Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Lilium canadense L.

Fully-hardy lily with rhizomatous bulbs, whorls of lance-shaped leaves and, in summer, umbels, occasionally racemes, of up to 30 faintly-scented, trumpet-shaped, yellow flowers, spotted inside with maroon.  To 1.6m.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘There are two varieties, one of a yellow, the other of a deep red-brown colour; it also varies with from one to twelve flowers.  Is said by Parkinson to have been brought by the French colony from Canada into France, and from thence to us in 1629.  Catesby found it in Pensylvania, and Michaux in the Alleghany mountains of Carolina and Virginia.  Flowers in July and August; should as well as superbum be kept in bog-earth in a somewhat shady and moist situation; is tolerably hardy and propagates abundantly by its bulbs, which are of a creeping nature; in very severe winters these are sometimes destroyed, unless protected by a covering of ashes or old tan.

Our drawing was taken at the Botanic Garden, Brompton, from a specimen of the more rare and less beautiful variety which had blown rather weakly from being planted in too small a pot.’  [BM t.800/1804]. 

The deep orange coloured form is figured at BM t.858/1805 and Lilium canadense flavum at FS f.1174/1856.  BF p.210/1840.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.301/1843].  Received per ‘Sovereign’, February 1831.  [MP A2948].


Lilium canadense Thunb. (1784) probably = Lilium medeoloides A.Gray, a Japanese species.

Published Dec 28, 2009 - 08:43 AM | Last updated Jan 07, 2010 - 01:18 PM

Figured are lance-shaped leaves and a single, nodding, yellow trumpet-shaped flower.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.800, 1804.

Lilium canadense L. | BM t.800/1804 | BHL

Family Liliaceae
Region of origin

North America

Common Name

Meadow lily, Canadian lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Lilium Canadense

Confidence level high