The Carolina Lily. Photograph by Martha Baskin, courtesy of the North Carolina Native Plant Society

Have you ever seen a Carolina Lily? Did you know it is North Carolina’s official state wildflower? But take care to avoid mistaking it for its larger cousin, the Turk’s Cap lily. The gorgeous Carolina lily grows up to 3 feet tall. Its 3-4” flowers display colors ranging from yellow through orange to red, and are covered with purplish-brown spots. Like the Turk’s Cap lily, its petals bend backwards, resembling a traditional Turkish cap. Look for it blooming in dry woodland areas in July and August. Its formal Latin name is lilium michauxii, after the French botanist Andre Michaux who collected plant samples throughout the Southeast in the late 18th century. Although claimed by North Carolina, the Carolina Lily grows in 12 other Southeastern states.


For more information on the Carolina Lily and other Native Plants please visit the Native North Carolina Native Plants Society

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