Monday, February 25, 2013

Provincial Post - Saskatchewan



 Lilium philadelphicum andinum or the Western Red Lily has been recognized as Saskatchewan's provincial floral emblem since 1941. It is displayed on the flag of Saskatchewan and the flower is protected under the Provincial Emblems and Honours Act, meaning it cannot be picked, uprooted or destroyed in any way.
The lily is widely distributed across North America. In Canada, it is found in all provinces except those of the maritimes, and is found in many of the eastern states in the U.S.A.

Distribution map of L. philadelphicum Photo Credit: EFloras.org



 With such a wide distribution the Western Red Lily tolerates a wide range of different habitats. Its preferred habitat is the low grassy vegetation found in grass prairies and mountain meadows. It can also be found in open woods, thickets, roadsides, and by barrens and dunes.

The plant also varies quite a bit in height, leaf size and arrangement, flower colour and the length of its fruit. This variation accounts for its many names: Wood Lily, Philadelphia Lily, Prairie Lily or Western Red Lily not to mention the lily's many scientific names, although Lilium philadelphicum is used the most. The spotted flowers hold themselves erect on the stem and can vary from deep reds to orange-red to (very rarely) yellow.  The Western Red Lily blooms in June and July and grows typically to a height of one to two feet tall. Being a prairie plant it loves the sun and does fine in dry soil. That said, it is a fairly adaptable plant.


Western Red Lily is pollinated by large swallowtail butterflies; in the west by the pale swallowtail  and western tiger swallowtail, in the east by the eastern tiger swallowtail. Hummingbirds are also attracted to the flowers. 

 According to the EFlora website, the Cree, Meskwaki, and Blackfoot used Lilium philadelphicum bulbs as food, while other tribes used bulbs medicinally and in witchcraft. The Malecite mixed the roots with those of Rubus species and staghorn sumac to treat coughs and fevers. The Chippewa made a poultice that was applied to dog bites and caused the dog’s fangs to drop out. The Iroquois made a decoction of the whole plant to shed the placenta after childbirth, women used a decoction of the roots as a wash if the husband was unfaithful, and the whole plant was used as a romantic aid: if sun-dried plants twisted together, they signified a wife’s infidelity. The bulbs are said to have very good flavor and have been used in cooking.



Where is Saskatchewan located?

courtesy::http://www.map-of-canada.org/about.htm
It is the province in yellow gold.
Imagine golden wheat fields blowing in the prairie wind

13 comments:

  1. Hi Patty, I found the First Nation uses of this plant particularly interesting. So many different purposes! The dog bite cure sounds odd though. Not many dogs leave their teeth behind in their dog bite victims. They tend to take their canines with them. I am not meaning to question your research, which is always impeccable, but maybe I question the source.
    I wonder if anyone has thought to make these lilies commercially available? I like the fluted petals.

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    1. Hi Jennifer. As far as I can tell the specific lily Lilium philadelphicum andinum is not available commercially. However Lilium philadelphicum is.

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  2. That is a pretty powerful plant!!! The Native Americans really had many uses for it, some a little odd too. I did not know it was protected. I wonder how many others know? Are people fined?

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    1. Hi Donna, As in most cases it is difficult to actually catch people digging up rare native plants. In Saskatchewan they do fine those that are caught. I always wonder how people come up with the idea to try the things they do medicinally.

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  3. Just an aside: I always thought you lived in CA since there is an area near LA called Pomona. :o) It was your post about the snow that made me think otherwise. This sounds like a beautiful but witchy little plant. It's interesting how widely used it was by so many different groups. I wonder how effective it is on traffic tickets?

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    1. I have stumbled across web sites for Pomona Calif. (note comment below). Around here it is an uncommon name, or so I thought until I found Pomona's Fruit Pectin in a small, quaint package. Never tried it 'tho.

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  4. That is a striking lily. The native lily here (Lilium columbianum) is yellow with recurved petals like a tiger lily. We've had a winter without snow, which happens occasionally. I'm sorry to say that I am leaving the Cascadia Garden. My parents & I moved here in March of 1961. I'm looking forward to my next garden, which will be an entirely new construction. They are about to pour the foundation for the house now. I've decided to call it the Ell Alley Garden. For awhile, I'll have to be content with my plot in a community garden. Just an aside, I lived in Pomona, CA for 18 months when I was in college.

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    1. Well I am disappointed for me and you. I guess we need to view this as an opportunity. I will watching to see how you transform your new garden in another wonderland.

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  5. I wonder what the bulbs would taste like? And how you would prepare them? I have eaten day lily flowers in salad.

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    1. Good grief Diana, you got me there!

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  6. i found this picture a lot cooler than any other iv seen in a long time and im 56

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  7. bitufull just bitifull a love that picture,perfect

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