Jun 18, 2008

The Year's First Tiger Lily

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I have in my head that the blooming of my tiger lilies is a July phenomenon, but in looking at a previous post about tiger lily season, I realized that the flowers are right on time this year. Perhaps I am influenced by my years spent in Michigan, where the 60-90 mile distance north might mean a week's difference in growing seasons.

I have always enjoyed these flowers, which are not always appreciated by horticulturists. My next-door neighbor refers to them as "ditch lilies," and he grouses about how quickly the tiger lilies can take over a patch of terrain.

In addition to their color and relatively lengthy blooming cycle, I like Lilium lancifolium for the simple reason that this plant is easy to grow and maintain. Their deep roots allow the plants to survive long dry spells, and they are just about impervious to other plant competitors.

I also have some double-blossom varieties that show up about a week after their singular cousins have closed for the summer, and we get about a month of bright orange color in my yard from these plants, hues so vivid that neither digital cameras nor memory cards can adequately store.

Welcome, you tangerine-hued friends.

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