Lilium michiganense (Michigan Lily)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist fields, bogs, along shores, edges of woods|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||3 to 6 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACW MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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1 to 8 nodding flowers in a whorl at the top of the plant, each flower at the end of a long naked stalk. Flowers are 2½ to 3 inches across with 6 petal-like tepals that are pale to deep reddish orange fading to more yellowish at the base, with many purplish brown spots. Tepals strongly curve back towards the flower base. 6 long brown-tipped stamens and a long whitish style extend from the flower throat and flare out. The tips of the stamens (anthers) are up to ½ inch long.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are blade-like, up to 5 inches long and ¾ to 1 inch wide, tapering to a point at the tip, with obvious parallel veins. They whorl around the stem in groups of 5 to 9, but there are usually smaller leaves alternately attached at the top of the stem. The main stem is round and smooth.
Notes:Michigan Lily is often mistaken for (or mistakenly called) Turk's-cap Lily (Lilium superbum) but there are apparently subtle differences between them. L. superbum is not native to Minnesota, but is found farther south and east. Michigan Lily flowers resemble those of Tiger Lily (L. lancifolium) but the leaves are distinctly different and Tiger Lily has distinctive bulbets in the leaf axils. While Michigan Lily plants are often found singly in the wild, it can produce dense stands under cultivation though many gardeners find it has difficulty persisting over time. For what reason is not clear, populations can collapse within a few seasons and may help explain the randomness of this species in the wild.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Michigan Lily plant, about 40 inches tall
- more plants
- pale flower coloring
- the underside of a flower
- garden grown Michigan Lily
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Anoka and Ramsey counties. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in a private garden in Lino Lakes, and elsewhere in Anoka County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?