Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Turk’s Cap Lily

Turk’s Cap Lily

Lilium superbum

Part sun, moderately wet to medium moisture level, deep rich soil, moderately acid to neutral pH.  3-9 ft. height, blooms in summer, reddish orange flowers, spreads by stolons and will naturalize under optimum growing conditions.

Germination Code:  E.  Requires several years to flower from seed.

Native Region:  Blue Ridge Province

Tallest of the native American lilies.  Can be difficult to grow unless conditions are ideal.  Mulch to help keep root zone cool in summer.  A spectacular and desirable lily to have if you can meet its needs.  Attracts hummingbirds.

flower;sun/shade;wet;loam
flower;sun/shade;medium;loam

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3 responses to “Turk’s Cap Lily

  1. joystewart December 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    This is one of my “dream flowers.” It is a gorgeous plant and at 6 feet tall, stops you dead in your tracks when you see it. I used to grow it in Wisconsin in the days when I lived there and could find a supplier easily. I had great success in average garden loam with average moisture even though it is generally a wetland plant. Now that I am in Tennessee and have heavy clay and my supplier no longer carries established, well rooted plants, I have had to give it up. :( If you have a decent loamy soil that isn’t too dry, don’t be afraid to try this one. If I recall correctly, it takes up to 4 years to get from a little rooted seedling to a blooming plant, so be careful to buy established plants if you can find them.

  2. Becky Buchberger July 23, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    I’m a new TN resident and have found one on the roadside near me. A local native-plant nursery built a sunny wildflower garden in my front yard, but didn’t include the Turks Cap Lilly. Anyone think I can transplant it safely to my new bed?

    • joystewart July 25, 2017 at 2:21 am

      I know the plant must be tempting but there are many reasons not to dig it up. I believe that digging up wild flowers on state, federal or private land is a crime in Tennessee. You should do some research first to verify this. Also the USDA Forest Service lists 4 important reasons not to dig up wildflowers: 1. Most flowers don’t survive the process. 2. It negatively affects plant species’ ability to reproduce. 3. It is bad for pollinators who depend on these plants. 4. It prevents other people from enjoying the plant. All are good reasons not to dig it up even if it was legal. I hope you will reconsider. If we can help you find a nursery where you can buy them, we would love to do that for you! Although it is difficult to find such nurseries, they do exist. I have been thinking about doing just that, so I could do it for both of us if you would like. Thank you for posting this relevant question!

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