I just had to share this photo with you. It’s of the non-native Tiger Lily and it’s growing under one of our Shagbark Hickory trees — planted there by some critter. It had such awesome flowers this summer, I couldn’t resist taking this photo.
The Tiger Lily (Lilium tigrinum or Lilium lancifolium) from Asia has bright orange flowers covered with spots. Hence the name, Tiger Lily. Unscented, the blossoms face downward and have gracefully recurved tepals, similar to the native Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum) or Michigan Lily (Lilium michiganense).
Like most lilies, the individual blossoms of the Tiger Lily last only a few days. Most parts of the plant are edible and are sometimes used for medicinal purposes. That’s likely why it found its way to North America. However, please note that the pollen can be toxic.
Besides the uniqueness of the blossom, the placement of the fruits is also unique. The bulbils (small bulbs) that grow in the axils of the leaves make the stem look like a staircase for fairies. Once the bulbils are mature, the seeds easily propagate.
Unfortunately, this non-native lily is invasive although, thankfully, in my yard not as invasive as the Ditch Lily (Hemerocallis fulva). Since the Tiger Lily is a bulb plant, unlike the tuberous roots of the Ditch Lily, it is easier to control.