LESSER SEEN LILIES

Here in Deering we don’t have a lot of what might be called ‘streets’ in most towns. Our streets are more country roads, bordered by rock walls, forests and , sometimes, pastures with horses, mostly.

The ‘streets’ are often bordered by rock walls and forests with and areas. Lovely, romantic even. At this time of year, high summer, orange day lilies – Hemerocallis fulva – conspicuously flower in the dark, wet areas. I always think of day lilies as a flock orange perroquets flying out from a tall tropical tree.

ORANGE DAY LILY FROM GONATIVE.ORG. The orange flowers suggesting tropical birds.


The orange day lily was intrduced to the USA from Europe via Asia n the 17th Century and now there are innumerable beautiful varieties of day olilies in our gardens.

This post is not about day lilies, beautiful as they undeniably are.

This post is about sdome liliesd that are not so common, memers f the genus Lilium. Lilium and Hemerocallis are clled lilies, but they belong to different families — Liliaceae and Hemerocallidaceae respectively — because of differences in their floral anatomy. Basicall, the flower of a day lily is a tube while the conspicuous ‘petals’ (tepals, botanically) of ‘true’ lilies remain distinct.

I have seen two species of Lilium in Deering: Canada lily and Turk’s cap lily.

Canada lily, Lilium canadense

Canada lily, or meadow lily, Lilium cvanadense, is a native of eastern North American. Its native range extends from Nova Scotia into Georgia, but it is most common in New England, the Appalachian mountains and the Canadian maritimes. It occurs in meadows; low thickets; wet woods. In
Deering I have seen this gorgeous flower only once, along a small brook in the SE corner of the McAlister conservation easement, just behind the McAlister fire station.

A destructive parasite of lilies, the lily leaf beetle. This red beetle is native to Eurasia but was introduced to eastern North America on shipments from Europe during the Forties. It has spread westward from Ne England in the past thirty years, feeding on foliage of introduced and native lilies.

A second, most spectacular lily found in Deering is the Turk’s cap Lilium lancifolium, the lance-leaved tiger lily.

Lance-leaved tiger lily is a Turk’s cap — so named because of the form of the flower with it sdtrtongly rcurved petals — botanically, tepals. It was introduced from China and has been widely cultivated in the USA.
Escaping from cultivation it has become naturalized in wetter rather than dried places. It is not considered a threat to other native lilies. However, the Native Plant Trust, Go Botany, has not yet recorded it for our Hillsborough county. I have seen it at two location s in Deering. First growing from a roadside bank on Clement Hill Road, near its interaction with the southern end of Norths Road.
The second time I saw it was along my own driveway o Hedgehog Mountain. A pleasant surprised indeed!

 In the axils of upper leaves are 1 to 3 small purplish black bulbets, that can emit roots while still on the plant. Plants can be propagated from these bulbils. The main stem is unbranched, purple to nearly black, covered in fine cob-webby white hairs.

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