E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lilium columbianum Leichtlin
tiger lily (Columbia lily)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rosemary Taylor  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20508)

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Distribution of Lilium columbianum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from an egg-shaped, fleshy-scaled, white bulb 3-5 cm long; stems 40-120 cm tall, sturdy, smooth.
Usually in several whorls of 6 to 9, the upper and lowermost stem leaves often scattered and alternate, lanceolate, 4-10 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide, smooth.
Inflorescence of several to many, large, showy, nodding flowers in a terminal raceme; flowers yellow-orange to reddish-orange with dark red or purple spots about the centre, bell-shaped, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals broadly lanceolate, 4-6 cm long, about 1 cm wide, strongly bent back; stamens 6; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, erect, barrel-shaped, sharply 6-angled, 3-5 cm long; seeds numerous, flattened.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic open forests, roadsides, clearings, thickets and meadows in the lowland and steppe to alpine zones; common throughout S BC south of 54degreeN; S to ID and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lilium columbianum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 10 1095 2100
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 150
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 191 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(3), CDF(9), CWH(62), ESSF(168), ICH(321), IDF(258), MH(8), MS(209), PP(5), SBPS(68), SBS(236)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, Western North American forb distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Occurs on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-medium soils within bo­real, cool temperate, and cool mesothermal climates. Scattered in early-seral communi­ties, occasional in forested communities on water-shedding, often on colluvial. sites. Characteristic of open-canopy, young-seral forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lilium canadense var. parviflorum Hook.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References