The wild tiger lilies (Lilium columbianum Hanson) are blooming around here, and they sure are pretty. Across our place, there are quite a few single plants, but in one area, there’s a cluster of probably 20 of them. Some of the plants are almost six feet tall, and the most prolific one (above) has more than 25 flowers and buds on a single stem. Individual flowers are only about two inches in diameter, but their brilliant color makes quite a show.
Tiger lilies foliage is a favorite of the local deer population, but now that we have a pretty solid deer fence around the house and various garden areas, they’re able to bloom and propagate without interference.
The bulbs on these plants were a seasonal food source for native tribes (like wapato). We haven’t tried eating them yet, partly because we’d rather enjoy their beauty than their sustenance and partly because the bulbs are famed for growing really deep in the ground.