Lily Bulb Description
Rare in nature and even rarer in cultivation because of its near impossible requirements, this lily is a native to the coastal areas of Northern California. Found sometimes just above the high tide mark, it grows in sandstone soils that usually flood sometime during the year. The pendant, bell shaped flowers are orange-red in color, blending to yellow and finally green at the top.
Lightly scented, this species is "protected" by California as being endangered, but we know of one instance where a group of college students risked being jailed, helping their botany professor save a colony from a housing development. They tried to get permits to move the colony by legal means and were denied, and so went in under cover of dark, just days ahead of the heavy equipment and moved everything to a similar, but more remote location. From what we understand, that colony was still thriving some 20 years later. Seeing these lovely little flowers in the wild invokes memories never to be forgotten.
Photo inset is of 'Lilium maritimum' habitat.