Meadow Lily (Lilium canadense)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Meadow Lily
Lilium canadense

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    A poultice made from the bulbs is applied to snakebites[222].

    A tea made from the bulbs is stomachic and is also used in the treatment of irregular menses and dysentery[222, 257].

  • Edible Use

    Bulb – cooked[2, 105, 177]. Rich in starch, it can be used as a vegetable in similar ways to potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). The taste is rather like raw green corn on the ear[207]. The bulb can be dried, ground into a powder and used in making bread etc[257]. A famine food, only used when better foods are not available[257]. The bulb is up to 5cm in diameter[235].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – delayed hypogeal germination[130]. Best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in spring[143]. 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 with care in the 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].
Prefers an open free-draining humus-rich loamy soil with its roots in the shade and its head in the sun[200]. Dislikes lime[42]. The sub-species L. canadense editorum is said to be lime tolerant[163, 200]. Does well in open woodland[1, 143]. Succeeds in partial shade but rapidly degenerates when grown in deep shade[143]. The dormant bulbs are very hardy and will withstand soil temperatures down to at least -10¡c[214]. Stoloniferous[200], the bulbs should be planted 15 – 25cm deep[143]. Only replant in autumn, never in spring[143]. A very ornamental[1] and easily grown plant[143]. The species is not easy to grow in Europe[90]. Polymorphic, there are a number of sub-species[143]. It hybridizes in nature with L. superbum but it does not hybridize readily in the garden[143]. Closely allied to L. michiganense[143]. 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].
Eastern N. America – Quebec to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*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.