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Lilium occidentale

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Lilium occidentale

Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Lilium
Species: L. occidentale
Binomial name
Lilium occidentale
Purdy

Lilium occidentale is a rare species of lily known by the common name western lily. It is native to northern California and southern Oregon, where it is known from 28 locations all within six miles of the coast.[1] It grows in coastal prairie habitat, swamps and stagnant bogs with Drosera species, bluffs and sandy cliffs, and seaside spruce forests. This rare wildflower is limited in distribution and directly endangered by a number of environmental factors; it is a federally listed endangered species and it is listed as endangered by the states of California and Oregon.

This is a perennial herb sometimes exceeding two meters in height. It grows from a scaly, elongated bulb which may be nearly 10 centimeters long. The leaves grow in a series of whorls around the stem. They may be linear to oval in shape and over 20 centimeters long. The inflorescence bears up to 35 showy nodding lily flowers. The flower has 6 recurved tepals each up to 8 centimeters long, sometimes curled back into complete rings. The tepals are usually red to orange to yellow-green, generally bicolored with more red on the inside and more greenish yellow on the outer surfaces. They are often spotted. There are six stamens with large red anthers up to 1.4 centimeters long, and a pistil which may be more than 5 centimeters in length. The flower is pollinated chiefly by hummingbirds, including Allen's hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin).[2]

Threats to this species have included grazing and trampling by livestock, development and ranching, cranberry farming, genetic drift, vehicles and road maintenance, and horticultural collecting of the bulbs and flowers. New sprouts and shoots dry out quickly and are easily crushed. The invasion of trees into the plant's habitat, either by natural succession or deliberate planting and fire suppression, can alter the hydrology and soil structure enough to eliminate it.[1] When the plant was listed as an endangered species in 1994, there were 2000 to 3000 individuals remaining.[3]

References

External links

  • Jepson Manual Treatment
  • USDA Plants Profile
  • Photo gallery
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