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'L. humboldtii' (Species or Wild Lily)
Native to the Sierra Nevada range of central California, this dry land lily can be found in lightly shaded areas of open pine woodland margins at high elevations. A tall species, often reaching 6 feet, it produces highly variable Turk's Cap flowers about the size of a baseball. It is not uncommon to find a colony of 100 or more stems, all with flowers differing from their neighbors.
The orange-brown flowers are covered with quite large, purple-red spots. Probably the most famous colony of Lilium humboldtii is growing in a town cemetery. A difficult lily to cultivate, it will challenge even the most patient gardener. "Cemetery" photo courtesy of Orrel Ballantyne.
Photo inset #1 is of a single stem, standing alone in the same cemetery as photographed by Orrel Ballantyne.
Photo insert #2 is the hybrid 'Sacajawea' a hybrid of (L. humboldtii var. ocellatum x L. pardalinum). Bred by Dr. David Griffiths at the old USDA breeding facilities near Bellingham, Washington where the Bellis Fair Mall now is located, it was released in 1933. Flowered and photographed by Edgar Kline, this photo was provided by Bill and Mary Hoffman.
Photo insert #3 is 'Star of Oregon' (L. humboldtii x L. pardalinum) also from the work of Dr. David Griffiths and is shown here as flowered by Edgar Kline. Also from the Bill and Mary Hoffman collection.
Wild Lily bulbs making up the genus Lilium belong to the family Liliaceae comprising of approximately 200 genera made up of approximately 2,000 lily species. There are in the neighborhood of 110 to 120 Lilium species depending on whose classification you reference. For the full article, click Knowledge Base