Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Lilium parvum (Sierra Tiger Lily, Ditch Lily)


Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Liliaceae Lily family
Genus Lilium L. lily
Species Lilium parvum Kellogg Sierra tiger lily

Photo credit: John Loganecker

Sierra Tiger Lily or Alpine Lily is native to the Sierra Nevada region of California, east into Nevada and on occasion a bit north into Oregon. Preferring forest regions, mountainous and in lower elevations of willow thickets, streams, wet meadows particularly where streams flow through conifers.

Flowers of this lilium species are on the small side and more bell shaped than is usual in this family. Flower colors depend on the location of the plant. They can be yellow-orange to dark orange-red with lighter orange or yellow centers. Petals can be spotted with purple and/or brown. In the foothills of California's El Dorado County there is a variety with lighter pink flowers. To make it more confusing, Lilium parvum hybridizes with other lilies, as do most of the members of this clan. Whatever the color, in the middle of June through August the flowers come and steal our hearts.


Photo credits: above left and right, Mrs. W D Bransford; above center, Holmes O. Miller

For a short comparison of northwest native lilies, click here.

The USDA PLANTS database under Wetland Indicator Status has this announcement:

NOTE: On June 1, 2012, the 2012 National Wetland Plant List superseded the information below (see Federal Register, May 9, 2012, 77(90): 27210-27214[https://federalregister.gov/a/2012-11176]). For updated wetland information about this species, see the latest wetland list.

Thanks to the following resources:

Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilium_parvum

Flora of North America, www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101742

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The University of Texas at Austin, www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=LIPA3

Contact:  star@chillirose.com ~ Copyright 2012 Wallace W. Hansen ~ All rights reserved