In late June, when the growing season in Illinois begins to get slightly out of hand, burgeons into weediness and too many grasshoppers, develops lush growth in the long hot days and short, steamy nights, there comes a flower which returns to the more chaste and restrained mode of growth to be found in springtime. Although the Turk's cap lily grows often three to five feet high, it never looks weedy. It possesses neat whorls of tapering leaves hugging the stiff stem, holds to the dignity and simplicity of a lily.
Lilium michiganense Farw.
June - July Woods.
In the shady woods or in open sunny glades which once were woods before the oaks were cut away, the 'Turk's cap lilies bloom. The plants are inconspicuous until they bloom; there i- so much else, usually, growing around them, that the lily-form of the stalks is not at once noticeable. But on a June day there suddenly are pendent apricot-yellow buds shading to deep orange-rose. Each opens regally into six stiff, waxen, pink-orange petals which curl back tightly while the six stamens hang in a group below - stamens whose filaments are pale apricot-pink tipped with pollen-heavy anthers of a bright rust color. There are small purple spots on the orange petals, and the stems are pale green which perfectly complements the color of the flowers.
At the summit of the stem with its tiers of neatly arranged whorls of leaves the flower cluster stands. The lower group of hud- opens first, then the others finally those at the tip. Sometimes the entire cluster is at it- best at once, and then the wood- indeed are dramatic when wild orange lilies bloom.