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 lancifolium Thunb.

Fully-hardy, robust, stem-rooting, clump-forming lily with dark purple stems and narrowly lance-shaped leaves, developing bulbils in the axils, and up to 40 unscented, nodding, turkscap, orange-red flowers with dark purple spots, in racemes in summer and autumn.  To 1.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A splendid species which has not yet found a place in any general system of vegetables.  We have borrowed the name intended for it in the approaching edition of Hortus Kewensis. […] Hardy enough to thrive in the open ground, and will soon become common, being rapidly propagated by the bulbs produced in the axils of the leaves, as well as those by the mother bulb. […] Introduced into Kew Gardens from the former country, by Mr. W. Ker, in 1804.’  [BM t.1237/1809].  Lilium lancifolium was raised in large quantities for thousands of years as an article of food in China, Japan and Korea.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.319/1843].  Received per ‘Sovereign’ in February 1831 under the name of Tiger lily.  [MP A2948].


See also Notes under Lilium aurantiacum Pax. and, for discussion of the confusion of nomenclature between this species and Lilium speciosum Thunb., see the latter.

Published Dec 27, 2009 - 04:32 PM | Last updated Jan 07, 2010 - 01:17 PM

Figured are nodding, orange turk's-cap lilies with dark spots.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1237, 1809.

Lilium lancifolium Thunb. | BM t.1237/1809 as Lilium tigrinum | BHL

Family Liliaceae
Region of origin

East Asia

  • Lilium tigrinum Ker-Gawl.
  • Lilium sinense Hort. ex Steud.
  • Lilium speciosum Andr.
Common Name

Tiger lily, Devil lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Lilium tigrinum 

Confidence level high