Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lilium canadense

Here is another plant which fits into that theme of the native plants which gardeners neglect. Generations of lily growers have held the opinion that this is just about the most graceful of lilies, yet it is virtually unknown as a garden plant throughout most of its former natural range.  Here you see it in one of its red-flowered forms.

The cultural requirements of these lilies are not at all like those of most garden lilies. If you plant them in the local soil, it's only a matter of time before they depart. Site them where they will get sun for only part of the day. Use a very open medium made porous with bark chips and something to keep it open such as crushed granite. Feed them gently. Plenty of moisture while the plants are in active growth is good. Although these plants will survive in woodlands, they are better in clearings or places where they will get several hours of sun each day.

An old name for this species is meadow lily, so it's no surprise that the big old populations quickly fell to our uses-of-choice for meadows: farming and housing development. It's now an uncommon plant. 


Lily said...

I planted one this spring and up until now I don't see any sign of growth. Thanks for the infos. Will dig and see what is going on.

Anonymous said...

I was so happy to read about this flower and will now try to find a source for it. As a Maryland gardener, I am always looking for things that are native. What a beauty!