Lilium parryi - S. Wats.
Lemon Lily
Other Common Names: lemon lily
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lilium parryi S. Wats. (TSN 42744)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.133856
Element Code: PMLIL1A0J0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Lily Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Liliales Liliaceae Lilium
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Lilium parryi
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 12May1999
Global Status Last Changed: 18Jun1987
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Lilium parryi occurs in southern Arizona and southern California. It is rare in Arizona, where it is extant in 2 canyons in the Huachuca Mountains. Most occurrences in Los Angeles County, California are very small and it was nearly extirpated from San Diego County. Major threats include horticultural collecting, water diversion and grazing. Other threats are air pollution, timber cutting and pesticide effects on pollinators.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2N3

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arizona (S2), California (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Southern Arizona and southern California.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: See the previous discussion on population cycle hypotheses. High intensity, erosive floods may be a threat depending upon which model is correct. Flood intensity is believed to be related to fire characteristics, which in turn are related to fuel buildups associated with fire suppression.

Lemon lilies, which grow on stream banks, are sensitive to changes in water level. The l983 Arizona flood, which drastically reduced the number of individuals in Ramsey Canyon, also decimated a population in Madera Canyon. Plants that were not physically swept downstream ended up higher on the bank due to the downcutting of the streambed and many subsequently died from lack of water (Kaiser 1989, Warren et al. 1989, Wood 1989).

Water diversions threaten plants with a reduction in water. Possible threats to the Miller Canyon population exist due to the water rights of Tombstone Water Company and nearby private land owners (Deecken 1989).

Grazing by animals, especially domestic livestock, is a threat to Lemon Lily (Riggs 1989b, Sanders 1989). Watershed quality and plant distribution can be influenced by grazing animals (Riggs 1989b). The population at Cedar Springs in the Santa Rosa Mountains, California, was decimated by cattle grazing (Sanders 1989, Warren et al. 1989). In areas of low predator populations, herbivores, such as deer, may possibly pose a problem by eating the plants as well as trampling them on their way to a water source. In Miller Canyon, 20 large plants with broken stems, many of which were flowering, appeared to have been trampled (Newman 1989b). Arthropods also pose a problem. Insect larvae burrow into stems below the inflorescence causing collapse of the stalk (Toolin 1982). Seedling leaves are often chewed (Newman 1989a, Wood 1989).

Although LILIUM PARRYI is legally protected on U.S. Forest Service properties, the threat of bulb, flower and seed removal by hikers and lily breeders still remains.

Mining poses a threat to LILIUM PARRYI. One population was extirpated in the early 1900s in Rosemont Canyon. Arizona populations are still jeopardized by ongoing mineral exploration (Toolin 1982). A patented claim upstream of Ramsey Canyon could threaten that population if developed.

Other possible threats to Lemon Lily include air pollution, timber cutting and pesticide effects on the pollinator. Detrimental factors may pose a much greater threat to members of populations whose size has already been severely reduced. The limited genetic variability of small population plants may result in a reduction in their ability to adapt to environmental changes, especially to unnatural stresses brought about by human intervention. On the other hand, if the instability model is correct, genetic variability would be expected to be inherently low.

Until we know more about the genetics of LILIUM PARRYI, increasing populations by moving material between canyons should be considered a threat.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Southern Arizona and southern California.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA

Range Map
No map available.

National Distribution Outside of U.S. & Canada: Mexico

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Cochise (04003), Pima (04019), Santa Cruz (04023)
CA Los Angeles (06037), Riverside (06065), San Bernardino (06071), San Diego (06073)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
15 San Simon (15040006)+, Upper San Pedro (15050202)+, Upper Santa Cruz (15050301)+
18 San Gabriel (18070106)+, San Jacinto (18070202)+, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Aliso-San Onofre (18070301)+, San Luis Rey-Escondido (18070303)+, San Diego (18070304)+, Antelope-Fremont Valleys (18090206)+, Mojave (18090208)+, Southern Mojave (18100100)+, Whitewater River (18100201)+, San Felipe Creek (18100203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: LILIUM PARRYI is a large herbaceous perennial.
Technical Description: The slender stems frequently attain a height of 1.5 m, and plants as tall as 2 m have been reported. The lanceolate leaves are 8 to 15 cm long and 6 to 15 mm wide (Kearney and Peebles 1951, Munz 1974, Toolin 1982, Riggs 1989a, Warren et al. 1989).

Rhizomatous bulbs, 2.5 to 3 cm long, each consisting of a bud and underground stems, and enveloped by thick (12 to 20 mm long) jointed scales, give rise to a single stem (Munz 1974, Toolin 1982). Skinner (Skinner 1988, Berg 1989) divides the California lilies into two groups: the dry ground lilies which contain egg- shaped bulbs and the wet ground lilies which have rhizomatous bulbs.

One to six fragrant flowers, held horizontally, develop at the top of the stem in a spike inflorescence. The trumpet shaped, bright yellow perianth is often dotted with maroon spots on the throat. The recurved six segments of the perianth are 6 to 10 cm long and 8 to 12 mm wide. The three-lobed stigma is capitate (the apical part of the pistil is spherical). The six stamen are 6 to 8 mm long with brown versatile anthers (pollen-containing anthers are attached above the base to the filament and move freely). The flowers bloom from late May through July (Kearney and Peebles 1951, Munz 1974, Toolin 1982, Riggs 1989a, Warren et al. 1989). Arizona plants usually are in full bloom by the middle of June; California plants bloom a few weeks later (Toolin 1982). The three-valved capsule (loculicidal fruit) develops from June through August (Kearney and Peebles 1951, Munz 1974, Toolin 1982, Riggs 1989a, Warren et al. 1989).

LILIUM PARRYI var. KESSLERI was found in the San Gabriel Mountain Range of California at the upper end of Little Rock Creek in 1923. This variety has wider, more ovate leaves and a larger, more open trumpet than L. PARRYI var. PARRYI (Davidson 1923, Synge 1980). The validity of distinguishing this morphological deviant as a separate variety is questionable (Skinner 1988, Kline 1989).

Diagnostic Characteristics: The jointed bulb-scales and rhizomatous bulb distinguish this species from L. COLUMBIANUM and L. HUMBOLDTII (Berg 1989). The leaf arrangement aids in distinguishing this species from another California lily, LILIUM PARDALINUM. Synge (1980) reports that leaves higher on the stem tend to occur in an alternate arrangement and leaves at the basal portion of the stem are whorled on LILIUM PARRYI. This leaf arrangement was not consistently seen in either Arizona or California (Berg 1989, Newman 1989a&b, Wood 1989), thus it is a poor descriptive aid for distinguishing this species.
Reproduction Comments: Vegetative Propagation: Members of the genus LILIUM reproduce from seed, bulb and rhizome (Craig 1928). The nature and frequency of vegetative and sexual reproduction in the wild is not known for L. PARRYI. Since the mid-1800s lily breeders have been experimenting with Oriental, European and American lilies, determining the optimum hybridization and propagation techniques (Craig 1928, Grove 1935, Synge 1980).

Much of our knowledge of Lemon Lily's reproduction comes from cultivated plants. If current techniques had been available when this species was in demand Lemon Lily would, most likely, have been propagated using tissue culture at Oregon Bulb Farms (McCray 1989). Tissue culture allows for the most rapid production of genetically 'superior' ornamental plants (McCray 1989). All forms of vegetative propagation of cultivated lilies, including LILIUM PARRYI, are rapid and easy, expediting the process of obtaining flowering-sized plants. Scales removed from a bulb are laid flat, with the concave side facing up, in a peat/sand/loam soil mix, and within a year Lemon Lily bulbils are formed (Kline 1989). Specific information on rhizome propagation of LILIUM PARRYI is unavailable. A few lily species that normally do not produce stem bulbils (such as L. PARRYI) can artificially be forced to do so by removing the top of the plant during early floral development (Synge 1980). Possibly this occurs naturally in response to insect damage to the inflorescence or stem.

Cultivated Plant Sexual Reproduction: Lilies are self-sterile, and according to lily breeders, require large genetic variability for healthy, strong plants (Kline 1989, McCray 1989). Ripe lily fruit contain approximately 200 seeds (Synge 1980). A total of 135 seeds and 160 seeds were found in the flowers of two different LILIUM PARRYI plants growing in Ramsey Canyon (Wood 1989). Seeds keep for one season at room temperature, but cool temperatures prolong viability. Refrigerator and freezer storage increases the shelf life of seeds from several years to 20 years, respectively (Kline 1989). Breeders find a 90% germination rate after the undeveloped seeds (approximately 30%) are removed (Kline 1989). Currently several botanical gardens are having difficulty germinating seeds of this species (Riggs 1989b). Cool temperatures of 50 F to 60 F are essential in order to obtain maximum germination (McCray 1989).

Cultivation Technique: LILIUM PARRYI's hypogeal germination process requires cool temperatures for the production of roots and a bulb during the first season of growth (McCray 1989). During the following spring one true leaf develops, and three to five years after germination a flower stalk is produced (McCray 1989). A healthy, horticulturally sound, seed bearing plant will live for several years (McCray 1989). In order to prevent bulb rot, watering is terminated from the time the bud appears through floral senescence (Kline 1989). Every spring, reproductively mature plants are treated with a high phosphorous, low nitrogen containing fertilizer (Kline 1989). The plants are easy to grow if they are kept cool with saturated soil conditions below the bulb, at the root zone. High temperatures cause the plants to wilt and seed production to terminate (Grove 1935, Synge 1980, Kline 1989, McCray 1989). Cultivated plants perform better when grown in large groups rather than in rows, possibly because they shade each other (Graaff 1970).

Hybridization: Lily plants hybridize readily and thus breeders keep different species far apart. When cross pollinating, pollen should be collected from freshly dehisced anthers (Synge 1980). LILIUM PARRYI has been crossed with many other species, including eastern and New Zealand lily species, to produce assorted hybrids such as 'San Gabriel' (Graaff 1970, Synge 1980, Kline 1989, McCray 1989). Several lily breeders and taxonomists believe that 'new' species in the wild are actually hybrids. L. HUMBOLDTII readily crosses with L. PARRYI in cultivation and possibly in the wild (Hamilton 1989, McCray 1989). To prevent genetic swamping of the species this hybridization potential should be considered when reintroduction plans are prepared.

Pollination: Because Lemon Lily is self-sterile a pollinator is required (Kline 1989, McCray 1989). The primary and secondary pollinators of LILIUM PARRYI in the San Bernardino Mountains are two species of hawkmoth, HYLES LINEATA and SPHINX PERELEGANS, which frequent the plants at dusk. Several species of hummingbirds, noctuid moths, and many hymenoptera species were seen visiting the flowers throughout the day (Skinner 1988). The pollinators of the Arizona populations may be the same as those in California, but this has not been determined.

Seedling Establishment: Plants in Arizona flower and set fruit from June through July. California floral production takes place a few weeks later (Toolin 1982). In 1981, 60% of the observed plants in Arizona flowered and set fruits, but according to Toolin (1982) only 5% of the seeds germinated. Weakening of the peduncle by insect predation possibly contributes to germination failure (Toolin 1982). Since Lemon Lily grows along streams, the most likely mode of dispersal is through the water. This unreliable method of locating a good stable site for seedling establishment could account for the extremely low recruitment success found in the wild by Toolin (1982).

As a seedling becomes established, it remains dependent on a relatively constant stream level. The plants often wilt and die when the water level drops, but the fragile soil along the water's edge is swept away when the water level rises. Established seedlings have a low survival rate in Ramsey Canyon (Wood 1989). In some instances high water levels may be beneficial to seedlings by clearing the area from competition, allowing the plants an early start in their development. Tom Collazo (1989) thinks the flood of 1983 in Ramsey Canyon was beneficial, at least in the short-term, because it cleared the EQUISETUM sp. allowing many new seedlings to become established.

Insect Damage: A true bug, possibly a tarnish plant bug, (suborder heteroptera, family miridae) was seen defoliating a non-lily plant next to a large cluster of L. PARRYI in Bear Canyon (Newman 1989a). In addition to damage of photosynthetic tissue, borers invade the inflorescence preventing seed development (Riggs 1989a, Warren et al. 1989). Boring insect damage in approximately 5% of the plants in Ramsey, Miller and Madera canyons was reported in 1980 and 1981 (Toolin 1982).

Ecology Comments: Populations and Density: Throughout this report population size and seedling numbers are reported for single rooted stems; however it should be kept in mind that asexual reproduction via the rhizome is likely. Deecken (1989) feels that vegetative propagation is more significant than sexual reproduction in the Miller Canyon population. Newman (1989a&b) believes that consideration of the rooted stems as separate genetic units is reasonable because of the clumped distribution of the single-leafed "seedlings," this pattern resembles seed scattering far more than rhizomatously derived stems.

Population size in California and Arizona varies considerably from several plants to several hundred plants. The average density in local patches is three plants per square meter (Toolin 1982). Ascertaining the number of individual plants is difficult due to the possibility of rhizome-produced stems. Table 1 illustrates the demographic patterns of the Arizona populations. The data was collected during the summer months between May and July; the month of collection is not known for all of the locations. Comparable information is unavailable for California.

Table 1. Arizona LILIUM PARRYI population data.

a) Ramsey Canyon DATE JUVENILES SEEDLINGS FRUITS & MATURE 1985 105 13 51 1987 52 26 20 1988-May 28 0 7 1989-May 41 22 2 1990-June 32 127 2 (Deecken 1989, Warren et al. 1989, Wood 1989, Gori et al. 1991)

b) Miller Canyon DATE JUVENILES SEEDLINGS FRUITS & MATURE 1986-June 200 800 ? 1988 403 ? 270 1989-May 316 376 46 1990-June 1036 1106 78 (Babb 1986, Warren et al. 1989, Gori et al. 1991)

c) Bear Canyon DATE JUVENILES SEEDLINGS FRUITS & MATURE 1988-July 60 ? ? 1989-May 70 149 7 1990-June 115 114 33 (Warren et al. 1989, Gori et al. 1991)

d) Carr Canyon DATE JUVENILES SEEDLINGS FRUITS 1987-July 73 ? 1988 57 ? 38 1989-June 117 48 64 1990-Junw 138 71 53 (Riggs 1989c, Warren et al. 1989, Gori et al. 1991)

e) Huachuca Canyon DATE JUVENILES SEEDLINGS & MATURE 1989-June 187 796 (Gori et al. 1990)

f) Florida Canyon DATE JUVENILES SEEDLINGS FRUITS & MATURE 1989-June 18 1 14 1990-June 36 21 24 (Gori et al. 1990, Gori et al. 1991)

g) Madera Canyon DATE JUVENILES SEEDLINGS FRUITS & MATURE 1990-June 16 15 10 (Gori et al. 1991)

The Arizona populations are situated in locations where changes in the stream level could influence the survivability of the plants. Severe floods following large forest fires appear to have detrimentally affected the populations of Carr Canyon in 1977 and Ramsey Canyon in 1983. The Carr Canyon population was thought to be decimated by the 1977 flood but was rediscovered in 1979. Boulders protected a plant cluster during the high waters of the 1983 storms (Johnson 1988, Collazo 1989).

The Ramsey Canyon population size has steadily decreased since the downcutting of the stream caused by the 1983 floods. Nine of the 118 plants labeled in 1985 survived through 1988. A total of 28 plants and seven fruits were present in 1988, whereas the 1985 population possessed 51 fruits (Warren et al. 1989). Only two flowers were observed in 1989 and these were hand-pollinated, producing 2 fruits; two flowers were again observed in 1990 and both set fruit with natural pollination (Deecken 1989;Gori et al. 1991). The decrease in number of plants and quantity of fruit production over the five years of monitoring is alarming.

The Miller Canyon and Bear Canyon populations have increased in size since 1988. Fruit production has also increased over this period at Bear Canyon, however, at Miller Canyon, the number of fruits was greatest in 1988 because of the low incidence of herbivory on flowers and stems that year. The herbivores are most likely bear and deer.

In 1989, a new population was found growing on a cliff, 60 feet above the stream, in Huachuca Canyon. Seventy-nine stems of the 187 plants were broken, possibly by bears; adjacent to the plants was a bear trail. Almost 10% of the plants were flowering (Riggs 1989c; Gori et al. 1990).

Two other new locations were found during the summer of 1989. A single, three foot tall plant, with five flowers, was found growing near a spring in Sawmill Canyon by Fort Huachuca wildlife biologist Clark Derdeyn (Riggs 1989c). Bob Perrill discovered a population in Florida Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains (Warren 1989, Gori et al. 1990). In 1990, Sue Rutman rediscovered a population in Madera Canyon that was thought to be destroyed by a major flood in winter 1983.

Habitat Model Hypotheses: Since data preceding major floods is not available, we can only speculate on how populations may vary with cycles of wet and dry years in southeastern Arizona. It appears, however, that at least the Ramsey Canyon population was relatively strong shortly after the last major floods in 1983, and declined since. Collazo (1989) believes flooding may favor Lemon Lily by clearing away other vegetation, especially EQUISETUM, and thereby favoring Lemon Lily germination. Others speculate that downcutting in Ramsey creek by the 1983 floods lowered the water table beneath the lilies, causing declines in the population of adult plants. Such downcutting is not seen in Miller Canyon, where the population would appear to be more stable. This suggests a model similar to one developed by Bowles and Apfelbaum (1989). In this model, the plant benefits most by an intermediate amount of flooding, but declines as floods are reduced to near zero or increase to a high intensity or frequency.

Three alternative models have been constructed to help analyze the connection between fires, floods and Lemon Lily population size in Ramsey Canyon: inherent stability model, inherent instability model and altered flood frequency model (Heitlinger et al. 1989). The inherent stability model suggests that this system was essentially stable prior to human intervention in the form of fire suppression. Excluding fires from the watershed resulted in unnatural fuel buildups, and catastrophic results when wild fires occurred. Fires which would have been confined to the forest floor under natural, low fuel conditions, instead spread through the canopy of ponderosa pine. The subsequent heavy rains in 1983 caused more extreme flooding and erosion than they would have if the fire damage had not occurred. This model is supported by evidence that Miller Canyon was exposed to the same 1983 rainfall but did not suffer stream downcutting. However, the differing flood intensities may possibly be related to the physical characteristics of the Miller and Ramsey watersheds.

The inherent instability model suggests that high intensity flooding, and consequent wide fluctuations in Lemon Lily populations, are a normal phenomenon. In this interpretation, Lemon Lily numbers would regularly be reduced to the numbers observed currently in Ramsey Canyon. Frequent reduction in population size to a few individuals, would suggest that within population genetic variation should be low. Intervention would not be advised unless other effects of human practices have resulted in an inability of the population to recover after flooding (Heitlinger et al. 1989).

The third model is similar to the inherent instability model. The altered flood frequency scheme suggests that due to human intervention, such as fire suppression, the interval between naturally occurring floods has been reduced. There is less chance for seedling establishment when floods come at a greater frequency. In this case, intervention is necessary to reduce stresses due to the shortened intervals between floods, although periodic, high intensity floods, are anticipated (Heitlinger et al. 1989).

Unfortunately there is no available information on the relationship between flood cycles and LILIUM PARRYI demography in California. However, flooding is considered a potential threat to plants growing on sandy soil in California (Hamilton 1989).

Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Mixed, Forest/Woodland, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: LILIUM PARRYI occurs in wet soils of mountainous terrain, generally in forested areas, between 5,000 feet and 9,000 feet elevation. Lemon Lily is usually found growing along the shady edge of a stream but also occurs on seep water-replenished walls and, in California, in open boggy meadows (Neel 1989, Warren et al. 1989, Wood 1989). This species is found in mixed conifer forest, broad-leaved deciduous riparian forest and pine-oak woodland plant communities (Babb 1986).

Lemon Lily is the only true lily growing in Arizona. Two of the eight populations known to have existed in Arizona were in the Santa Rita Mountains: the Rosemont plants were extirpated due to mining in the early 1900s (Johnson 1988), and only one plant remained in Madera Canyon after the 1983 flood. This plant has not been seen for several years (Kaiser 1989). Several newly located populations were found during the summer of 1989: one population in both Florida Canyon and Huachuca Canyon, and a single plant in Saw Mill Canyon (Riggs 1989c, Warren 1989). The Huachuca Mountains are home to the remaining five populations which occur in Miller Canyon, Bear Canyon, Carr Canyon, and Ramsey Canyon (Johnson 1988).

Information on population size in Arizona is sparse. The Bear Canyon population data appears to be missing in Toolin's 1982 total plant count of 210 to 220 (Toolin 1982). Over 500 plants were found in both 1988 and 1989 (Johnson 1988, Newman 1989a&b, Riggs 1989c, Wood 1989).

The Arizona populations all occur in riparian environments at elevations greater than 5500 feet in shady canyon bottoms. The plants grow along the edge of perennial streams in pine-oak, coniferous forest and broad-leaved deciduous plant communities. The upper Ramsey Canyon population grows next to a stream on a steep hill fed by seep water. A major threat to Lemon Lily arises from its dependency on water. Fluctuations in the water level may lead to a decrease in the soil's water potential and to erosion of the streambed (Toolin 1982, Babb 1986, Johnson 1988, Wood 1989).

Most, but not all plants, are imbedded in two to six centimeters of leaf-litter and usually in organic soils. An exception is the lower Ramsey Canyon population which occurs, not in organic soils, but in mineral soils (Heitlinger 1989). Saturated soil conditions exist for most of the year (Toolin 1982, Wood 1989). The soils in the Petran Montane Conifer Forest communities tend to be slightly acidic, but due to the limestone substrate some soils where LILIUM PARRYI grow are alkaline with a pH of 7.8 (Wood 1989). Miller Canyon plants grow in soil with a pH of 6.8 (Deecken 1989). The associate species in Arizona include PINUS PONDEROSA, ABIES CONCOLOR, ACER GRANDIDENTATUM, QUERCUS HYPOLEUCOIDES, PSEUDOTSUGA MENZIESII, HABENARIA LIMOSA, RUDBECKIA LACINIATA, AQUILEGIA CHRYSANTHA, FRAXINUS sp., MIMULUS GUTTATUS, PLATANUS WRIGHTII, ACONITUM sp. and EQUISETUM sp. (Toolin 1982, ANHP 1989, Riggs 1989a).

Approximately 15 populations, comprised of 2,000 to 3,000 individual plants, grow in California. Lemon Lily populations have been found in the following areas: Big Cienega Spring in the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles County; Fuller Ridge Trail, North Fork of Stone Creek, and Dark Canyon in the San Jacinto Mountains, Riverside County; San Gorgonio Pass "Ring Brothers Potato Ranch" - type locality (Parry 1878), Dry Lake, South Fork Meadows, Horse Meadow, Big Bear Valley, Fish Creek Meadows, North Fork Meadows, Upper Whitewater River and recently at Gordon Springs (Foster and Neel 1988) in the San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino County; in the Palomar Mountains and Volcan Mountains, San Diego County, where they are rare (Toolin 1982, CNPS 1988, Dice 1989, Hamilton 1989, Neel 1989, Sanders 1989). Cattle grazing recently decimated a population at Cedar Spring in the Santa Rosa Mountains in San Diego county (Sanders 1989, Warren et al. 1989).

California Lemon Lily populations grow at elevations between 5000 feet and 9000 feet, in open boggy meadows, by streamsides, and on seep water-replenished walls. An exception in the elevation range of this species is one of the populations in the San Jacinto Mountains which occurs at 4400 feet and grows in sandy soil along the North Fork San Jacinto River (Berg 1989, Hamilton 1989). The other San Jacinto Mountain populations grow in open, sunny, wet meadows (Berg 1989, Hamilton 1989). The San Bernardino Mountain populations grow in wet meadows, by seeps and along streams, generally in Yellow Pine and Lodge Pole Pine subalpine forests in both open and densely vegetated areas (Berg 1989, Neel 1989, Sanders 1989). The plants growing at the type locality occurred in "boggy ground" (Parry 1878). According to Foster and Neel (1988), the most recently located population at Gordon Springs occurs in an unlikely site. The plants grow on a 20o-45o north-facing slope on limestone soil under filtered sunlight in saturated soil near a desert spring surrounded by a Canyon Live Oak stand. LILIUM PARRYI grows in rich boggy meadows in San Diego County. The San Gabriel Mountain population grows along a creek edge (Berg 1989).

In California, Lemon Lily plants tend to grow in the Sierran Montane Conifer Forest biotic community on sandy granitic soils with a pH of approximately 6.0 (Toolin 1982, Hamilton 1989). The dominant associate species in California are PINUS PONDEROSA, ABIES CONCOLOR, QUERCUS spp., ASTER spp., VERTRUM CALIFORNICUM, PTERIDIUM AQUILINUM, HABENARIA DILATATA, AQUILEGIA FORMOSA, JUNCUS sp., CAREX sp. and EPICACTUS GIGANTEA (Toolin 1982, Skinner 1988, Neel 1989, Riggs 1989a).

Economic Attributes
Economically Important Genus: Y
Economic Uses: LANDSCAPING, Cultivated ornamental
Management Summary
Stewardship Overview: Although LILIUM PARRYI appears to be recovering from earlier bulb exploitation in California, several factors are threatening this species, especially the Arizona populations. Proper watershed management is crucial; controlled burning would eliminate unnaturally severe fires which often leads to erosion and flooding. Floods are responsible for physically removing plants as well as for eroding the streambed, thus lowering the water level and altering the stabile sites necessary for seedling establishment. Human activity including mining and hiking threaten the species. Management practices should be considered in certain locations to minimize the effect of the various threats. With population sizes of several hundred individuals, a change in the environment surrounding a population could easily destroy a large fraction of the approximately 3,500 LILIUM PARRYI plants known to be in existence.
Restoration Potential: Lemon Lily recovery needs to be considered in terms of both habitat and population.

Any riparian species is dependent upon conditions in the watershed. The quality and condition of the population occurrence is limited by the quality and condition of the watershed. Unfortunately, questions about the natural dynamics in Arizona Lemon Lily habitats restrict our ability to evaluate habitat quality and prescribe management to aid habitat recovery.

High numbers of what appear to be Lemon Lily seedlings have been recorded; but, at Ramsey Canyon, seedlings die back and recruitment into juvenile and mature stages is very low, resulting in a continued decline in the population size. Hence, recovery potential has not been demonstrated at sites where Lemon Lily has declined.

Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Lack of habitat availability is not a problem since all of the identified LILIUM PARRYI populations grow on protected private and public land.
Management Requirements: Our inadequate understanding of natural habitat dynamics constrains the prescription of specific management. The short- term management goal should be to preclude total eradication of Lemon Lily at any site. Reducing fuel loads through judicious controlled burning is also recommended.

Plans should focus on habitat management, however, knowledge and availability of emergency measures required to preclude eradication of a population should be attainable.

Controlled burning would eliminate large fuel loads due to fire suppression and thus would prevent the extensive damage that results from severe fires (Heitlinger et al. 1989). Construction of stabilizing platforms near the plant would increase sediment deposits and reduce downcutting (Heitlinger et al. 1989). Rocks and sticks can be used on the downstream side of the plants to protect the land from erosion.

Simple management strategies may aid in protecting the plant prior to emergency situations. Moving roads and trails away from the site would decrease direct human impact on the plant. Bright colored flags for monitoring purposes should be avoided to reduce visibility of the site. Fencing around the plants would prevent damage due to grazing or trampling. Protecting the soil around the plants by blocking access will aid in the establishment of new plants.

In case of a sudden decline in the population size, a supplementary water source should be available (not necessarily in place), such as irrigation tubing. Seedlings and transplants must be protected against drying if a rapid increase in population size is necessary. If the water level drops, spaghetti tubing can provide constant moisture.

Increasing the population size through transplantation or manipulated pollination processes could be attempted by several methods. Tissue culture produced plants could be grown and used as transplants. Artificial pollination may increase seed production. Using pollen from a plant not in the immediate vicinity, but one that grows within the pollinators natural range, may increase the genetic diversity of the population. Seeds collected from the site could be germinated and raised in a greenhouse until appropriate conditions exist. Alternatively, the seeds could be scattered in a new suitable site or distributed around the parent plant (Heitlinger et al. 1989).

Monitoring Requirements: The importance of monitoring particular parameters is difficult to assess due to our poor understanding of natural habitat dynamics in Arizona. The critical factor, however, seems to be the ability of the species to recover following a flood-related decline. Tracking individual plants overtime and monitoring the recruitment into the seedling, juvenile and mature stages of the plant is necessary in assessing the recovery. Seed production does not appear to be a limiting factor, but as the number of sexually mature individuals in a population declines, production of capsules and viable seeds becomes more critical and should be tracked. Habitat parameters to monitor include flow rates (in cfs) throughout the year, and fuel loads in the watershed.

Individual plant stem measurements are possible since the number of plants is relatively small. Plants should be given a record number and marked with individual tags or flags, or recorded on detailed site maps. Demographic trends can be determined by comparing annual data, but tracking individual plants over many years is complicated by the rhizomatous growth. Measurements on the plants should start in spring when the first signs of growth occur and continue through winter dieback. Bimonthly visits to the site throughout the growing season would aid in the discovery of predatory insects, detection of environmental changes or sudden alterations in the plant conditions. Mini-weather stations, such as minimum-maximum thermometers and rain gauges, would be helpful to record temperature extremes and precipitation values. Water flow rate, soil moisture and water table level measurements should be determined periodically by using a flowmeter and a neutron probe or a tensiometer.

Management Programs: The Coronado National Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy are collaborating on management of the Ramsey Canyon population. Seeds, produced by the hand pollination of two flowers from one plant on Nature Conservancy property and one plant further up the canyon on Forest Service land, were collected (July 1989) and planted (September 1989) in the canyon. Seed stock were kept separate and planted in groups of five or six seeds at either the trout pond or the waterfall (Wood 1989). Contact the following people: Tom Wood and Sheri Williamson, Preserve Managers, Mile Hi/Ramsey Canyon Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, 27 Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ 85615; (602) 378-2785.

Tom Deecken, U.S. Forest Service, Sierra Vista Ranger District, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635; (602) 458-0530.

Management programs are being discussed for Ramsey Canyon. A log and stone stream barrier has been placed in the stream to arrest downcutting of the streambed. Periodic burns to reduce fuel accumulation are being discussed. Contact: Tom Wood and Sheri Williamson, Preserve Managers, Mile Hi/Ramsey Canyon Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, 27 Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ 85615; (602) 378-2785.

Monitoring Programs: In Ramsey Canyon, plants are censused by stem count. The size, number of plants, number of leaves and number of fruits per plant have been ascertained yearly since 1985. Contact: Tom Wood and Sheri Williamson, Preserve Managers, Mile Hi/Ramsey Canyon Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, 27 Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ 85615; (602) 378-2785.

In the Huachuca Mountains and Santa Rita Mountains of the Coronado National Forest, plants have been monitored yearly since 1989. Number of stems, stem size, the number of flowers and fruits produced by stems, and seedling numbers are counted. Contact: Tom Deecken, U.S. Forest Service, Sierra Vista Ranger District, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635; (602) 458-0530. or Peter Warren/Dave Gori, The Nature Conservancy, 300 E. University Blvd, #230, Tucson, AZ 85705; (602) 622 3861.

In the San Bernardino National Forest plants have been monitored since 1989. Contact: Maile Neel, San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Ranger Station, Fawnskin, CA 92333; (714) 866-3437.

Management Research Programs: Propagation studies are being conducted by the following people: Wayne Hite and Bob Wilson, The Arboretum at Flagstaff, P.O. Box 670, Flagstaff, AZ 86002; (602) 774-1441.

Derma Downs, Denver Botanical Garden, Denver, CO 80206; (303) 331-4000.

Elinor Crank, National Wildflower Research Center, Austin, TX 78725; (512) 929-3600.

Hybrid studies, crossing LILIUM PARRYI with other species, are being conducted by: Boyd Kline, retired lily breeder, Medford, OR 97501; (503) 772-6050.

Cross-pollination of wild plants and the collection of the resulting seeds is being performed. Contact: Tom Wood and Sheri Williamson, Preserve Managers, Mile Hi/Ramsey Canyon Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, 27 Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ 85615; (602) 378-2785.

Dehydration and freezer storage of seeds, from the above treatment, is being tested for future seed banking. Contact: Joyce Maschinski, The Arboretum at Flagstaff, P.O. Box 670, Flagstaff, AZ 86002; (602) 774-1441.

An electrophoretic study to assess genetic variability within 3 California and 5 Arizona populations is in progress and is scheduled to be completed in late 1992. For information about the study results contact:

Dave Gori, The Nature Conservancy, 300 E. University Blvd., # 230, Tucson, AZ 85705; (602) 622-3861.

Yan Linhart, Dept. of EPO Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0334; (303) 492-8301.

Germination and seedling survivorship studies are in progress at Ramsey Canyon Preserve. Seed were planted in gardens established at an historic lily site and in a new site in 1989. There was a 70% germination rate for planted seeds and a 50% mortality of seedlings between spring 1989 and spring 1990. Seedlings had a single leaf in 1989 and a single, but larger leaf the second season (as 1-year olds). Contact: Tom Wood and Sheri Williamson, Preserve Managers, Mile Hi/Ramsey Canyon Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, 27 Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ 85615; (602) 378-2785.

Management Research Needs: The current knowledge on the life cycle of Lemon Lily is mainly through cultivated plants. The ecology of the plant must be studied before we can successfully manage this species. Field and laboratory research on LILIUM PARRYI is essential.

Subterranean information on Lemon Lily is lacking, although the plant is reputed to have both rhizomes and tubers. To aid in monitoring techniques and interpretations, the frequency and identifying characteristics of rhizomatous growth must be determined. The relative importance of sexual versus vegetative reproduction must be elucidated. Root and rhizome structure is important in understanding rhizosphere interactions. The relationship of microorganisms to the roots may be of importance.

Habitat requirements are important in order to understand seedling establishment and maturation processes, predator relationships, interspecific competition and population cycles. Information on the community constituents would be helpful in understanding the ecology of the species. Mortality rates and average life-span of individual plants should be determined.

Information is required in order to understand the natural dynamics of the habitat, including natural frequencies of fires and floods, and the effect of these disturbances on the community constituents. Hydrological studies may reveal important characteristics of the watershed. Information on the history of fires may be elucidated through dendrochronological studies.

In the event of catastrophic reduction in population size and number, especially due to human intervention, transplant and artificial pollination information should be available. Genetic swamping and survivability due to the introduction of plants from one population into another area should be studied. Perfecting tissue culture techniques on this species would enable quick production of transplant material. The establishment of an artificial population and a gene bank of this species at a botanical garden would allow for research and provide a source, though genetically limited, of LILIUM PARRYI.

Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 14Mar1990
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: DARA NEWMAN, AZFO (1990)
Management Information Edition Date: 14Mar1990
Management Information Edition Author: DARA NEWMAN, AZFO
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Mar1990
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): DARA NEWMAN, AZFO

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Arizona Natural Heritage Program. 1989. Database listing of Lilium parryi in Arizona. Arizona Natural Heritage Program, Phoenix, AZ.

  • Babb, G. 1986. Special element plant abstract - Lilium parryi Watson. Arizona Natural Heritage Program, Tucson, AZ. 5 pp.

  • Bowles, M. L. and S. I. Apflebaum. 1989. Effects of land use and stochastic events on the Heart-Leaved Plantain (Plantago cordata Lam.) in an Illinois stream system. Natural Areas Journal 9:90-101.

  • Craig, W. N. 1928. Lilies and their culture in North America. Florists' Publishing Co., Chicago, IL. 144 pp.

  • Davidson, A. 1923. Lilium parryi var. Kessleri. Southern California Academy of Science 23:53-54.

  • Deecken, T. 1989. Wildlife Biologist, Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista, AZ. Correspondence with D. Newman, The Nature Conservancy, Tucson, AZ. June 6.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxvi + 723 pp.

  • Foster, K. and M. Neel. 1988. California Native Species Field Survey Form. Natural Diversity Database, California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA.

  • Gori, D.F., J. Malusa, P.L. Warren and W.S. Monarque. 1991. Population studies of sensititve plants of the Huachuca, Patagonia and Atascosa Mountains, Arizona. Submitted to Coronado National Forest in completion of P.O. 40-8197-0-0215. The Arizona Nature Conservancy, Tucson, AZ.

  • Gori, D.F., P.L. Warren and L.S. Anderson. 1990. Population studies of sensitive plants of the Huachuca, Patagonia and Atacosa Mountains, Arizona. Submitted to Coronado National Forest in completion of P. O. 40-8197-9-0119. The Arizona Nature Conservancy, Tucson, AZ.

  • Graaff, J. 1970. One aspect of amenity horticulture - new lilies for our gardens and greenhouses. Scientific Horticulture 22:38-44.

  • Grove, A. 1935. Lilium parryi. The Gardeners' Chronicle 98:443-44.

  • Heitlinger, M., T. Wood, and P. Warren. 1989. Lilium parryi (Lemon lily) management in Ramsey Canyon (in draft). The Nature Conservancy, Tucson, AZ. 11 pp.

  • Johnson, T. 1988. Lemon lily. Wildlife Views (June):17.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kearney, T.H., R.H. Peebled y Colaboradores. 1951. Arizona Flora. University OF California Press. Berkeley y Los Angeles, California. E.U.A. 1030 PP.

  • Munz, P.A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 1086 pp.

  • Parry, C. C. 1878. A new California lily. Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences II:188-189.

  • Riggs, K. 1989. Lilium parryi management plan. Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista, AZ. 13 pp.

  • Skinner, M. W. 1988. Comparative pollination ecology and flood evolution in Pacific Coast Lilium. Harvard University dissertation, Cambridge, MA.

  • Skinner, M.W., and B.M. Pavlik, eds. 1997 (1994). Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 1997 Electronic Inventory Update of 1994 5th edition, California Native Plant Society, Special Publication No. 1, Sacramento.

  • Smith, J.P., and K. Berg. 1988. California native plant society's inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 4th edition. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 168 pp.

  • Synge, P. M. 1980. Lilies. B. T. Batsford Ltd., London, England. 275 pp.

  • Toolin, L. J. 1982. Status report. Arizona Natural Heritage Program, Tucson, AZ. 11 pp.

  • Warren, P. L., L. S. Anderson and P. B. Shafroth. 1989. Population studies of sensitive plants of the Huachuca and Patagonia Mountains, Arizona. The Nature Conservancy, Tucson, Arizona. 98 pp.

  • Wood, T. 1989. Lemon lily stewardship notes. The Nature Conservancy files, Tucson, Arizona.

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