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PlantFiles: Tiger Lily
Lilium lancifolium

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lilium (LIL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: lancifolium (lan-sih-FOH-lee-um) (Info)

Synonym:Lilium tigrinum

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3 vendors have this plant for sale.

73 members have or want this plant for trade.

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9 - Species

Flower Habit:
(c) Down-facing

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Flower Shape:

Bloom Size:
6" to 12" (151 mm to 300 mm)

Color Pattern:


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
By dividing the bulb's scales
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From bulbils

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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18 positives
8 neutrals
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive keithp2012 On Nov 12, 2014, keithp2012 from West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This Lily grows great in my area! I get nearly 6 foot plants with beautiful Orange blooms and abundant bulbils. It never sets seed, however I tried cross pollinating with 6 other Lily pollens and one took and I got close to 200 fertile seeds in my tiger lily pod! Can't wait to see what the offspring will be like!

Neutral coriaceous On Jun 20, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

It's true that this species (Lilium lancifolium) is a carrier for viruses that can cause more serious problems for other lilies in your garden---for this reason, serious lily collectors don't grow it.

It's also true that it's naturalized in northeastern and midwestern North America. However, it is nowhere considered ecologically invasive or a noxious weed, and it's not known to hybridize with native lilies in the wild. []

In New England where I garden, the bright red lily leaf beetle, introduced from Europe twenty years ago, makes lily cultivation difficult. It arrived on a shipment of lilies, and I hope no one inadvertently sends it to other parts of the US on a plant trade.

Negative bottlegreen On Jun 19, 2014, bottlegreen from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

What could be lovelier than lilies, smiling at the earth with their petals reflexed? How about hundredsno, thousandsof them, clogging up your garden and harboring viruses to transmit to the other (well-behaved) lilies? I'm now on my second year of an eradication program, trying to get rid of all the stem-bulbil forming ones, both orange and yellow, hoping that down the road persistence will pay off. Think twice before planting this terribly invasive species!

Positive missmary01963 On Jul 9, 2013, missmary01963 from Knoxville, TN wrote:

I found my Tiger Lilly growing in some weeds next to my fence last year not knowing what it was, but was sure that it was some type of flower. I transplanted it into my garden and this year it is over 5 ft tall and absolutely gorgeous. The flowers are over 5 inches across. I am looking forward to having a whole bed dedicated to the Tiger Lilly. Thanks to the other posts on how to grow the bubil? I will have plenty to share with friends and other gardeners!! I am in Knoxville Tn.

Negative JerryMurray On Sep 17, 2009, JerryMurray from Belfair, WA wrote:

Noxious weeds have taken America by storm; whether grasses, annuals, perennials, shrubs or trees. Non-native plants should not be allowed to naturalize in a non-native environ, excepting 'possibly' a yard. Yet, dependent on how the plant diseminates seed and propagates, one must take caution. Some people think ivy and Scot's broom are decorative - now they have taken over many wild areas of the western US from Canada to Chili. Lilium lancifolium can be a weedy species, depending on location. What we gardeners do not want to see is a non-native lily marching across the nation and hybridizing with native lilies. I believe lancifolium is a weedy naturalized pest in the mid to eastern US.

Be very careful that if you do grow them do so in a closed environment, that they are kept from the wild and native lily populations.

Positive elissad On Jun 17, 2008, elissad from Lafayette, IN wrote:

My tiger lily just sprouted up last year by an act of nature. It is growing in a quite shady spot and maybe only receives and hour or two of light per day. Last year I had 2 stalks and this year I'm up to 7. At the end of this growing season I plan on moving it to an area where it will be more appreciated, yet away from my other lilies where it may negatively affect them.

Positive debric On Jun 9, 2008, debric from Hyde Park, MA wrote:

I have been growing this plant for the past 8 years and find that they are absolutely beautiful. Over the past three years, I have noticed a red bug that has been eating the leaves and leaving a black sack on the underside of the leaves. I have sprayed an insecticide, but that is only a temporary remedy. Does anyone know what this insect is or how to keep it off of the flowers?

Positive holeth On Apr 24, 2008, holeth from Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I think they're beautiful & hardy. They do multiply a little in zone 6, but they're not terribly prolific.

Unfortunately, in eastern PA people often say "Tiger Lily" when they mean "wild orange daylily." This could lead to confusion in trading.

Positive feelinmymonkie On Apr 8, 2008, feelinmymonkie from Clover, SC wrote:

I had only one plant last summer, & I harvested the seed pods. I stored them in my fridge for about 6 weeks & then put them in a glass of water by a window. When the tip of the seed started looking like a root was coming out I put the seed in a pot of soil & every seed made a new plant! I hope this information will be useful for someone else because I had to try a lot of different methods before I found one that worked.

Positive fburg696 On Jan 17, 2008, fburg696 from Farmersburg, IN wrote:

Very nice plant for the garden, there have been tiger lilies at my house since as long as I can remember and they come back and multiply every year. I just throw the bulbils on the ground when they are ready and nature does the rest.
They grow under wisteria vines so I can use the vine to hold them up and its a great alternative to staking!
Great color and stature, some of mine get well over 5ft in height. Great summer show.

Neutral RaiderLep On May 6, 2007, RaiderLep from Los Alamos, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:

These are tough, easy to grow plants that yeild an abundance of beautiful orange flowers. However, I agree with several experts that they can be a dangerous disease carrier. I planted several of them next to a mass planting of Stargazer Lilies last spring. The Tiger Lilies look great this year and have multiplied. Unfortunately, approximately one-third of the neighboring Stargazers have streaked leaves this year and they're smaller than their healthy counterparts. I planted around twenty other Stargazer bulbs from the same supplier in other parts of the yard and all of them look great so far.

If you could keep these plants isolated I would give them a positive rating. If you plant them near other lilies (or anything else), you may be asking for trouble. I can't prove that the Tiger Lilies were responsible for infecting my Stargazers with a virus, but it appears to be more than a coincidence. Although suppliers may guarantee that Tigers are virus free, they have no way of inspecting each bulb's tissue for viruses. I've decided to give the Tiger Lily a neutral rating because I really like the plant itself, but it's not 100% safe to place them in your garden among other plants.

Negative southern_nj On Aug 2, 2006, southern_nj from Mauricetown, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

this lily appeared out of nowhere and rapidly multiplied. all bulblets sprouted, it took over.

Positive CaptMicha On Jul 25, 2006, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

These lilies are soooo striking and exotic looking. Also very easy to grow, as stated above.

The only problem I have is that it takes so long for mine to flower. I planted mature plants two-three years ago and they're finally flowering now and still, only two of the stems. I'm going to transfer most of them to 100% full sun this fall.

These plants produce a lot of bulbils, I've sometimes counted four at one leaf axis and they detach easily but I don't see this as being invasive.

Most of the bulbils I've collected have sprouted in the plastic cup collection cup.

Positive Sherlock221 On Jul 18, 2006, Sherlock221 from Lancaster, KY wrote:

This is a reliable bloomer. It grows nearly 5 feet tall in my garden. It tolerates part-shade very well. It has nice, dark green foliage and sturdy stems. The down facing flowers have curled back petals and are an electric orange color with purple spots.

Positive flakeygardener On Jul 9, 2006, flakeygardener from Montreal, QC (Zone 5a) wrote:

I grow this in Zone 5a and my sister grows it in Zone 4a. She gave me - 5 plants 4 years ago and I forgot them in a plastic bag at my mother's for two weeks. I finally brought them home and planted them - after a few more days. The next year I had 8 plants. This year I have 17. I have neglected them badly. I'm not much of a weeder. I have a city garden that had not been used for years (if ever). The earth is heavliy laced with clay from 75 years of run-off from the building I live in.

There is one plant that is not doing well this year. There are only two tiny buds on it and the bulbils (?) are oversized. I'm thinking of taking it out now in case it is diseased.

All the other plants have 6 or more buds on them and I'm expecting the first blooms in a day or two - right on schedule. They'll look gorgeous beside my purple coneflowers.

I feel special because there are day lilies all over in this area, but nobody else has tiger lilies. I'm not sure why - they seem indestructable to me!

Positive rubygloomrox On May 13, 2006, rubygloomrox from Red Wing, MN wrote:

While they aren't scented, they are super easy to grow and very hardy. They were my first try at collecting seeds to propagate and I ended up with so many plants I had to give them away.
A lot of times when people admire my garden and would like to start gardening themselves, I give them a few of these to s tart with. It is such a confidence booster for the new gardener that they are soon willing to try a lot of other plants.
They look very pretty and striking with the right background. I have them in an area where the color really stands out. Some of my best plant photos are of the tiger lilies.

Neutral Leehallfae On Apr 8, 2006, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

These grow in Seattle, Washington, Zone 8b.

The only drawback: The bulbs are not sold in any stores.

Gorgeous plants, though.

Positive sallyg On Mar 10, 2006, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is a sentimental favorite of mine. I remember the bulblets, from childhood, being really 'neat.' My dad gave me the plant back a couple of years ago. Last summer, I cut a stem for him to have in his room at the nursing center where he had rehab. It gave a succession of open flowers for days in such a bright color he couldn't miss it with his bad eyes. Maybe it's good luck too, because he's doing great!

Neutral Gabrielle On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

These are big showy flowers that bloom over a decent span of time. There are a couple of things to keep in mind about them. If you don't pick the bulbils off, they can easily take over. Put them where you want them for a long time, because they are hard to move. Not that they don't transplant well, but because they like to keep coming back where they originally were. Also, the pollen does stain and bears a magnetic attaction to white/light clothing! Other than rabbits, I don't think it has any enemies. I've read that it is hardy in zones 1-10. Blooms July-August in my garden.

Neutral tyshee On Oct 17, 2005, tyshee from Kenai, AK wrote:

Lily blooms well but it blooms so late that one has to hope for a late fall to enjoy it. No other problems.

Neutral MitchF On Jan 19, 2005, MitchF from Lindsay, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The rabbits eat them off every time before we get the chance to see the flowers more then a day or two.

Positive kdjoergensen On Jan 17, 2005, kdjoergensen from Waxhaw (Charlotte), NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

One of the most handsome lilies you can find. It has a strong orange color with black spots. I simply love the bulbils which form at the leaf axis .. they produce flowering lilies in 2-3 years.

Highly recommended.

Positive grammaj46 On Jul 18, 2004, grammaj46 from Charlevoix, MI (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have had Tiger lillies in my gardens for years, and get many new plants every year. two years ago I transplanted 6 lillies into a new bed, this year I had twice that many mature plants, (shocked me), they over shadowed other plants, so "I bit the bullett" and transplanted them when they were over 2 feet tall, BIG clump of dirt, plenty of water in the next few days, now they`re twice as tall with lots of buds, Needless to say I am pleased. Lucky too!!!!

Positive Dan_Brown On May 21, 2004, Dan_Brown from Elm Grove, LA wrote:

I love this plant! I aquired my first bulbs from a neighbor up the dirt road from my house, and they have bloomed faithfully for about six years in a large bed with dutch and bearded irises, hymenocallis, hippeastrum and other lilies like Easter, Stargazer, and some other hybrids! Mine has spread from a clump of about 3 bulbs to about 12 stems and many of the black bubils have come up although these plants are small, but are making bubils of their own. I would like to spread them out but really don't want to disturb them, although my wife would like them carefully separated and planted in several places. Maybe I'll get my nerve soon. As far as the unsightly dead stems, I cut them off at the ground with loping shears as quickly as they die and burn them and it's no trouble.
Blessed, Dan Brown, Elm Grove, LA

Negative pungo On May 8, 2004, pungo from Norfolk, VA wrote:

About 5 years ago I planted 10 of these bulbs. Not one of them sprouted. I don't know if it was my soil or what went wrong.

Positive ZenZinnia On Oct 11, 2003, ZenZinnia from Lakeview, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

In my area Lilium lancifolium is very hardy. The flowers last beautifully for about four weeks.

Neutral echoes On Oct 10, 2003, echoes from South of Winnipeg, MB (Zone 3a) wrote:

Lilium lancifolium can be a virus carrier without showing any signs - be sure to keep it away from other lilies!
(Some tulips also can host viruses that do damage to lilies.)

There are both triploid and diploid forms of this lily. Many hybrids have L. lancifolium in their breeding. This lily was long known as L. tigrinum.

Positive suncatcheracres On Jul 31, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I acquired my plants from a fellow Master Gardener at a plant swap in a suburb of Atlanta about three years ago. My plants survived one summer in a pot, and they are now doing quite well in a raised flower bed in northcentral Florida, zone 8b.

The oldest plant grew to about five feet tall this summer, with numerous bulbils and four large flowers. I removed the bulbils just before and during flowering in early June this year, and placed them in pots, and they have begun sprouting, with one new plant gowing about six inches tall in just two months. The tall dying mature stems do become brown and unattractive in late summer, so this tall plant does well in the back of a perennial border, where its late summer unattractive stems can be hidden by later, lusher vegetative growth.

This plant will spread readily through its fallen, black bulbils that form in the leaf axils, and I've already given some baby plants away to friends, as it is a long standing "pass-a-long" plant of the Coastal South.

Steve Bender's & Felder Rushing's book, Passalong Plants says this lily has been grown in China for over 2,000 years as a major food crop. "Scales from its egg-shaped bulbs were peeled, seasoned, cooked and eaten by the millions." It came to Europe in the late 1600's through the Dutch East India Company, and to America in the 1830's where " many places it naturalized and is now considered an American wildflower."

This lily is often confused with the U.S. native Lilium superbum (Turk's Cap Lily), but is different in leaf structure and coloring. And according to this book, Tiger Lilies resist hybridizing because they are a rare "triploid" that can't be made to change their spots.

Positive jan_M On May 17, 2003, jan_M from Creighton
Canada wrote:

Our Tiger Lilies have lived for many years, even through very cold winters. The bulbils that grow on the leaves can be used to propagate new plants, treated similar to "seeds".

A quite tall plant, for its flower size. A very bright orange, with black spots. The flowers hang down, on droopy stems. Very hardy, and strong rain doesn't even bend them.

Neutral Baa On Aug 28, 2002, Baa wrote:

A lily species from China and Japan.

Has long, lance shaped mid to deep green leaves borne on dark stems which are sometimes hairy. Bears reddish orange, pendant, unscented, turkscap (petals strongly recurved) flowers, spotted with purple. Also forms small bulbils in the leaf axils on the upper part of the stems which are quite easy to propagate.

Flowers July - September

Loves moist but well-drained, neutral to acid soil in sun or light shade. It will tolerate slightly alkaline soils and will happily form a clump in the right conditions.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Bessemer, Alabama
Jones, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Northport, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (2 reports)
Vincent, Alabama
Anchorage, Alaska
Kenai, Alaska
Malvern, Arkansas
Morrilton, Arkansas
Brownsville, California
Canoga Park, California
San Francisco, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Sterling, Colorado
Apopka, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Orange Springs, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida (2 reports)
Cornelia, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Mcdonough, Georgia
Royston, Georgia
Thomasville, Georgia
Wrens, Georgia
Evanston, Illinois
Freeport, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Macomb, Illinois
Morris, Illinois
Nilwood, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Williamsville, Illinois
Bremen, Indiana
Demotte, Indiana
Farmersburg, Indiana
La Porte, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Mooresville, Indiana
Des Moines, Iowa
Hutchinson, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Lancaster, Kentucky
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Collinston, Louisiana
Elm Grove, Louisiana
Skowhegan, Maine
Brookeville, Maryland
Millersville, Maryland
Preston, Maryland
Brockton, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Halifax, Massachusetts
Haydenville, Massachusetts
Hyde Park, Massachusetts
Pepperell, Massachusetts
Quincy, Massachusetts (2 reports)
Springfield, Massachusetts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Charlevoix, Michigan
Elkton, Michigan
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Houghton Lake, Michigan
Lakeview, Michigan
Mason, Michigan
Nashville, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Red Wing, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Grenada, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Columbia, Missouri
Mount Vernon, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Ogallala, Nebraska
Reno, Nevada
Auburn, New Hampshire
Dover, New Hampshire
Greenville, New Hampshire
Littleton, New Hampshire
Malaga, New Jersey
Mauricetown, New Jersey
Neptune, New Jersey
South Plainfield, New Jersey
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Brooklyn, New York
Buffalo, New York
Croton On Hudson, New York
Nineveh, New York
West Babylon, New York
Bessemer City, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina (2 reports)
Graham, North Carolina
Raeford, North Carolina
Wilsons Mills, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Englewood, Ohio
Tipp City, Ohio
Jay, Oklahoma
Okeene, Oklahoma
Baker City, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Butler, Pennsylvania
Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Malvern, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
, Quebec
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Conway, South Carolina
Laurens, South Carolina (2 reports)
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Huron, South Dakota
Christiana, Tennessee
Crossville, Tennessee
Germantown, Tennessee
Hixson, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lafayette, Tennessee
Westmoreland, Tennessee
Brazoria, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
Fritch, Texas
Gilmer, Texas
Kilgore, Texas
Paris, Texas
Richmond, Texas
La Sal, Utah
Montpelier, Vermont
Fancy Gap, Virginia
Jonesville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Manassas, Virginia
Belfair, Washington
Bremerton, Washington
Camas, Washington
Chimacum, Washington
Eatonville, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Selah, Washington
Washougal, Washington
White Center, Washington
Great Cacapon, West Virginia
Altoona, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Minocqua, Wisconsin
Thiensville, Wisconsin
Cody, Wyoming

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