Category: Liliaceae

  • Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)

    Hemerocallis fulva

    We see daylilies everywhere, in gardens and in the wild. But we seldom see them growing out of a stone wall. These plants live between the stones of the railroad viaduct that runs along the back of the South Side, where they were photographed June 20.

    Daylily growing from a stone wall

    For a fuller description of the species, see the Hemerocallis fulva reference page.

    Daylily flowers
  • Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum pubescens).

    Polygonatum pubescens

    Arching fronds of alternate leaves hide the dainty little bells: you have to lift the stem, or crouch on the ground, to see the flowers, as we see below.

    Plant from above

    But it is worth the extra effort to reveal the flowers. They are small and green, but beautifully shaped.

    The flowers close up
    More flowers

    These plants were growing abundantly in the Kane Woods Nature Area in Scott Township, where they were photographed May 5.

    For the botanical description by Fernald, see the Polygonatum pubescens reference page.

  • Great White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

    Trillium grandiflorum

    Great White Trilliums are out along the Trillium Trail in Fox Chapel. All the spring flowers are a little early this year.

    For a detailed description, see the Trillium grandiflorum reference page.

    Whole bunch of trillia
    Great White Trillium
    Trillium grandiflorum
    A group portrait
    Trillium grandiflorum
    Trillium pair
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)

    Hemerocallis fulva
    Photographed June 22.

    With the division of the Lily Family into many different families and even orders, modern botanists place Hemerocallis in the family Asphodelaceae in the order Asparagales.

    This favorite garden perennial has naturalized itself quite successfully in western Pennsylvania, and huge colonies light up our roadsides in June. Countless variations have been bred for connoisseurs, but nothing matches the simple elegance of the original species. It is considered invasive by some people who worry about such things. These plants were blooming at the edge of an old German cemetery in Beechview.


    Gray describes the genus and the species:

    HEMEROCALLIS L. DAY LILY. Perianth funnel-form, lily-like; the short tube inclosing the ovary, the spreading limb 6-parted; the 6 stamens inserted on its throat. Anthers as in Lilium, but introrse. Filaments and style long and thread-like, declined and ascending; stigma simple. Capsule (at first rather fleshy) 3-angled, loculicidally 3-valved, with several black spherical seeds in each cell. Showy perennials, with fleshy-flbrous roots; the long and linear keeled leaves 2-ranked at the base of the tall scapes, which bear at the summit several bracted and large flowers; these collapse and decay after expanding for a single day (whence the name, from hemera, a day, and kallos, beauty.)

    H. fulva L. (COMMON D.) Inner divisions (petals) of the tawny orange perianth wavy and obtuse. Roadsides, escaped from gardens. (Introd. from Eu.)

  • Great White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) Fading to Pink

    Trillium grandiflorum fading to pink
    Photographed May 12.

    As Great White Trilliums age, they tend to take on rosy hues. We should all age so gracefully. This is what some of the trilliums on the Trillium Trail looked like in the middle of May, late in their season.

    Great White Trillium fading to pink
    Trillium grandiflorum, pink
    Trillium grandiflorum, pink

    Gray describes the genus and the species:

    TRÍLLIUM L. WAKE ROBIN. BIRTHROOT. Sepals 3, lanceolate, spreading, herbaceous, persistent. Petals 3, larger, withering in age. Stamens б; anthers linear, on short filaments, adnate. Styles awl-shaped or slender, spreading or recurved above, persistent, stigmatic down the inner side. Seeds ovate, horizontal, several in each cell. — Low perennial herbs, with a stout and simple stem rising from a short and praemorse tuber-like rootstock, bearing at the summit a whorl of 3 ample, commonly broadly ovate, more or less ribbed but netted-veined leaves, and a terminal large flower; in spring. (Name from tree, three; all the parts being in threes.) — Monstrosities are not rare with the calyx and sometimes petals changed to leaves, or the parts of the flower increased in number.

    T. grandiflorum (Michx.) Salisb. Leaves less broadly rhombic-ovate; pedicel erect or ascending; petals oblanceolate, often broadly so (4-6 cm. long), white turning rose-color or marked with green; stamens with stout filaments (persistently green about the fruit) and anthers, exceeding the very slender erect or suberect and somewhat coherent stigmas; fruit subglobose. Rich woods, w. Que. and w. Vt. to Minn., Mo., and N. C.