Wild Lily: L. carniolicum Bernhardi 1837, Carniola Lily

The varieties of this species grow in the Balkans from Carniola (Krain) to Istria, Dalmatia, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, and Rumania. This lily, so variable in appearance, has led to disagreement among botanists, and some have even classed the variety L.jankac Kerner as a species in its own right.

The same environmental conditions are common to all forms, mostly mountain meadows, stony, scrub-covered, hard loam, with little humus overlying free-draining, calcareous rocks.

Yellow bulbs about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Stems 1-3 feet long with scattered, lanceolate leaves growing horizontally from the stem with upward-pointing leaf tips. The Turk’s Cap flowers, supported by short, thick pedicels, appear during late May/June.

L. caniiolicuni var. albaiiicum is a low-growing form with glabrous leaves, one to four amber-yellow flowers, and vcrmilion-red pollen. Occurs in the mountains of Montenegro, Albania, northern Greece, and Macedonia.

L. canriolicum var. bosniacum Beck has red flowers and glabrous veins and occurs on the alpine meadows of the Bosnian Trescavica mountains, at an elevation of 4,500 feet. Its distribution area overlaps with those of the varieties jankac, bosniacutn, and albniiicuin.

L. carniolicum var. carniolicum. An alpine to subalpine plant growing between rocks and scrub on alpine meadows, with mostly calcareous subsoils, stretching from the Karawanken Mountains in the north through Istria to Dalmatia. The leaf veins are ciliated below; one to six Turk’s Cap blooms with colour ranging from red-orange to pale red; red pollen.

L. caniiolicum var.jankae has ciliated leaf veins and margins, mostly one to four canary-yellow Turk’s Cap flowers with finely black-spotted throat and cinnabar pollen. Occurs at elevations of 2,000-4,000 feet in Bosnia and Croatia as well as Bulgaria (Rhodope Mountains) and Serbia and Rumania.

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