Columbia Lily or Turkscap

Columbia Lily, Turk's Cap or Wild Tiger Lily, Lilium columbianum
Columbia Lily growing in profusion at beautiful Cumberland Pass, photographer Martha Rasmussen

This strikingly beautiful wildflower grows along the backroads of the Darrington area, along trails  and open meadows where it can capture a little moisture and sunlight.  The Turk's Cap is widely distributed through southern British Columbia, southward to northern California and somewhat dispersed throughout the Columbia Valley.

Columbia Lily cluster from a single stem, photographer Martha Rasmussen

The Columbia Lily grows up to 5 feet but usually averages heights of around 3 feet. In the high alpines the height may be as little as 1.5 feet. Sturdy stems arise from the corms of a bulb in late spring with bladed leaves. At the end of each stem are 1 to 5 flowers gracefully arched downward by separate stems.

Columbia Lily showing the corolla & anthers, photographer Martha Rasmussen

The flowers begin to bloom June and later into the season in higher elevations.  The flowers are a showy bright yellow to deep orange color ornamented with maroon spots around the throat.  Shortly after opening the tepels will curl back exposing chocolate-purple anthers and pronounced corolla.