Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum)

Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) 

The Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is a perennial herb in the Lily Family (Liliaceae) and order Liliales. The order, family and genus names are from the Latin for "lily". This plant can grow to three feet (90 centimeters). Each orange flower is about two inches (five centimeters) wide, has three petals, three sepals that closely resemble the petals and six stamens surrounding a prominent pistil. Each petal and sepal has brown spots near yellow patches at the base of the petal or sepal. It flowers from June to August.

The leaves are lance-shaped, up to four inches (10 centimeters) long and arranged in whorls of three to eight along a single, green stem.

The fruit is a two-inch (five centimeter) capsule.

The root system is a bulb.

The Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is an endangered or threatened species in some states but not in Maine. Its bulbs are eatable. The striking beauty of this wildflower may lead one to believe that it is cultivated. However, it will often be seen in the woods around French Hill Pond.

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