© SRTurner

Lilium_philadelphicum_functional.jpg Stamens and style.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Capsules 4-7 cm long.

Flowering - June - July.

Habitat - Forests, prairies, cemeteries, roadsides.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - None.

Other info. - This species is a real treat, but rare in Missouri, currently known only in two counties in the far north of the state. Although there are very old collections from the St. Louis area, the species is probably extirpated from that region. The plant is far more common to our north. It is easily recognized by the upright posture of the flowers and the red-orange, brown-spotted perianth.

Missouri plants are referrable to Lilium philadelphicum var. andinum.

Photographs taken along a roadside in Chippewa County, MI, 7-7-2023 (SRTurner).