Wood Lily
Wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum) plants grow in a single stem and can reach 1 to 3 feet tall. The leaves are in a whorled pattern around the stem, and the top of the stem can carry up to five flowers.
Botanical Name: Lilium philadelphicum
Nom Français: Lis de Philadelphie


Bloom colour: Orange | Red
Blooms: Summer - Zone 5
Pollinators: Bees
Sun or Shade: Partial Sun
Plant Type: Perennial
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter)
Widely distributed from British Columbia to Quebec, and many parts of the United States
It grows well in hardiness zones:

Wood Lily is red-orange with dark purple spots and blooms 1 to 4 cup shaped flowers at the top of a single stem. It is a perennial that blooms from July to August.


Meadows, damp woods with dappled light, grasslands, sandplains.
Water requirement: Moist
Well draining, rich
It is possible to grow Wood Lilies but you must get your bulbs from a reputable source who specializes in rare plants and who can provide local lilies. It is best to prepare the soil with lots of compost. In the fall, bury the bulbs about 3 times their thickness and they will bloom come spring.


In the growing season, water frequently and apply fertilizer every 2 weeks. Apply a thin layer of compost and mulch in the spring to retain moisture and control weeds. As flowers fade, cut back stems to the base of the plant.
White-tailed deer and rabbits are attracted to Wood Lily and it may require protection.


Spread: 2-4 inches
One way to propogate your Wood Lilies is to dig up the bulbs when the foliage has died down. Store the bulbs until the fall. Split the bulblets from each bulb and plant in a seperate location. Another way to propogate is by seed. The other way to propagate wood lily is through seeds. Let the flowers dry out until they’re brittle. Snap off the seed pods and store them in an envelope. Place in a bag in the refrigerator until late fall. Keep them in a warm spot throughout the winter. Plant in spring.


The Wood Lily is also known as The Red Lilly and Prairie Lily. The bulbs are said to have an exceptional flavour. You can also eat the seeds and flowers of this plant, but be aware that not all lily varieties are edible. They also attract birds, butterflies and bees.
Native to Canada
Toxic to cats.

Styling and Use

Wood Lilies grow in either shade or sun. Make sure the soil is well drained, as puddles can cause the bulbs to rot.


It is the floral emblem of the province of Saskatchewan, and is on the flag of Saskatchewan. As the Saskatchewan provincial floral emblem, it is protected under the Provincial Emblems and Honours Act, and cannot be picked, uprooted or destroyed in any manner.


Wood Lily used to be more common but has diminished due to tourists visiting the mountains and picking them. In 1941, the western red lily was chosen as the official flower of Saskatchewan. Many tribes used the bulbs of the Wood Lily for food and medicine.

GardeningCalendar.ca is supported by its readers and advertisers. If you purchase through a link on this site, the site may earn a commission.

If you like the work we are doing, you can also support the site by becoming a member.