Lilies of the field

Swaths of blooming fawn lilies around Greater Victoria are peaking right now

Fawn lilies grow in abundance in the Oak Bay Native Plant Garden on the corner of Beach Drive and Margate Avenue.

Fawn lilies grow in abundance in the Oak Bay Native Plant Garden on the corner of Beach Drive and Margate Avenue.

Fawn lilies grow in abundance in the Oak Bay Native Plant Garden on the corner of Beach Drive and Margate Avenue.

Swaths of blooming fawn lilies around Greater Victoria are peaking right now, says University of Victoria biologist Geraldine Allen. The native plants love warm, wet weather and this year’s display could be a result of last summer’s cooler weather.

There are 15 species of Erythronium (Liliaceae) in North America. Although white is most commonly seen around Greater Victoria, pink varieties can be found further west on the Island. Also found in Europe and Asia, Allen suspects fawn lilies have been around for hundreds of thousands of years but arrived here before the last ice age.

“They’re kind of irresistible, like Easter lilies in miniature and flowering in spectacular displays,” says Allen.