Friday, June 15, 2007

Native Lemon Lily among Wild Geranium

Lilium parryi with Geranium richardsonii
Click on photo to enlarge © 2007 jim otterstrom
The native Lemon Lilies growing in our garden began to bloom a couple of days ago and, this morning when I took this photo, there were six wonderfully lemon-scented flowers open and many more buds ready to go.
Lilium parryi has been red-listed in California as threatened and is a Forest Service 'sensitive species'. The 5 plants we have in our garden were grown from seed at Las Pilitas Nursery where they specialize in rare native plants. The hope is that if people can purchase these plants commercially it will reduce the incidents of them being illegally collected in the wild and enable the Lilies to expand their populations.
During the early part of the 20th Century specimens of Lemon Lily were widely collected here in The San Bernardino Mountains and some were hybridized to create the Lilies you find at today's florests and nurseries.
We've admired Lemon Lilies in the wild for many years and it's nice to have a source for them now, so we can grow them in our own native plant garden, here in the mountains to which they belong.
They grow near streams so we have them planted near the boulder birdbath and solar waterfall where they get more water than the rest of our native garden which consists mostly of drought-adapted natives. The lilies in this small, but consistantly damp, part of our garden are mixed in with other local plant species associated with moist habitat such as Wild Geranium (Geranium richardsonii), Crimson Columbine (Aquilegia formosa), Stream Orchid (Epipactis gigantea), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), and the Wild Blue Iris (Iris missouriensis) or Western Blue Flag as it is sometimes called.
The garden is magical this time of year, making it difficult for me to be anywhere else, so I'll catch you later.

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Blogger clairesgarden said...

very nice planting. I have geranium similar to yours, several others too in different colours. its a nice generous plant. I'm not sure lillies would grow here. i liked the leter you did for fathers day, he sounds a good man.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Jim said...


these wild geraniums have much smaller flowers that the commercial types that grow year 'round down at sea level here in California, but they bloom profusely in the right location and they're a perrenial native to these mountains. i don't know too much about lilies other than growing them in their native habitat, but with all the hybrids available i would think there would be some suitable for your climate.

my stepdad was an exceptionally talented fellow when he still had all his faculties. he only finished eigth grade in school but he could do trigonometry in his head. he was quite proud of the fact that engineers would often come to him for solutions to design problems.

7:14 AM  

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