Herb: Madonna Lily

Latin name: Lilium candidum

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Medicinal use of Madonna Lily:

The Madonna lily has a long history of herbal use, though it is seldom employed in modern herbalism because of its scarcity. The bulb and the flowers are astringent, highly demulcent, emmenagogue, emollient and expectorant. The plant is mainly used externally, being applied as a poultice to tumours, ulcers, external inflammations etc. The bulb is harvested in August and can be used fresh or dried. The flowers are harvested when fully open and used fresh for making juice, ointments or tinctures. The pollen has been used in the treatment of epilepsy.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)



Habitat of the herb:

Rocky slopes and in scrub to 600 metres.

Edible parts of Madonna Lily:

Bulb - cooked. The raw bulb contains an acrid principle, but this is destroyed by drying or thorough heating. When cooked the bulb is pulpy, sweet and sugary. Rich in starch, it can be used as a vegetable in similar ways to potatoes (Solanum tuberosum).

Other uses of the herb:

An essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumery.

Cultivation of Madonna Lily:

Rocky slopes and in scrub to 600 metres.

Known hazards of Lilium candidum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.