Lilium philadelphicum L.
Wood lily, prairie lily
Wood lily is a North American native plant, once widespread, now declining due to habitat loss and increasing white-tailed deer, who savor it. They prefer moist, well-drained sandy or loamy soils, and full sun or partial shade.
Plants: Plants are 20-47" (50-120 cm) tall × 9-12" (22-30 cm) wide. They have waxy green stems. Bulbs are ⅝-1" (1.6-2.9 cm) × ¾-1¾" (2.2-4.7 cm).
Leaves: Elliptical, 1-4" (2.9-10 cm) long × ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) wide, with pointed tips. They are alternate, smooth-edged and hairless, arranged in a whorl of 3-11 leaves near the top.
Flowers: Stunningly beautiful flowers are bright orange, sometimes pink to red or yellow. Flower petals are 1¾-3" (4.5-7.7 cm) long. One to three, or rarely up to five flowers top each stem. Flowers are spotted with dark maroon-colored spots, and do not have an odor. They are trumpet-shaped, and upward-facing. Each flower has three petals and three nearly identical sepals, so it appears to have six petals. Flowers appear from late April to early June.
Fruits: Erect capsules are ¾-3" (2-8 cm) long and ⅜-⅝" (1-1.8 cm) wide.
Edibility: Not edible. Toxic to cats.
Lilium philadelphicum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 19 Aug 2023.