Lemon Lily or Parry’s Lily, Lilium parryi, is named in honor of Dr. Charles Christopher Parry, a renowned botanist who was among the first to collect it in the summer of 1876.
Lilium parryi of the Family Liliaceae is a perennial herb which grows from a bulb with a stem reaching a height of 1.9 meters. It has scattered or whorled leaves with very fragrant lemon-yellow funnel shaped flowers. In Southern California it grows in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto Mountains as well as Palomar Mountain. Small populations can also be found in southeastern Arizona in the Santa Rita, Huachuca, and Chiricahua Mountains and in extreme northern Sonora,Mexico in the Sierra los Ajos.
The lilies inhabit springs, seeps, wet meadows, and shady canyon bottoms along perennial streams at an elevation of 4,000 to 9,000 feet. Forest fire and subsequent erosion have severely impacted three populations in Arizona (Falk and Warren, 1994), and their populations have been negatively impacted by “flower pullers” in Palomar (Craig H. Reiser, 1994) and bulb collectors in San Jacinto (H.M. Hall, 1902). It is uncommon throughout its California range and close to extirpation in San Diego County (Craig H. Reiser, 1994) and is listed by state and federal agencies as a sensitive species that should be protected.
For More information about the Lemon Lily, visit Michael Charter’s site at: www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/lemonlily.html