Tiger or Leopard: Which Name Do You Use?

lily2Does a lily smell the same no matter what it is called? Shakespeare’s Juliet claims that names have no affect on the scent of a rose. She insists,

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

These lilies have two common names but whatever you call them, they can be grown in your own garden. Cheryl Lisin from the Lost Coast Interpretive Association writes,
Most people call them tiger lilies, most books call them leopard lilies: either way, Lilium pardalinum is beautiful when in bloom. In spring, green shoots arise from underground corms, and if the deer don’t eat them, they bloom in early July. Flowers are followed by big seed pods which produce hundreds of seeds that can be started easily in your own garden.
A member of the lily family, Liliaceae, leopard lily grows throughout California in moist places, especially streambanks. These photos were taken on the Mattole River.

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  • Stuart Rosenberg

    Per Peterson Field Guide of Pacific States Wildflowers:

    Humboldt’s Tiger Lily – Lilium humboldtii
    Leopard Lily – Lilium pardalinum
    Sierra Tiger Lily – Lilium parvum
    Kelly’s Tiger Lily – Lilium kelleyanum
    Vollmer’s Tiger Lily – Lilium vollmeri
    Western Tiger Lily – Lilium occidentale

    and there are others…

  • In trinity. My favorite flower.

    • Contrast to a Washington Lily….

      • native plant lover

        this lily is a Kellogg’s Lily. lilium kelloggii. their range is up to Canada. It is considered rare and endangered in ca. the leaves are rounded, grey/green and much thicker than a tiger lily. It grows in dry woodland partial shade at my place. deer are eating them here in this dry year. the scent is fabulous! Its a treasure!

        • They do smell wonderful, but I think your id is incorrect. This one, and others, was growing on a rocky, dry slop, in full sun, at near 4000′. It stood nearly 5′ tall and had very wavy clusters of leaves. I think it was the purple variety.


          • native plant lover

            thanks for you reply! always glad to learn more about our native plants. i may have been incorrect thinking your posted photo looks like my lily here at home. I will keep researching it. thanks!

  • Stuart Rosenberg

    In Siskiyou County. I don;t know what species.

  • is there a madonna lily ?

    • Yes, there is. It is white( of course it is!) and found in Greece, france and a few other countries. Supposedly the fluer de lis is based upon this lilly, but I do not know for certain if this is true.

  • if anyone has seeds of the native tiger lily i would really like to try some

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