Herb: Wood Lily


Latin name: Lilium philadelphicum


Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)



Medicinal use of Wood Lily:

A tea made from the bulbs is used in the treatment of stomach complaints, coughs, fevers etc. The crushed bulb is applied externally as a poultice to swellings, bruises, wounds, sores etc. A poultice of the flowers is applied to spider bites.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Bulb


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
June
to July

Habitat of the herb:

Heavy, often somewhat alkaline, meadows to montane forest. Usually found in drier woodlands on acid sandy loams.

Edible parts of Wood Lily:

Bulb - cooked. Used as a potato substitute. Starchy and slightly sweet. Rather small, it is up to 25mm in diameter.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - immediate epigeal germination. Sow thinly in pots from late winter to early spring in a cold frame. Should germinate in 2 - 4 weeks. One report suggests that the seed might have delayed hypogeal germination. In this case it would be best to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame because stored seed would require a warm/cold/warm cycle of stratification before the seed would germinate. Great care should be taken in pricking out the young seedlings, many people prefer to 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 Wood Lily:

Heavy, often somewhat alkaline, meadows to montane forest. Usually found in drier woodlands on acid sandy loams.

Known hazards of Lilium philadelphicum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.