Lilium michauxii

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Carolina Lily
Lilium michauxii.jpg
Lilium michauxii (at left)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Lilium
Species: L. michauxii
Binomial name
Lilium michauxii
  • Lilium carolinianum Michx. 1803, illegitimate homonym not Bosc ex Lam. 1792
  • Lilium autumnale G.Lodd.
  • Lilium michauxianum Schult. & Schult.f.
  • Lilium lockettii Featherm.

Lilium michauxii, commonly known as the Carolina lily[3] can be found in the Southeastern United States from southern Virginia in the north to the Florida Panhandle in the south to eastern Texas in the west.[4] It is most common in July and August but can be found blooming as late as October. It was named for the French botanist André Michaux, who traveled and did extensive research throughout the Southeast.[5]

The common name "Carolina lily" reflects an older taxonomy that used the name Lilium carolinianum for both L. michauxii and L. catesbaei.[3][6] Another common name, Turk's cap lily, has been listed for L. michauxii,[3] although L. superbum (which is very similar in appearance to L. michauxii) shares this common name.[3]

The Carolina lily can grow to 3½ feet tall with flowers 3–4 inches across. It is the only fragrant lily east of the Rocky Mountains. Its petals bend backward and are spotted. Colors range from yellow through orange to red for background petal color and from red through purple to brown for the spots.[7]

The Carolina lily is the official state wildflower of North Carolina.


  1. ^ 1880 illustration by Walter Hood Fitch (1817 - 1892) Scanned from: Henry John Elwes: A monograph of the genus Lilium; illustrated by W.H. Fitch. Taylor and Francis, London 1880
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ a b c d Bailey, L.H.; Bailey, E.Z.; the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. Macmillan, New York.
  4. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  5. ^ Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monnet de 1814. Encyclopédie Méthodique. Botanique Supplément 3(2): 457 in Latin
  6. ^ Bailey, L.H. 1929. The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture : A discussion, for the amateur, and the professional and commercial grower, of the kinds, characteristics and methods of cultivation of the species of plants grown in the regions of the United States and Canada for ornament, for fancy, for fruit and for vegetables; with keys to the natural families and genera, descriptions of the horticultural capabilities of the states and provinces and dependent islands, and sketches of eminent horticulturists. The MacMillan Company, New York.
  7. ^ Flora of North America Vol. 26 Page 195 Carolina lily Lilium michauxii Poiret in J. Lamarck et al., Encycl., Suppl. 3: 457. 1814.

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