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Yellow lilies are a beautiful and diverse group of plants that can add bright, vibrant color to any garden. Each yellow lily offers its own unique characteristics for adding beauty and interest to any outdoor space. From wild Canada lilies to yellow tiger lilies and exotic sun lilies, they come in all shapes, sizes, and patterns. Whether you’re looking for a dramatic centerpiece or an eye-catching border plant, yellow lilies will bring both elegance and whimsy to your garden.
The Canada lily (Lilium canadense) is also called the wild yellow lily. This beautiful wildflower is native to eastern North America, from Ontario to the maritime provinces in Canada and down through the USA into New England and the Appalachian Mountains.
Canada lily typically grows to be 2-4 ft tall. The flowers are typically 2-3 inches wide, with 6 bright yellow petals and a central column of prominent yellow stamens. They bloom in late spring to early summer. The plants have skinny lance-shaped leaves.
The yellow tiger lily is a selection species tiger lily with lemon yellow reflexed petals and dark purple spots. While not commonly grown, the cultivar is listed as Lilium lancifolium var. flaviflorum ‘Yellow Tiger’.
While the exact cultivar is not readily available, there are many popular Asiatic lilies descended from it. These modern hybrids retain the characteristic spots and reflexed petals of the classic orange tiger lily, but with yellow background color.
Asiatic lilies vary in their growing climates, but usually do well in Zones 3-8. The plants usually bloom early or towards the middle of summer.
The golden rayed lily (Lilium auratum) is known for its huge white flowers streaked with yellow petal centers. The flowers also have a delicate sweet and spicy floral fragrance. This yellow lily species is native to western Japan and Korea, and grows wild in valleys, stream banks, and the edges of forests.
Golden rayed lilies are hardy in Zones 5-10. The plants typically bloom in mid-late summer when they reach a height of 3-4 feet tall. They have large, narrow green leaves.
The yellow Viva la Vida lily (Lilium ‘Viva La Vida’) is a hybrid yellow lily that’s known for its vivid golden yellow flowers decorated with bright red streaks. It has a strong, sweet scent and typically blooms in mid-summer.
Viva la Vida lilies are hardy in Zones 3-8 and usually reach 3-4 ft tall when they bloom. The flowers have yellow petals with red streaks and yellow central pistils. The plant also produces large glossy leaves that can reach 6-8 inches in length.
The Rising Moon lily (Lilium ‘Rising Moon’) is a hybrid yellow lily cultivar with pastel-cream petals. The petals are slightly multicolor, with blush-pink edges and green petal throats. The flowers are sweetly scented and subtly gorgeous.
This variety is quite adaptable, growing in Zones 3-10. It typically blooms in mid to late summer. The plant usually reaches 4-5 feet tall (or even taller) and produces large glossy green leaves.
The Fata Morgana lily (Lilium ‘Fata Morgana’) is a hybrid yellow Asiatic lily with double petals and light purple freckles. The fluffy flowers are about 5-inches wide and have been bred to be free from pollen.
Fata Morgana lily plants can be grown in Zones 3-8. The plants are usually about two and a half feet tall when in bloom. They produce yellow-green leaves that are about 6 inches long.
The yellow Robert Swanson lily (Lilium ‘Robert Swanson’) is a hybrid Asiatic lily with yellow outer petals and red-orange throats. The flowers also have yellow-green stamens and freckles on the petal centers. This yellow lily is especially known for its strong, pleasant scent.
This yellow lily variety is hardy in Zones 3-9 and usually blooms in mid to late summer. The plants grow to be about 4-5 feet tall with narrow green leaves that reach 6-8 inches long.
The Yellow Bruse hybrid tiger lily (Lilium ‘Yellow Bruse’) is an Asiatic lily with yellow petals, yellow-orange throats and yellow central stamens. The flowers have a strong citrusy fragrance that will fill your garden with summery scents when in bloom.
This yellow lily grows to be about 2-3 feet tall and is hardy in Zones 3-8. The yellow Bruse lily usually blooms in mid-summer with yellow petals and yellow-orange throats.
The Tigermoon lily (Lilium ‘Tigermoon’) is a white and yellow hybrid tiger lily with creamy petals and buttery yellow throats. The flowers have reflexed petals, similar to classic orange tiger lilies. And like species tiger lilies, the petals are decorated with elegant brown spots.
The Tigermoon lily was originally named the ‘Yellow Tiger’ lily, but was renamed in 2017 to avoid confusion with the previously named Lilium lancifolium var. flaviflorum ‘Yellow Tiger’ described above.
The Yelloween lily (Lilium ‘Yelloween’) is a yellow hybrid Asiatic lily with yellow petals and yellow-orange throats. The flowers are fragrant and tend to bloom in late summer.
The Yelloween lily is usually hardy in Zones 3-9 and grows to be about 2-3 feet tall. The yellow-green leaves are about 6 inches long.
The yellow carpet border lily (Lilium ‘Yellow Carpet Border’) is a low-growing hybrid Asiatic lily with yellow petals and yellow-orange throats. This yellow lily variety has been bred to flower earlier than other yellow lilies, usually blooming in early to mid-summer. The yellow carpet border lily is typically hardy in Zones 3-9 and produces yellow-green leaves that are about 6 inches long.
The Exotic Sun lily (Lilium ‘Exotic Sun’) is a hybrid yellow Asiatic lily with yellow petals and yellow-orange throats. The flowers are quite fragrant and very long-lasting, making them popular for cut flower arrangements.
This yellow lily is hardy in Zones 3-8. The plants grow to be about two and a half feet tall when in bloom with yellow-green leaves that are about 6 inches long.
The Tribal Dance lily (Lilium ‘Tribal Dance’) is an Asiatic hybrid lily with multicolor yellow and pink petals decorated with maroon spots. This yellow lily variety has a strong, sweet fragrance.
The Tribal Dance lily is hardy in Zones 3-8 and grows to be about three feet tall in bloom with yellow-green leaves that are 6-8 inches long.
The yellow Happy Memories carpet border lily (Lilium ‘Happy Memories’) is a yellow-white hybrid Asiatic lily with yellow petals and yellow-orange throats. The flowers have a mild scent and bloom in mid to late summer. This yellow lily variety is hardy in Zones 3-9.
The Golden Splendor lily (Lilium ‘Golden Splendor’) is a yellow hybrid Asiatic lily with yellow petals and yellow-orange throats. This yellow lily variety is especially known for its yellow blooms that are edged in velvety red. The flowers tend to bloom in late summer and have a mild, sweet fragrance. The Golden Splendor lily is hardy in Zones 3-8 and grows to be about two feet tall.
The yellow Stella de Oro daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’) is a hybrid daylily with yellow petals and yellow-orange throats. While daylilies are not true lilies in a botanical sense, a list of yellow lily varieties would not be complete without mentioning this longtime favorite!
The Stella de Oro daylily is quite hardy, thriving in Zones 3-10 with yellow-green foliage that grows to be about 8 inches long. The flowers tend to bloom from mid-spring through early summer. The yellow blooms each last for a single day but are produced throughout the season.
The yellow Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria aurea) is another gorgeous yellow lily that is not a true lily in a botanical sense (as it is not within the genus Lilium). But just because its in a different plant family, doesn’t mean its not absolutely stunning!
The clusters of funnel-shaped flowers look like a cross between a tiger lily and an orchid. They have elegant spots and are grouped on a stem for a months-long show in the garden. Most cultivars can be grown in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9 and grow to be about two and a half feet tall when in bloom.
In general, yellow lilies prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. They also need consistent moisture, but be careful not to over-water, as this can cause the bulbs to rot.
The most common pests that affect yellow lilies are aphids and spider mites, while the most common diseases are lily mosaic virus and botrytis. Regularly inspecting your plants and using organic pest control methods can help prevent infestations.
Yellow lilies look great when paired with plants that have foliage in shades of purple, such as ornamental grasses or foliage plants like heucheras. They also look great when paired with plants that have white flowers, such as Shasta daisies or baby’s breath.
Yellow lilies are often associated with friendship and well wishes in many cultures. They are also a traditional symbol of motherhood and are often given as gifts to new mothers.
Growing yellow lilies is a great way to add color and beauty to your garden. They are easy to care for, require minimal maintenance, and can be propagated easily. Yellow lilies will bring a unique charm to any outdoor space and will provide you with beautiful blooms each year. With proper planting, care, and propagation techniques, you can enjoy the vibrant colors of the yellow lily in your own backyard!
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