Lilium Superbum (Turk's-Cap Lily)

Lilium Superbum Seeds (Turk's-Cap Lily Seeds)

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Candelabras of orange trumpets so tall you look up into the flowers. They are simply stunning!

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Lilium Superbum or Turk’s - cap lily is also known as Turkscap Lily and Turkscaplily, rarely as Swamp Lily. Turk's cap lily belongs to the Liliaceae family and is native to eastern North America from New Hampshire south to Georgia and Alabama. This is a plant that will make the most jaded gardener stop dead in their tracks. Candelabras of orange trumpets so tall you look up into the flowers. They are simply stunning! This is an herbaceous plant; it is a perennial which can reach a height of 10 ft (3 m). The stem is stiff and straight. Lilium Superbum blooms the earliest, is the largest, and has the most numerous and largest flowers. The leaves are lanceolate and they can reach 7 in (18 cm) in length and be as wide as 1 in (3 cm). They are arranged in whorls around the stems with three to twenty leaves per whorl. The upper leaves or bracts may be alternate. Turk's cap-type flowers are 2.5-4 in (5-8 cm) wide, orange and yellow with darker spots sometimes reddish and white. All the flowers have a green star in the center of the flower witch is an identifying feature of the plant. The sepals and petals are almost identical, 3.5 in (9 cm) long and sharply flexed and curved backward to touch at the stem thus forming a "Turk's cap". There may be from one to as many as forty or more "nodding" flowers (tending to face down) in loose inflorescence atop upright stems. The plant usually flaunts its unique flowers from July to September. Lilium Superbum Turk's cap lily is pollinated primarily by butterflies and fritillaries. Hardiness zones: 3 - 9. (-37c/-35f, -5c/25f) Lilium Superbum Turk's cap lily is easily grown in average, medium wet to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to partial sun and does best in consistently moist, rich in humus soils. Mulch helps prevent soils drying out and keep the root zone cool. The plant can be found growing wild in openings in rich woods, swamp edges and bottoms, stream sides, moist meadows and thickets. Turk's cap lily often spreads to form impressive colonies in the wild but may be slow to spread in cultivation if given less than optimum growing conditions. Lilium Superbum Turk's Cap Lily is best in groups or masses and can be used for borders in native plant gardens, meadows, or cottage gardens and is a good plant for moist low spots and pond edges.
Label Lilium superbum
Common name Turk's-Cap Lily
Family No
Genus Lilium
Species Lilium superbum
Cultivar No
Therapeutic uses No
Germination Sowing the Superbum seeds outdoors in the spring and waiting one year for germination is the easiest method. For faster results, soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water. Sow the seeds about 1mm deep in a Peaty seed sowing mix at about 22°C, for 90 days. If they don’t germinate, put the pot in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 90 days before bringing them back into a warm location for germination. Remove the plastic as soon as the first ‘‘hairpin’’ shoot shows and place in good light.


Water and light are all the seedlings will need for awhile. When most of the seed has sprouted, you may start feeding about every two weeks with dilute liquid fertilizer… organic fish emulsion is good. These first grass-like leaves are call cotyledons. The true leaves, which are broader, will appear in about four more weeks and in rapid succession from then on. Seedlings grown indoors will need to adjust to the brighter light and cooler temperatures before planting out. A protected place, out of wind and full sun for a couple of weeks, should condition them for their new outdoor life.


Set them directly into a raised nursery bed of carefully prepared soil, spacing the seedlings individually about six inches apart. Watered in with a ‘‘starter solution’’ and shaded for a few days, the little babies will grow merrily on as if nothing had happened. For those who hesitate to handle such young seedlings and fear a possible setback if the roots are disturbed, the containers may be placed in the cold frame until fall. The plants may take three years to reach their full size. Turk's cap lily bulbs should be planted 4 to 6 inches deep. Germination can take longer. Be patient!
Scarification / Stratification No

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