Lilium columbianum, typically referred to as tiger lily, is a subspecies of the lily flower native to western areas of North America. Although the species takes its name from the orange color with darker spots, resembling the color scheme but not the pattern of a tiger, the flower also comes in other colors that are variants upon the standard.
Easily the color most identified with the tiger lily species, and the one for which the flower is named, is orange. The darker spots, which most typically appear brown although at times they have a more burnt orange appearance, form on the inner ends of the petals and fade as the petal moves away from the stem.
As seen on the color spectrum, orange is a mixture of red and yellow. Some darker tiger lilies take on a more visibly red color than the lighter orange ones. The darker color of the flower creates less of a contrast.
Lighter tiger lilies take on a more yellowish appearance. In these the dark spots on the petals, which have a slightly purplish hue, contrast sharply with the light color. Yellow tiger lilies are often referred to as citronella tiger lilies, or Lilium Tigrinum Citronella, with the name referring specifically to the color and not the actual plant genus citronella.
Originally a rare color for tiger lilies, a pink color is typically a sign that the flower has been hybridized with another species of flower. Despite its hybrid nature, the pink tiger lily is just as easy to reproduce as other tiger lily colors, which has led to a greater availability of pink tiger lilies.
Another initially rare color of tiger lily, white flowers have become more prevalent through selective breeding. Although a hybrid, the white variety of tiger lily shares all the same characteristics of the natural orange flower, from spots to stamens, including a dependable blooming cycle and ease of management.
Dig up existing plants.
Break the roots apart.
Look for a bulb on the root.
Plant the root with a bulb (roots facing down) in a desired location.
Plant tiger lily flowers in soil that is very moist. The best time to plant is in the spring and fall.
Do not worry about winter weather. Tiger lily flowers do not need winter protection and will come back year after year on their own, after their winter hibernation.
Do not fertilize the tiger lily flowers. It is not necessary, as tiger lily's can grow in just about any type of soil situation without the help of chemical additives.
Spray a pesticide on plants that have an insect problem. This is rarely the case, but if necessary, the insecticide can be used.
Plant the tiger lily in areas with a lot of sun. They love to soak it up and it helps keep their bright color.
The tiger lily can be a carrier of viral plant diseases and should be grown away from other plants susceptible to viral diseases.
Most of the plant is edible for humans, but is toxic for cats. Some Native Americans boiled the bulbs to eat.
The tiger lily is related to other edible plants, like onions, garlic and asparagus. It's also related to poisonous plants like hellebore and camas.
Carl von Linne (Linnaeus), a Swedish botanist, first described the Tiger Lily in 1753 in his book "Species Plantarum," considered to be the first book to contain valid scientific descriptions of plants.
The tiger lily grows across the lower provinces of Canada and down into the southern regions of the United States.
Eastern cultures grow the plant for food, pinching off flower buds to encourage larger bulbs.
There are a lot of plants that have black and orange flowers, according to "Armitage's Garden Annuals: A Color Encyclopedia." Examples include the black-eyed Susan, sunflower, orange coneflower, tiger lily and crocosmia.
With blooming flowers up to 3 inches wide, tiger lilies are to be planted in the spring or the fall and at a depth of three times its width. Needing little attention or fertilizer, they thrive in moist soils.