Herb: Turk's Cap Lily

Latin name: Lilium martagon

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Medicinal use of Turk's Cap Lily:

The bulb is diuretic, emmenagogue, emollient and expectorant. They are used to relieve heart diseases, pain in the cardiac region and angina pectoris.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

to July


Habitat of the herb:

Deciduous woods, scrub and mountain pasture, especially on limestone.

Edible parts of Turk's Cap Lily:

Bulb - cooked. It is often dried for later use. Rich in starch, it can be used as a vegetable in similar ways to potatoes (Solanum tuberosum).

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - delayed hypogeal germination. Best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in spring. Stored seed will require a warm/cold/warm cycle of stratification, each period being about 2 months long. 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. Division with care in the autumn once the leaves have died down. Replant immediately. 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.

Cultivation of Turk's Cap Lily:

Deciduous woods, scrub and mountain pasture, especially on limestone.

Known hazards of Lilium martagon:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.