Getting To Know: Tiger Lily Bulbs - February 2023

The Orange Big Box story has their Spring bulbs already in stock in their greenhouse.  That means, Peonies and Dahlias and Elephant Ears and Gladiolas are packed in sets and ready to go home.  Of course, I couldn't help to go over and see what they had on hand and came across this six-pack of orange Tiger Lily bulbs for $9.98. Tiger Lilies are both familiar and foreign to me.  I feel like I know them, but the reality is....I don't really.  I went online to find a few listings for bulbs and learned a bit - like...these are 'downward-facing' and good for cut-flowers.  

But, one of the things that I wasn't sure of is how these are treated:  as annuals (like a Dahlia tuber that is left in the ground) or as a perennial (like an Allium bulb)?  Based on this listing from Longfield Gardens, it seems they're 'hardy down to Zone 4', which leads me to believe they can be left in the ground and come back year-after-year like an Allium bulb?  The label claims: "Returns year after year", so that (I think) means we can treat these as perennials.  

They're 36" tall and...of 

I'm naturally drawn towards anything that is orange in the garden,

The label claims they 'bloom multiple times per year', but this post on The Spruce says otherwise:  "Tiger lilies only bloom once per year. However, they're a more profuse bloomer than most lilies, producing as many as 10 flowers per stem."

In thinking about where they could go in our garden, it seems like they could be a natural companion for some of the Summer Beauty Alliums we have planted in clumps around the garden.  Like these in the backyard that are near the Greenspire Linden trees (in espalier):

I can see a few packages of these in little clusters like this to start with say...twelve bulbs.  

Are these 'tropicals'?  Not, technically.  But, they sure have an exotic feel, don't they?  #14 on my 2020 to-do list last year was to use more tropicals and subtropicals in the garden.  I identified some of my priority (potential) areas for 2023 including a few areas like you see above that have clusters of Allium clumps (IB2DWs, feet of the lindens and curved bed by kitchen), that I think these could work.  


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