Cooper Marsh, Lancaster, Ontario, Canada
July 3, 2011. Almost a year to the day when the one below was photographed on July 4, 2010!
185 views as of 7/30/11
Lily family (Liliaceae)
This plant is on the endangered species list of COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada).
With thanks to www.illinoiswildflowers.info
This perennial wildflower is 2-4’ tall and unbranched, except near the apex where the flowers occur. The central stem is light green, terete, glabrous, and often glaucous. At intervals along this stem, there are whorls of 3-8 leaves; 1 or 2 alternate leaves may occur along the upper portion of the stem. These leaves are up to 6" long and 1" across, narrowly ovate, smooth along the margins, and sessile. The upper surface of each leaf is medium to dark green and glabrous, while the lower surface is a lighter shade of green with finely short-pubescent hairs along the veins (a 10x hand lens may be necessary to see these minute hairs). The veins of the leaves are parallel. The upper stem terminates in 1-5 (rarely up to 20) yellow-orange to red-orange flowers on long stalks. Each of these stalks nods downward at its apex. Some stalks may have 1 or 2 leafy bracts that resemble the leaves, except they are smaller in size. Each trumpet-shaped flower is about 2½" long and across, consisting of 6 tepals, 6 stamens with red anthers, and a central pistil. The throat of the flower becomes yellow and it has purple dots. The tips of the tepals curve backward, but they don’t extend to the base of the flower. The anthers and style of each flower are exerted only slightly from the corolla (the 6 tepals). The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer and lasts about 3 weeks. There is no noticeable floral scent. Each fertile flower is replaced by an oblongoid seed capsule that is about 2" long. Each seed capsule is divided into 3 cells; within each cell, there is a stack of large flattened seeds. The root system consists of a scaly corm with fibrous roots. This wildflower reproduces by seed or from offsets of the corms.
The floral nectar attracts large butterflies, particularly Speyeria cybele (Great Spangled Fritillary) and various Swallowtail butterflies. Halictid bees (e.g., Lasioglossum spp.) collect pollen from the flowers, but they are ineffective at cross-pollination because of their small size. The caterpillars of Papaipema nebris (Common Borer Moth), Papaipema cataphracta (Burdock Borer Moth), and Papaipema cerina (Golden Borer Moth) bore through the stems of native Lilium spp. (lilies). The last of these three species is oligophagous (specialist feeder). Other insects that feed on native lilies include Acrolepiopsis incertella (Carrion Flower Moth; caterpillars bore into corms or stems of lilies), Merodon equestris (Narcissus Bulb Fly; maggots feed on corms), and the introduced Lilioceris lilii (Lily Leaf Beetle; feeds on leaves). The Lily Leaf Beetle occurs in some northeastern states, but it has not been observed in Illinois thus far. Deer, rabbits, and other mammalian herbivores readily browse on the foliage of native Lilies, while voles and chipmunks eat the corms.
Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 170 to 500 at 230 mm
iso 100, spot metered, F5.6, 1/40 second