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Tiger lily

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Tiger lily
Liliumlancifolium4.jpg
Scientific Classification
Subtaxa / Binomial Name

Lilium lancifolium

Tigerlilyinjapan.jpg

Tiger Lilies are a warm and vibrant addition to any home or garden. Their fiery orange flowers stand out among others. The lilies actually come in to different variations. One is Lilium columbianum, which is yellow and native to North America. The other is Lilium lancifolium, which is more commonly known. It is native to Asia and has the famous orange coloring. Lancifolium roughly means "lance leafed", refer to the sharply pointed leaves of the tiger lily. Another name that was once commonly used to refer to the same species is Lilium tigrinum.

Anatomy

A fully opened tiger lily bloom

The tiger lily has a tall, straight stem. They can grow to be eighty to two-hundred centimeters high. The leaves sprout from the single stalk and are usually long, narrow, and pointed. The flower petals are long and pointed, and come in groups of six. Being monocots, their petals come in sets of three, with two sets in the case of tiger lilies. A common mutation of tiger lilies causes them to produces flowers with large numbers of slightly thinner petals. Flowers are an orange or red-orange color with small black(usually) spots. They have fewer spots than other species of lily. The orange color combined with the black markings is what the name "tiger lily" is derived from. The stamens and the pistol, which are the male and female reproductive organs, are very long and pronounced. The tiger lily's petals will bend back very far during the flowering cycle, curling up against its own stem and exposing the stamens and pistol for pollinators. [1]

Reproduction

Tiger lilies are sterile plants. They do not produce any seeds. They do, however, reproduce asexually. The plant produces bulbils, which are tiny bulbs. The bulbils grow in the axils of the plant, where the leaf meets the stem. The bulbils ripen and detach themselves from the parent plant. When they root themselves in soil, they create genetically identical copies of the original plant. [2]

Ecology

The foliage of a tiger lily

This species of tiger lily is native to eastern Guam, Japan, China, and Korea. It requires full, direct sunlight. It should be watered regularly and the soil kept moist. It does better with thorough periods of watering less often, than with light, frequent watering. It should be watered about once a week. Lilies are often found growing in ditches, where water collects in the soil, and are sometimes called Ditch Lilies because of it. These plants are fairly hardy and do well in cooler temperate climates, as well as warmer climates, as long as there is regular rain. They do well in almost any kind of soil. Home growers rarely need to use any fertilizer. [3]

People with cats should be careful when owning tiger lilies as a house or garden plant, as parts of this kind of lily are very toxic to cats. They can cause vomiting, kidney failure, and even death if eaten. [4]

Medicinal uses

Tiger lilies have some medicinal uses. They can help with uterine-neuralgia, congestion, irritation, and nausea resulting from pregnancy. The tiger lily has a pleasing scent that is distinctive for lilies. The aroma has been known to be calming to people dealing with problems of aggression. The roots, shoots and buds of the plant are edible for humans. The cooked buds are popular in Asian dishes. The tiger lily is supposed to be a symbol of wealth and prosperity. A long time ago, people believed that smelling a tiger lily would give you freckles, because they resemble the small dark spots on the flower petals.[5]

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References