Don’t Let Your Cats Near This Flower

 

Wood Lily

Lilium philadelphicum[i]

DSC_0990

Wildflowers

Yep, that’s right, this plant could get your cat sick, or possibly even kill your beloved pet.[ii] Apparently, many types of lilies are toxic to cats, and it is all parts of the plant that are toxic to them.[iii] But unlike cats, the bulbs of the wood lily are considered edible for humans, and were gathered for food by Native Americans.[iv] However, I have no idea what it tastes like, and apparently sources seem to be contradictory on what it tastes like. I guess taste buds vary widely when it comes to this plant.

Characteristics:

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of this plant is the large brilliant orange flower with dark spots. It grows to from about one foot to about three feet tall and has alternating whorled leaves growing from the central stem.[v] Each plant has one to five flowers, which bloom in the summer months.[vi] Wood lilies like dry soils in forested areas, and are found in most of the eastern ¾ of the United States and Southern Canada, with the notable exception of large areas in the southeast United States.[vii]

The plant is protected in large parts of its range[viii] due to it being over picked.[ix]

Note: After seeing the flower at Wells State Park this week, I really wanted to blog about it. What disappointed me was the dearth of interesting information about this plant. Also, I found some contradictory information about it as well (mostly about the favor of the plant) and there was no information about it at all in edible plant books I had to settle for field guides and online information. It was almost as if some nature writers wanted to either poison or starve readers out there. I just had to make do with what I could find. I’m really not happy with today’s blog.

[i] Author Unknown “Lilium philadelphicum” Wikipedia 10JUL2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilium_philadelphicum

[ii] Author Unknown “Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants” ASPCA. 2016. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/wood-lily 05JUL2016

[iii] Author Unknown “Keeping Cats Safe – Lilies” International Cat Care. 2015, International Cat Care http://icatcare.org/advice/keeping-cats-safe/lilies 05JUL2016

[iv] Theriet, John W. (revising author) Neiring, William, A. and Olmstead, Nancy C. “National Audubon Society Field Guild to Wildflowers” 2003. Chanticleer Press New York, pg 606-7

[v] Theriet, John W. (revising author) Neiring, William, A. and Olmstead, Nancy C. “National Audubon Society Field Guild to Wildflowers” 2003. Chanticleer Press New York, pg 606-7

[vi] Theriet, John W. (revising author) Neiring, William, A. and Olmstead, Nancy C. “National Audubon Society Field Guild to Wildflowers” 2003. Chanticleer Press New York, pg 606-7

[vii] Theriet, John W. (revising author) Neiring, William, A. and Olmstead, Nancy C. “National Audubon Society Field Guild to Wildflowers” 2003. Chanticleer Press New York, pg 606-7

[viii] Author Unknown “Lilium philadelphicum” Wikipedia 10JUL2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilium_philadelphicum

[ix]  Author Unknown “Lilium philadelphicum” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center  http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=LIPH 10JUL2016

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