From Bulbs and Tuberous-Rooted Plants: Their History, Description, Methods of Propagation and Complete Directions for their Successful Culture in the Garden, Dwelling and Greenhouse (1893) by C. L. Allen:
“[The Tiger Lily] is, when well grown, one of the most noble and showy of all the species, and well worthy a place in every collection. The type grows about four feet high, and, in good soil, will produce from ten to fifteen bright scarlet flowers, with numerous small black spots. Notwithstanding its stately form and gorgeous display, it is classed with weedy plants, because of its rapid increase and ease of cultivation; whereas, in gardens of any considerable extent, it should have a prominent place and be confined to it.”
Blazing in gold and quenching in purple,
Leaping like leopards to the sky,
Then at the feet of the old horizon
Laying her spotted face, to die;
Stooping as low as the kitchen window,
Touching the roof and tinting the barn,
Kissing her bonnet to the meadow, —
And the juggler of day is gone!
It was an exceptionally breezy day when I took these photos of tiger lilies (Lilium lancifolium) at Oakland Cemetery’s Gardens, but I did manage to freeze-frame enough of them to create two small batches of photos, for this post and the next one. As determined as they were to evade my camera, they were not successful.
It’s almost hard to believe that the unopened buds shown in the first two photos unfold to reveal the tiger lily’s large and complicated structure. The tiny spots throughout the flower petals — which, surprisingly, create some challenges when masking the images in Lightroom to remove the backgrounds — register to our eyes as black dots, but in the photo editor they are read as combinations of purple and magenta. By increasing the saturation on purple and magenta, you can get the dots to appear as if they have some bumpy texture — something that probably wouldn’t have been apparent to you, if I hadn’t just pointed it out.
Thanks for taking a look!