Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Is it a Leopard or a Tiger?

The native lilies that look like this are Lilium pardalinum, and the species name means leopard.  The cultivated lily that looks like this and that you might buy in a nursery is most likely Lilium tigrinum, and that species name means tiger.  Does that settle it?  Not really.  So many people use the names interchangeably and do not know one from the other anyway, that the question is probably only important to botanists.  When leading people on hikes in our local forests where I know we will only encounter L. pardalinum, I always say Leopard Lily, except when I don't.  :)  We do have a few other native species of lilies that look more or less like this one except for size and a few other details, but don't forget to enjoy their beauty.

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