Leopard Lily in Full Bloom

How wonderful are these leopard lily blooms? And quite large, about an inch and a half or two inches - I'd have to go back and look again, because they are looming very large in my memory!

Pardalinum means "spotted like a leopard."

Here is a whole plant. Leaves are in whorls.

I could not believe my eyes when I spotted these leopard lilies (Lilium pardalinum) growing right beside the single-track road that runs along a small creek not far from our home.

Like everything else, I believe they are blooming late this year. They bloom June to July - but I believe early July is more common here. I have heard of them growing locally, but never seen one up until now.

You can buy them for your garden, from Yerba Buena nursery, Las Pilitas, and maybe other native plant nurseries too. Native to the Pacific coast, they like light shade (they appreciate a bit of sun), regular water (streamside is their native habitat), and rich soil that drains well. They will slowly colonize an area. Protect from gophers. Or you can plant in large, deep containers. They go dormant in late summer, disappearing totally.

I am totally going to take some seeds (no more than 10%) and try to grow this - if I can get them going then I'll keep propagating by bulbs. I read that they are among the easiest of native bulbs to grow. Here's advice from a page on wildflowers.org:
" Increase using bulb scales or offsets or seed. Sow outdoors in summer for germination the following spring. Seedlings take 4-5 years to flower; bulb divisions take 2 years. In early spring, divide the 1/2 in. scales and entire bulblets from mature bulb."
Oh yes, I've taken careful note where they are, you betcha, between which mile markers, and next to which rotting fungus-filled snag - and I'm looking forward to seeing their lovely fruiting bodies by and by!


camissonia said…
Absolutely stunning! You are so lucky to have these wildflowers growing so near your home! I bought a leopard lily from Las Pilitas earlier in the spring and planted it along the north side of our house. There was a lot of foliage but no flowers. Maybe it doesn't like our Southern California weather :( Anyways, keeping my fingers crossed that it will bloom next year.
Joe said…
Wow, so pretty! :)
Saw some on a hike yesterday....perfect timing!
James said…
"Protect from gophers"--sad to see that. Early July seems to be when I remember the lilies in the local foothills, though I don't remember whether they were your species or Humboldt's. They're right up there on the list of the most spectacular flowers for sure. Good luck germinating--and waiting for them to bloom!
Quite the beguiling lily!

So long since I stopped to comment, but I do enjoy reading regularly via Blotanical;-]
Quite the beguiling lily!

So long since I stopped to comment, but I do enjoy reading regularly via Blotanical;-]