Every year I hear people talking about finding tiger lilies along the roadside, but what they are really referring to are orange ditch lilies. While they both grow in similar locations and are both orange, they are distinctly different flowers.
The tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium and Lilium tigrinum) produces clusters of bright-orange blooms speckled with black or crimson dots. The bloom faces downward with its petals folding backward to expose the center of the flower. Tiger lily blooms are long-lasting. Foliage lines the stem of the flowers. Tiger lilies reproduce via underground bulbs.
The orange ditch lily (Hemerocallis fulva) produces bold, orange blooms atop a slender stem. Although there are several buds atop each stem, each opens for only one day. As the petals shrivel and fall from the plant, a new bloom opens to take it's place. Foliage is grass-like and separate from the flower stem. Orange ditch lilies do not have spots. Ditch lilies have tuberous roots.
Tiger Lilies and Orange Ditch Lilies are both attractive flowers that can be found growing wild along roadsides in early to midsummer.
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