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For several weeks, tiger lilies have been blooming. Talk of the Town, a popular species in our neighborhood, flourishes along fences and side gardens. Morning breezes excite their six-sculpted petals trembling with stamens and pistils; their orangeness ushers in summer’s brash colors.

Tiger lilies have been around for a long time. Tenth-century Chinese literature describes them planted in rows and cultivated for herbs and food. They also appear in the 1753 Species Plantarum, by Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician, and one of the fathers of modern ecology.

And in 1804, William Kerr traveled to Canton, China, and brought tiger lilies to Britain for the formal gardens of country estates, and from there, to they came America.

Looking deeper, we find this ordinary perennial rooted within the mystery of life and death. We, too, have a similar rootedness. How many springs have we experienced, only to move into still another summer, followed by autumn, and winter? Only to be restored, once again, by the fresh orangeness of tiger lilies glistening with morning dew.

 

 

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