Michigan lily

(Lilium michiganense)

Conservation Status
Michigan lily
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Michigan lily is an erect, hairless, unbranched perennial rising from a yellowish, unbranched bulb and underground horizontal stem (rhizome).

The stem is hairless, round, and unbranched below the inflorescence.

The leaves appear in whorls of 3 to 7 along the stem. There may also be leaves on the upper stem appearing singly, in pairs, or in partial whorls. The leaves are 1¾ to 5 long, ¼ to 1 wide, narrowly lance-shaped, and taper to both ends. The tips droop when the sky is overcast, and become horizontal or ascending in the sun. They are stalkless, untoothed, hairless, and have parallel venation. The underside of the leaves are rough to the touch due to minute, pointed projections on the outermost cellular layer along the veins and margins.

The inflorescence is a terminal cluster of 1 to 6 flowers arising from a single point at the top of the stem (umbel). The flowers hang downward at the end of 3 to 5 long flower stems that spread upward. One or more flower stems may also appear from upper leaf axils.

The large flowers are 2½ to 3 wide, Turk’s-cap shaped, and are not fragrant. They consist of 6 tepals, 3 inner tepals (petals) that are similar in appearance but somewhat wider and shorter than the 3 outer tepals (sepals). The tepals spread outward and bend backward to their base. They are reddish-orange with a yellowish-orange throat and purple or maroon spots near the throat. The stamens project well beyond the tepals and curve outward.

The fruit is a 3-celled seed capsule.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

3 to 6

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Reddish-orange with maroon spots

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Orange daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) is shorter, 2 to 4 at maturity. It has a basal rosette of grass-like leaves and no leaves on the flowering stem. The inflorescence consists of a few small, elongated clusters of flowers, not umbels, at the end of each scape branch. The flowers are up to 4 wide, funnel-shaped, tannish-orange with a yellow throat separated by a red stripe. They do not have spots near the throat. They are semi-erect or horizontal—they do not hang downward. They last only one day.

Tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium) has a central stalk that is densely covered with long, tangled, white hairs, especially near the top. It has only alternate leaves. There are 1 to 3 small dark purple bulblets in the axils of the upper leaves. The inflorescence is a terminal, branched, elongated, cluster, not an umbel. The flowers are up to 4 wide and uniformly orange to reddish-orange—they do not have yellow or yellowish throats. They have purple-brown spots except near the tips, not just near the throat.

Wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum var. andinum) is much shorter, 1 to 3 at maturity. The leaves are scattered, more or less alternate, except the uppermost, which are in a whorl. The inflorescence is 1 to 3 flowers. The flowers are bell shaped and erect—they do not hang downward. The tepals are spoon-shaped, clawed, erect, and flaring, and bend backward slightly toward their tips. The tips come to a blunt point. They do not touch near the base. They are bright orange or reddish-orange with a yellow throat and purple spots near the throat.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist to wet. Tallgrass prairies, meadows, streambanks, swamps, bogs, bottoms, woodland edges, roadside and railroad ditches. Full or partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
  July to August  
     
 

Faunal Associations

 
  Michigan lily is pollinated primarily by swallow-tail butterflies.  
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 30.

 
  4/23/2021      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
 

Order

Liliales (lilies, supplejacks, and allies)  
 

Family

Liliaceae (lilies)  
  Subfamily Lilioideae  
  Tribe Lilieae  
 

Genus

Lilium (true lilies)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Lilium canadense ssp. michiganense

Lilium canadense var. umbelliferum

Lilium michiganense var. umbelliferum

Lilium michiganense var. uniflorum

Lilium superbum

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American turk’s-cap lily

lily-royal

Michigan lily

swamp lily

turk’s-cap

turk’s-cap lily

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Tepal

Refers to both the petals and the sepals of a flower when they are similar in appearance and difficult to tell apart. Tepals are common in lilies and tulips.

 

Umbel

A flat-topped or convex umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

 
 
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Greg Watson

 
    Michigan lily      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Plant

 
    Michigan lily      
           
 

Inflorescence

 
    Michigan lily      
           
 

Flower

 
    Michigan lily   Michigan lily  
           
    Michigan lily      
           
 

Budding Inflorescence

 
    Michigan lily   Michigan lily  
           
    Michigan lily      
           
 

Bud

 
    Michigan lily   Michigan lily  
           
 

Leaves

 
    Michigan lily   Michigan lily  
           
    Michigan lily      
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Lilium michiganense TURK'S CAP LILY
Frank Mayfield
  Lilium michiganense TURK'S CAP LILY  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  June 21, 2012 Michiganense
Richard Bayerl
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 2, 2012

Lilium michiganense in bloom

 
  Michigan Lilies
Basicbill's Outdoor and Travel Channel
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 14, 2011

At the Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve in Elgin, Illinois on July 5, 2009.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Greg Watson
6/30/2021

Location: along the Root River State Trail near the Houston, MN Trailhead

Michigan lily

 
  Kathy & Douglas Wood
1994 to present

Location: 3835 Pine Point Road, Sartell MN 56377

We live on 11 acres of 100+ year old white and red pines, balsam fir and mixed deciduous along the Mississippi River. The lilies have been here since before we moved here 25 years ago. Several years ago I transplanted some from our woods to a spot along our garage as the deer were eating them off every year and I feared for their survival. They number several dozen now and should bloom in the next week or two. One of my favorite flowers!

 
           
 
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