Lilium superbum is a perennial monocotyledon herb, from a bulb; stem to 2.5 m, sparingly colonial from bulb offsets.
Leaves stalkless, upper leaves in whorls of 5-20, 8-18 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, lower leaves alternate blades narrowly lance-shaped, pointed at both ends, smooth or with small bumps along margin.
Flowers orange, with dark freckles, green at base, about 15 cm wide, nodding, sepals and petals alike, 3 each, 5.5-8 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, strongly curled back, tips almost or touching backs; inflorescence of 1-25 flowers (Radford et al. 1968) on long stalks at top of stem; blooms July- Aug.
Fruit a dry, 3-parted, oblong capsule, splitting open to release, many flat, papery, winged seeds during fall and winter.
Wetland status: FACW+.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Moist to wet forests. Quite shade tolerant. Very persistent in deep shade but not flowering. Found in soil pH 4.4-5.0.