Turk’s-cap lily

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The Turk’s-cap lily (Lilium superbum) is the largest native North American lily, and ours is just beginning to bloom. It’s now 7 feet tall with three separate stalks, five blossoms and about twenty buds.

Turk's-cap lily

While waiting for the blooms, I’ve been enjoying the whorled leaves that encircle the stalk at close intervals.

Turk's-cap lily leaves

However, it’s the beautiful blossoms that attract oohs and aahs, as well as hummingbirds, sphinx moths, and swallowtail butterflies.

Turk's-cap lily close-up

It took five years before it first bloomed in 2011, and the number of stalks and blooms has increased steadily since then. I look forward to keeping an eye on it these next few weeks, and seeing what visitors it attracts.

10 thoughts on “Turk’s-cap lily”

  1. Every flower I see I find myself thinking, “Could anything be more
    beautiful?” But, if I HAD TO CHOOSE a favorite, it would undoubtedly be the
    Turk’s-cap lily.
    As always, your photos and information enrich my life. Thank You!

    1. Thanks, Beth. I’m imagining the Turk’s-cap lily is quite honored to be your favorite. (smile)

  2. SO love this native lily! I planted one about 6 years ago, it forms buds each year but the flowers abort before they open, for some reason. The soil is just “downstream” from our horse paddocks so perhaps the soil is just too rich for them. So disappointing to see the buds fail to open! Maybe I will try them in a different spot. Thanks for sharing, Betty!


    1. Ellen, can imagine how disappointing this must be. Seems very puzzling. Trying in a different spot seems worth a try. Hope you can eventually get some blooms.

  3. Betty, I cannot believe that you could nurture it for 5 years before it bloomed! You are amazing. I am trying to learn a little about lilies. Mine put in two years ago were much better this year.

    1. Dobree, The first two years it sorta ‘sat’ there so I moved it to a sunnier spot. Then after 2 more years I must admit I was about ready to give up on it. Glad I didn’t!

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