Columbia Tiger Lily (Lilium columbianum)

Bulb
L. nitidum. L. parviflorum. W.G.Smith.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Columbia Tiger Lily
Lilium columbianum
Liliaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Bulb – raw or cooked[61, 105, 161, 213, 257]. The oval-shaped bulb is up to 5cm in diameter and is used as a vegetable in the same way as potatoes (Solanum tuberosum)[85, 256]. Starchy, with a slightly sweet taste[85]. The flavour of the cooked bulbs is said to resemble sweet chestnuts but with a slight bitterness[256]. The bulbs were highly prized by various native North American Indian tribes and were used as a staple food[118, 257].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – autumnal hypogeal germination[130]. Best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in spring[163]. Stored seed will require a warm/cold/warm cycle of stratification, each period being about 2 months long[163]. Grow on in cool shady conditions. Great care should be taken in pricking out the young seedlings, many people leave them in the seed pot until they die down at the end of their second years growth. This necessitates sowing the seed thinly and using a reasonably fertile sowing medium. The plants will also require regular feeding when in growth. Divide the young bulbs when they are dormant, putting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on for at least another year before planting them out into their permanent positions when the plants are dormant[K]. Division in autumn once the leaves have died down. Replant immediately[200]. Bulb scales can be removed from the bulbs in early autumn. If they are kept in a warm dark place in a bag of moist peat, they will produce bulblets. These bulblets can be potted up and grown on in the greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out[200]. Stem or leaf cuttings[163].
Requires a moist not too heavy well-drained acid loam in light shade[47, 143]. Succeeds in full sun[143]. Plant bulbs 10 – 15cm deep[143]. Early to mid autumn is the best time to plant out the bulbs in cool temperate areas, in warmer areas they can be planted out as late as late autumn[200]. The plant should be protected against rabbits and slugs in early spring. If the shoot tip is eaten out the bulb will not grow in that year and will lose vigour[200].
Western N. America – British Columbia to California.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.