Lilium lancifolium 'Splendens'

Tiger Lily

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Lilium lancifolium ‘Splendens‘ is one of several species with the common name of tiger lily. The flowers are orange-red with black speckles and recurved petals in late summer. The flowers are 5 inches across, and a single stem may have as many as 20 to 25 flowers. Splendens has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. Although this species does not produce viable seeds, it does produce many small aerial bulblets, known as bulbils, in the leaf axles along the stem. A bulbil will produce flowers 2 years after it is collected from the stem. The bulbs of Lilium lancifolium from which Splendens is derived are edible, and these plants have been cultivated in Asia as a food crop. The bulbs are said to taste like turnips. The flower is also edible, but the pollen is toxic and can induce vomiting. Because these plants were historically cultivated for food, it is likely that Lilium lancifolium is a result of breeding and selection rather than a naturally occurring species. This species is natve to Asia, but it has become naturalized in parts of North America. Tiger lilies are very resistant to disease, but because they can be a carrier of disease and viruses, it is a risk to other plants in the garden. The unsurpassed grace and beauty of this lily make it a lovely addition to the garden. Lilies love full sun but will do well in partial shade. They tolerate hot summer days, as long as the bulbs are deep enough to remain cool. Lower plants surrounding the lilies will help protect their roots from drying out. Lilies make an excellent cut flower with long-lasting blooms and buds that continue to mature and open after cutting.

Plant Shape
Full Sun
Bloom Time
July - August, September - October
Bloom Color
Red, Orange
Landscape Use
Bedding or Border, Specimen Plant, Understory
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Birds, Attracts Butterflies
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
3 - 9