Lilium superbum

A beautiful summer lily with orange flower petals completely reflexed

Lilium superbum turk's-cap lily

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

This native, perennial member of the lily family resembles the Canada lily (L. canadense) but the spotted flowers are more orange than yellow. The six flower lobes (3 petals and 3 sepals) are completely reflexed (bent backwards) to form the structure that is said to resemble an early Turk’s cap. The flowers tend to droop downwards from a tall stem. The center of the flower has a green star. The spots are reddish-brown. It is the largest and most spectacular of the native lilies with flowers up 2.5 inches in diameter and up to 40 flowers growing on a single plant. The six stamens with brown anthers are also longer than those of the Canada lily, projecting far beyond the petals. There is a single pistil that also projects outward. The flower provides nectar for hummingbirds and larger insects. The fruit is a capsule with many seeds.

The leaves are in whorls around the stem, especially on the lower part of the stem. Near the top the leaves may be clustered or in pairs. The plant grows 3-8 feet tall in wet meadows, swamps and woods.

It is found throughout much of eastern North America south to the Florida panhandle. The blooming period is July to September. Some Native Americans are said to have used the bulbs to make soup. In some areas it is known by the common names turban lily, swamp lily or American tiger lily. There is some resemblance to the introduced day lily (Hemerocallis fulva), but this alien species has unspotted flowers and sword-like leaves.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Grows in low woods, moist meadows, river banks.

Found in most counties in the state.

Range: Found throughout North America

Wetland codes

Flowers July through August.

S-rank:  No rank
G-rank:  G5 (Secure)

Lilium superbum turk's-cap lily

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA
Lilium superbum gallery
Plant Life-Form
perennial forb
Common Names