Prairie Lily or Western Red Lily

The Prairie Lily or Western Red Lily is Saskatchewan’s provincial floral emblem, known botanically as Lilium philadelphicum L. var. andinum.  It grows in meadows and wooded areas – the only place in the province that I have been able to photograph them in their wild form is near Prince Albert and in Prince Albert National Park.  They are very hard to find and are now a protected species – due to agriculture and development they have become almost non-existent. In the Southern parts of Saskatchewan they are extremely rare but fortunately they can still be found in other parts of the province.

I spent a Summer in search of the prairie lily back in 2012 and when I did find them growing in the wild, I could hardly contain myself.  They are absolutely beautiful to see growing among wild grasses and other wild flowers and because of their bright coloured petals, they stand out in the sea of grasses.  The Native American Cree tribes called the western red lily “mouse root” because voles or meadow mice and other rodents gather, eat and spread the bulbs of the plant.  The plant also reproduces by way of bisexual flowers pollinated by wind and flying insects that gather nectar from the center of its blossoms.  Prairie Lilies can grow up to 5 feet high on a single stalk – their petals form a distinctive star shape.  Western red lilies can be identified by their vivid orange-red and purple-spotted blooms on tall stems.

I use the Prairie Lily in my logo for a few reasons but mainly because they are truly my favourite wildflower and absolutely magificent!