Herb: Swamp Lily

Latin name: Lilium superbum

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Edible parts of Swamp Lily:

Bulb - cooked. A starchy and slightly sweet taste. Fleshy. Used like potatoes or as a thickener in soups. The bulb is up to 5cm in diameter.

Description of the plant:


2.4 m
(7 3/4 foot)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Peaty meadows, swales, wet sands and swampy woods.

Propagation of Swamp Lily:

Seed - delayed hypogeal germination. Best sown as soon as 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 the herb:

Peaty meadows, swales, wet sands and swampy woods.

Medicinal use of Swamp Lily:

None known

Known hazards of Lilium superbum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.