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Vascular Plants of California
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Lilium columbianum


Higher Taxonomy
Family: LiliaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: LILY FAMILY
Habit: Perennial herb from membranous bulb or scaly rhizome. Stem: underground or erect, branched or not. Leaf: basal or cauline, alternate, subopposite, or whorled. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, +- umbel-like or not. Flower: perianth parts 6 in 2 generally petal-like whorls, often showy; stamens 3 or 6, filaments free or +- fused to perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or +- so, style 1, entire or 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule or berry. Seed: 3--many, flat or angled, brown to black.
Genera In Family: 16 genera, 635 species: northern temperate. Note: Users strongly encouraged to protect plants by working around need to see underground parts in using keys, e.g., by trying both leads in couplets solely dependent on such characters. Muscari botryoides (L.) Mill. an historical waif in California. Other TJM (1993) taxa moved to Agavaceae (Agave, Camassia, Chlorogalum, Hastingsia, Hesperocallis, Hesperoyucca, Leucocrinum, Yucca), Alliaceae (Allium, Ipheion, Nothoscordum), Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis, Narcissus, Pancratium), Asparagaceae (Asparagus), Asphodelaceae (Aloe, Asphodelus, Kniphofia), Melanthiaceae (Pseudotrillium, Stenanthium, Toxicoscordion, Trillium, Veratrum, Xerophyllum), Nartheciaceae (Narthecium), Ruscaceae (Maianthemum, Nolina), Smilacaceae (Smilax), Tecophilaeaceae (Odontostomum), Themidaceae (Androstephium, Bloomeria, Brodiaea, Dichelostemma, Muilla, Triteleia), and Tofieldiaceae (Triantha). North American species of Disporum now in Prosartes.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: LiliumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: LILY
Habit: Plant from bulb-like, scaly rhizomes (called bulbs here for brevity), generally not clonal, +- glabrous; bulb scale segments 2--many, if segmented. Stem: erect. Leaf: > 12, +- whorled (often some alternate), sessile, spreading with drooping tips to ascending, generally +- elliptic; veins generally 3; stipule 0. Inflorescence: flowers axillary, 1--40+; bracts generally 2 per flower. Flower: generally radial, generally bell- or funnel-shaped; perianth parts 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, +- lanceolate, base narrowed, generally red-purple-spotted adaxially; stamens 6, generally exceeding to much exceeding perianth, anthers attached at middle (measures are after dehiscence); style 1, stigma 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule, erect, generally +- smooth, loculicidal. Seed: many, flat, in 6 stacks. Chromosomes: n=12.
Etymology: (Greek: lily) Note: Variable, hybridization common. Many species declining from habitat destruction, collecting; few thrive in gardens. Generally flowers May--Aug.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mark W. Skinner
Unabridged Reference: Skinner 1988 Ph.D. Dissertation Harvard Univ
Lilium columbianum Leichtlin
Habit: Plant < 1.7 m, glaucous or not; bulb erect-ovoid to oblique-elongate, scales (1)2--3(4--5)-segmented, longest 3--7.3 cm. Leaf: in 1--9 whorls, generally ascending, 1.5--16 cm, +- oblanceolate to +- obovate or not; margin generally wavy. Inflorescence: flowers 1--25(45), pendent to nodding. Flower: widely bell-shaped, not fragrant; perianth parts 3.4--7.1 cm, reflexed in distal 50--60%, orange (often +- red abaxially); stamens +- exceeding perianth, filaments spreading, anthers 5--13 mm, +- yellow, pollen orange or yellow; pistil 2.4--3.7 cm. Fruit: 2--5.4 cm.
Ecology: Dry scrub, coastal prairie, gaps and roadsides in conifer forest especially along coast; Elevation: < 1300 m. Bioregional Distribution: nw NW; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul Note: Variable. Hybridizes with Lilium pardalinum subsp. vollmeri, Lilium pardalinum subsp. wigginsii; possibly with Lilium kelloggii in Del Norte Co. along Highway 199 near Oregon border.
Synonyms: Lilium canadense L. var. parviflorum Hook.; Lilium lucidum Kellogg; Lilium parviflorum (Hook.) Holz.
Unabridged Note: Variable. In California pollinated mostly by Selasphorus hummingbirds. To the northern flowers smaller, stamens more exserted, and Papilio swallowtails become more important pollinators. Hybridizes with Lilium pardalinum subsp. vollmeri and Lilium pardalinum subsp. wigginsii, often with Lilium occidentale in Oregon. May hybridize with Lilium kelloggii in Del Norte Co. along Highway 199 near OR border.
Jepson eFlora Author: Mark W. Skinner
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Lilium bolanderi
Next taxon: Lilium humboldtii

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Citation for this treatment: Mark W. Skinner 2012, Lilium columbianum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 22, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 22, 2024.

Lilium columbianum
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©2016 Neal Kramer
Lilium columbianum
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©1995 Gary A. Monroe
Lilium columbianum
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©1995 Gary A. Monroe
Lilium columbianum
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©2022 California Academy of Sciences
Lilium columbianum
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©2016 Keir Morse

More photos of Lilium columbianum
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Lilium columbianum:
nw NW
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map of distribution 1

(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurrence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.

View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).