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.