Here’s where you get a glimpse into the Lemon Lily itself. Our restoration committee is made up of botanists, conservationists, hobbyists, and ecologists. Each member of our dedicated group will be happy to share their knowledge about the Lemon Lily, its habitat, and how we go about restoring it to the mountains surrounding Idyllwild.
Why Restore The Lemon Lily?
The lemon lily, one of our most spectacular local wildflowers, is rare and uncommon but not on the endangered species list. .
Lily enthusiasts world-wide know about the Lemon Lily; it has been used extensively in breeding programs to produce some of the most beautiful garden cultivars. At least three lily hybrids have been developed by crossing the lemon lily with other kinds of lilies and then reproducing them either by seed, bulb, or tissue culture. One of these hybrids is named, “San Gabriel”. By developing hybrids that will grow in lower elevations and different environments, low-land lily lovers will have access to plants that are at least in part, “Lemon Lilies”
Genetically variable populations in the wild are important for lemon lilies to persist; lilies must have a pollinator to produce seed. Available information suggests that sphinx moths (Hyles lineata and Sphinx perelegans) are the main pollinators. It makes sense; the lemon lily flowers are the most fragrant at dusk when moths would be flying.
Habit: slender-stemmed perennial growing to 5′ tall
Habitat: moist, springy areas, wet meadows and along shaded stream banks from 4000′ to 9000′
Range: Southern California
Propagation: from seed or bulb
Full description from calflora.net:
“The Lemon lily is a slender-stemmed perennial growing to 5′ tall in moist, springy areas, wet meadows and along shaded stream banks from 4000′ to 9000′. The leaves tend to be somewhat scattered in young plants and as they age develop into 1-8 whorls. The individual leaves are usually quite linear and are 3″-6″ long. There are 1-several showy fragrant flowers which are bright lemon-yellow in color with occasional maroon spots, and six perienth segments, with the sepals and petals appearing much the same. The tips of these segments are turned back but not as much as with Lilium humboldtii. The stamens are about the same length as the perianth, but because the perianth parts are reflexed, they generally appear exserted. The anthers are a pale magenta-brown and the pistil is about 4″ long. Although uncommon, it may be found in montane coniferous forest in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mts, and in the Peninsular Range. It blooms from July to August.”
The Lemon Lily Committee is focused on restoring the Lemon Lily to the San Jacinto Mountains. We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization which relies solely on the proceeds from the festival and the generous support of donors and sponsors. Without their kind generosity, we could not continue this mission to protect and promote our beautiful surroundings. Please consider making a donation today via PayPal (no account required).