Lilium lancifolium (Tiger Lily)

Scientific Name

Lilium lancifolium Thunb.

Common Names

Tiger Lily


Lilium leopoldii, Lilium lishmannii, Lilium tigrinum

Scientific Classification

Family: Liliaceae
Subfamily: Lilioideae
Tribe: Lilieae
Genus: Lilium


Color: Orange
Bloom Time: Mid to late summer


Lilium lancifolium is one of a very small number of species that produce aerial bulblets, known as bulbils, in the leaf axils along the stem. These can be used to propagate the plant. The flowers are bright, showy, orange and covered with black and deep crimson spots, giving the appearance of the skin of the tiger. Like other true lilies, the flowers are borne on an erect stem up to 6.7 feet (2 m) tall, clothed with the more or less linear leaves up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) wide. Flowers on the plant last for a short period of time before they wither and are replaced by newer flowers.

Lilium lancifolium - Tiger Lily
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USDA hardiness zone 3a to 9b: from −40 °F (−40 °C to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Though lilies look like they'd be fussy plants, they are actually very easy to grow. They're not particular about soil type or pH and they grow well in full sun, part sun, dappled shade and even light shade.

Plant lilies as soon as you get them, either in the fall or the spring. Because the bulbs lack the papery covering (known as a "tunic") that is common to other hardy bulbs, they can dry out quickly in storage.

Even more than other bulbs, lilies demand well-drained soil. Dig the spot where you plan to plant lilies to a depth of at least 12 inches (30 cm), remove rocks and add organic matter, such as leaf mold or peat moss to improve both the soil's structure and drainage. Like other bulbs, lilies appreciate a little bone meal scratched in at the bottom of the planting hole, but do not really require other fertilizers at planting time. Instead, wait until the bulbs send up green leaves and then sprinkle a complete organic fertilizer around the plant and water it in… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Lilies.


Native to China, Japan, Korea, and the Russian Far East.


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