Lilium martagon (Turk's Cap Lily)

Scientific Name

Lilium martagon L.

Common Names

Turk's Cap Lily, Turk's Cap, Martagon Lily, Mountain Lily


Lilium martagon var. martagon, Lilium alpinum, Lilium catanii, Lilium cattaniae, Lilium caucasicum, Lilium dalmaticum, Lilium glabrum, Lilium hirsutum, Lilium martagonum, Lilium milleri, Lilium versicolor, Lilium verticillatum, Lilium villosum, Martagon montanum, Martagon sylvaticum

Scientific Classification

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


Color: Pink-purple
Bloom Time: Early summer


Lilium martagon is strong-growing lily up to 6.7 feet (2 m) tall. The flower color is typically a pink-purple, with dark spots, but is quite variable, extending from near white to near black. The flowers are scented. Numerous flowers are borne on each plant, and up to 50 can be found on vigorous plants. The green stems can be flushed with purple or red, and the leaves are elliptic to inverse lanceolate, mostly in whorls, up to 6.4 inches (16 cm) long and often slightly hairy underneath.

Lilium martagon - Turk's Cap Lily
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USDA hardiness zone 4a to 8b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °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.


It has a widespread native region extending from Portugal east through Europe and Asia as far east as Mongolia.


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