Wood Lily Project

Yesterday I had one of the more exciting and rewarding experiences of my gardening life. Three years ago in the fall of 2017, I found and picked a seedpod from a South Shore wood lily. It had been a good year for the lilies and there were multiple pods to choose from, so it felt OK to take one. I made up a large pot of sandy soil mix that mimicked the sandy soil where the plant grew, scattered the teensy seeds and covered them with a layer of sand. After covering the pot with screen, it was set into the earth in my “hoophouse”, and waiting began….

The next spring there appreared a crowd of tiny single leaflets. I put the pot outside for the summer, and did nothing but watch and occasionally water. That winter I left the pot outside, set in the earth as before, with a thin layer of seaweed mulch on top.

The next spring is this spring! The little lily leaflets appeared a few weeks ago, and I decided it was time to take a dig and see what has been going on underground.
Each plant has produced a tiny bulb. They’re about a quarter inch in size, and each one has between two and six nice roots of an inch or even more.

I mixed up another batch of sandy soil, got some deep-cell plastic flats, and potted them all up. There are four flats. There are a total of a hundred and twenty baby lilies! 
This season they will have better growing conditions and will no longer have to compete with each other.

I’m hoping that after a few more years have passed these wee ones will have grown enough to flower.

Wood lilies may be my top favorite of all our Island wildflowers.
There is nothing like the thrill of encountering wood lilies on a summer day.

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 7.49.20 AM

Click on the link below to see a 2016 post about this wood lily, which is the one from which the seeds came from.


One response to “Wood Lily Project

  1. Sweet! At least you got something that is pretty. When I ‘found’ seed and seedlings in Oklahoma, the were for rather useless plants, such as Eastern red cedar, prickly pear and hackberry. I am VERY pleased with them, just because they came from Oklahoma, but they are not much to brag about.

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