12 Types of Lilies | Orange Flowers

Lilies are easy to grow, vibrant, and suited to various home gardens and landscapes. When adding a nice pop of color to a garden bed or cut bouquet, I can reach for a lily before most other flowers!

You can find beautiful lilies in nearly every rainbow color (aside from true blue). In this article, I want to highlight some of my favorite types of lilies with orange blossoms. 

How to Classify Lily Plants

The term ‘lily’ can be a bit of a misnomer within the plant world. While many species of so-called true lilies belong to the genus Lilium, countless species outside of the genus also have ‘lily’ within their common names.

Perhaps the most popular example is the daylily or Hemerocallis spp. As you can probably tell from the genus name, daylilies are not considered true lilies. But that doesn’t stop us from treating them as practically the same.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common types of lilies — both in and outside of the Lilium genus — that you might encounter throughout the rest of this article:

Asiatic

Asiatic lilies are genetic hybrids developed from wild lily species through years of cross-breeding. They boast showy, star-shaped flowers in a wide range of colors. Asiatic lilies typically bloom early in the year, either late spring or summer. 

Oriental

This is another group of hybrids mostly originating from Japan. Oriental lilies have very large flowers with strong fragrances. These lilies bloom later than most other varieties. Depending on your climate, oriental lilies may not bloom until late summer or early fall!

Easter

We usually think of Easter lilies as being cream or white. However, there are numerous cultivars within the species (L. longiflorum) that feature flowers of different colors. Easter lilies are native to Japan but have been distributed around the world.

While Easter lilies are usually sold around the eponymous holiday, the flowers normally bloom in either June or July. Lilies sold around Easter weekend are forced to bloom early by commercial growers.

Daylily

Daylilies are far from the only plants masquerading as true lilies. For the sake of this article, though, daylilies have the most to offer in terms of orange blooms.

Scientifically speaking, daylilies are not lilies simply because they belong to a different genus. But that doesn’t change the fact that lily and daylily flowers appear similar and have nearly identical growing requirements.

One of the simplest ways to tell the two plants apart is to look at the foliage. All daylilies have grass-like leaves that emerge from a central crown at the soil’s surface. There are no ‘true’ lilies with this type of growth habit.

Trumpet

Trumpet lilies are hybrids stemming from L. asiatica, characterized by their elongated, drooping flowers. They are often grouped with Aurelian lilies, resulting from crossing a normal trumpet lily with L. henryi.

12 Orange Lilies for a Vibrant Landscape

You want to plant some lilies, and you want them to be orange. Well, that still leaves you with dozens (maybe more!) options. 

Lilies are fairly easy to hybridize and require little maintenance once planted. This means there’s no shortage of varieties and cultivars available online or from your local greenhouse or plant nursery. 

Also, remember that lilies rarely take up much garden real estate. So, you may want to plant several of the orange lilies featured in the list I’ve compiled here.

Orange Lily

Orange Lily

Lilium bulbiferum

  • Type: Other
  • Bloom Time: May to July

The orange lily, also known as a fire lily, is a species native to Europe. It’s also relatively widespread throughout the southern parts of North America, where it has established itself after being introduced to the continent by people.

This lily features bright orange flowers atop upright stems. The stems typically reach 2 to 4 feet tall and have pointed, slender leaves similar to Asiatic and Oriental lilies. 

Flowers typically open in spring or early summer. The blooms are somewhat trumpet-shaped and attract bees and other flying pollinators to the garden.

Orange lilies grow best in USDA Zones 8 to 10 but may survive as far north as Zone 6 with proper oversight. These perennials are herbaceous, meaning they often die back to the ground when temperatures fall but resprout the following spring. However, a winter that gets too cold may kill off the lily bulb beneath the soil’s surface.

Brunello Lily

Brunello Lily

Lilium x ‘Brunello’

  • Type: Asiatic
  • Bloom Time: June to July

If you’re searching for a lily that reminds you of a burst of sunshine, you’ll need to look no further than Brunello. This Asiatic hybrid is a stunning variety featuring golden yellow petals and contrasting red stamens.

Brunello lilies usually grow about 3 feet tall before producing huge flower buds. Once opened, the flowers can measure up to 8 inches across and have a nice, bowl-like shape.

You can plant this variety in either full or partial sun. (In my experience, lilies grown in partial sun tend to get slightly leggy. Though not necessary, I recommend striving for full sun exposure whenever possible!)

This is a great variety for use in cut bouquets but, of course, also looks excellent when left to bloom in the garden. Brunello lilies can put out up to a dozen flowers per stem — many more than other Asiatic hybrids.

Orange Daylily

Orange Daylily

Hemerocallis fulva

  • Type: Daylily
  • Bloom Time: July to August

This vigorous daylily has several common names, including the not-so-flattering ditch lily moniker. It’s native to Asia but has earned status as a nuisance weed in some parts of the world, particularly North America. Many people mistake the orange daylily for a native flower because it is so prevalent in local ditches and meadows!

A big part of why orange daylilies are so popular is because they are criminally easy to grow. According to North Carolina State University, they form dense colonies using underground rhizomes and can easily choke out nearby vegetation. 

Orange daylily leaves emerge in early spring, forming large, grassy clumps. The vibrant flowers are on tall, slender stalks that can reach several feet high. 

In most climates, orange daylilies can bloom from June to August. However, each flower typically only lasts about one day before fading away.

Michigan Lily

Michigan Lily

Lilium michiganense

  • Type: Other
  • Bloom Time: June to August

This wild lily is native to much of the United States. It’s most commonly found in wetlands and meadows throughout the country’s eastern half. You can find Michigan lilies in full sun to full shade anywhere the soil is consistently damp and cool.

Michigan lilies range from 2 to 6 feet tall. The slender stems are topped with large freckled flowers whose petals curve back dramatically toward the stem. These flowers typically droop down toward the ground.

The Michigan lily isn’t super popular as a home garden addition. However, it’s a great option for those unique cases where you want a native flower that tolerates wet growing conditions.

Blackberry Lily

Blackberry Lily

Belamcanda chinensis syn. Iris domestica 

  • Type: Other
  • Bloom Time: July to August

This imposter is not a lily at all. Instead, it’s a unique species of flowering iris native to Japan, China, and parts of Russia. It is commonly sold as an ornamental under the names blackberry lily and leopard lily, among others.

It’s easy to see why this plant is often mistaken for a lily. The orange flowers have six pointed petals with red or maroon spots reminiscent of several species within the Lilium genus. However, glancing at the blackberry lily foliage makes it abundantly clear that it belongs in the Iris family.

Blackberry lily flowers are much smaller than most true lilies, measuring just 2 inches across. Underground rhizomes and self-seeding spread plants. The University of Wisconsin warns against planting blackberry lilies anywhere they might escape cultivation.

(Why is this plant most commonly known as a blackberry lily? The seed pods that follow the orange flowers look a lot like clusters of blackberries! Just note that the fruit is mildly toxic.)

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily

Lilium lancifolium or Lilium tigrinum

  • Type: Other
  • Bloom Time: July to August

Though this name is applied to several lilies, most gardeners recognize L. lancifolium and L. tigrinum as the most accurate forms of tiger lily (the latter is more commonly known as the Chinese tiger lily). Both species originate from Asia and have cross-bred to create a variety of unique cultivars available to home gardeners.

Most tiger lilies grow to 5 feet tall and boast hanging flowers covered in brown or maroon spots. The pistils and stamens are very prominent.

Columbia Lily

Lilium columbianum

  • Type: Other
  • Bloom Time: May to September

The Columbia lily is an incredibly popular native wildflower on North America’s West Coast. It is commonly grown in gardens but is becoming less and less prevalent in its natural environments. Some gardeners know this flower as a wild tiger lily.

Columbia lilies can get quite tall — up to 6 feet — but the stems and foliage aren’t otherwise very noteworthy. But a happy and healthy Columbia lily can produce over a dozen orange flowers in one season.

These flowers are a softer shade of orange than many other lilies on this list. They are heavily freckled and have a nodding habit. Columbia lily petals curl back so far as to almost spiral over themselves.

Turk’s Cap Lily

Turk’s Cap Lily

Lilium superbum

  • Type: Other
  • Bloom Time: July to September

While there are a few orange lilies native to North America, the Turk’s cap lily is the largest. It is fairly common in damp areas such as swamps, river banks, and low-lying meadows. 

Turk’s cap lilies can grow up to 8 feet tall and, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, may produce up to 40 flowers on a single stem! 

This species is a great option if you’re trying to add more wildflowers to your home garden. Butterflies and other pollinators are frequent visitors of the downturned flowers. Some greenhouses have even developed their cultivars from native genetic lines.

African Queen Lily

African Queen Lily
Credit image: Epibase by cc 3.0

Lilium ‘African Queen’

  • Type: Trumpet
  • Bloom Time: July to August

This is a trumpet lily with large, dramatic flowers in shades of orange and red. African Queen is one of the most prized cultivars of trumpet lily available. It has fragrant flowers that can measure up to 8 inches long. Mature, healthy plants can produce up to 20 flowers per stem!

Despite this lily’s tropical appearance, it prefers conditions akin to USDA Zones 4 to 8. It likes sun or partial shade and moist soil. African Queen lilies are often used as cut flowers.

Wood Lily

Wood Lily

Lilium philadelphicum

  • Type: Other
  • Bloom Time: May to August

This North American native is incredibly widespread, found in forests and prairies throughout the continent. Different regions are home to unique varieties, but they all fall within the same wood lily species.

Wood lilies are upright with interestingly segmented flowers. The petals are fire-orange with large freckles and stamens toward the center. Most varieties have star-shaped foliage that grows in whorls around the stem.

These lilies are becoming less common in the wild due to foraging and habitat damage. Sourcing your wood lilies from a trusted cultivator will help protect the remaining wild colonies.

Royal Sunset Lily

Royal Sunset Lily

Lilium longiflorum x asiatica ‘Royal Sunset’

  • Type: Longiflorum-Asiatic hybrid
  • Bloom Time: June to July

I’ve been seeing more and more hybrid lilies in my neighbors’ gardens in the past couple of years, and Royal Sunset is a great variety to get you started. It features well-structured petals that fade from bright pink to orange as they near the center of the flower. Individual blooms can measure 4 to 6 inches across with prominent stamens.

I like these hybrids because they offer a unique watercolor-like color palette not seen in other easy-to-grow flowers. Royal Sunset can grow up to 4 feet tall, so place it along the back of your garden bed or in a front border for maximum impact.

Orange Vols Daylily

Orange Vols Daylily

Hemerocallis ‘Orange Vols’

  • Type: Daylily
  • Bloom Time: June to July

This is not your average orange daylily. Orange Vols is a particularly vibrant cultivar with large flowers. It is much more colorful than the standard H. fulva specimen.

Orange Vols daylilies have bright orange petals with yellow edges and centre stripes. The flowers can be up to 6 inches wide. 

Plants usually grow up to 2 feet tall and can produce dozens of individual flowers in the right growing conditions. I recommend planting Orange Vols daylilies in rows or clumps for the greatest effect.

For more information on beautiful flowering plants, here’s a link to 20 Black Flowers for Natural Garden Elegance

FAQs Types of Lilies Orange

Are orange daylilies perennial?

Orange daylilies, also known as common daylilies, are herbaceous perennials. While individual plants live for three years or more, all leaves and vegetative growth die back to the ground each winter. Daylily root systems stay dormant under the soil during winter and resprout in spring.

Citations

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Ben's horticultural interest grew when graduating from Hertfordshire University in 1997. Having contributed to numerous publications including Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design Magazine, and The English Garden. He is also the author of Propagating Houseplants Made Easy.