Nature in a Minute: The Wood Lily

Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum)

On a recent walk I was surprised to see these Wood lilies. About twenty were in bloom over a ten square foot area. A power line runs through the woods here so a swath about 20 feet wide is kept clear of woody plants. Wood lilies need sunlight so a clearing like this is ideal for them.  

The cup-shaped flowers are upright, a distinguishing feature of Wood lilies. All other wild lily species nod. The flowers have six purple-spotted petals. 

Wood lilies are 1-3 feet in height.  The leaves are long and narrow, arranged in a whorl around the stem.  They grow from a bulb and are perennial. Tiger swallowtail butterflies are the primary pollinator of the Wood lily.

Julianne Mehegan at Arches NP

Our guest blogger, Julianne Mehegan, is a wonderful friend of MABA, a birder and a naturalist.

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