Wood Lily

photo by David Samson CC BY NC

Prairie Lily, Western Red Lily

The Wood Lily is a familiar sight on the grasslands and open woodlands of Canada and much of the United States. It flowers from June to August with groups of 1-3 bright orange flowers perched on top of a tall straight stem (up to 3 ft). The goblet-shaped flowers have 6 petals with purplish-brown spots at their base. Long, slender leaves alternate at the bottom of the stem and circle around it near the top.

The flowers are cross-pollinated by large butterflies (Swallowtail, Monarch, Great Spangled Fritillary) as well as Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Hummingbird Moths. Deer eat the leaves while voles enjoy eating the corms.

Did you know? Tiger Lily is a garden plant with similar flowers. However, Tiger Lily flowers dangle while Wood Lily flowers are erect. Tiger Lily also has small black bulblets where the leaves meet the stem.

See Also: Yellow Avalanche Lily