Help! Help! a Lily Tree Question…


First of all, I’d never even heard of a lily tree or tree lily depending on which web site I look at, until an hour ago. My friend posted these photos of her lily tree with these really interesting growths protruding out of the base of the trunk.

So our question is

what is this?

Are they roots or a pest or an alien life form?

I haven’t seen anything quite like this before.

What say you gardening gurus, master gardeners, people who google better than we do…



Here’s another photo that Denise took.

She lives just a quarter mile away so I want to be ready if I need to watch out for this thing..

and I’d like to help her too!

Share your thoughts, any at all,  in the comments section!

I know we can figure this out!


Michele and Denise



  1. John Hric says:

    SalemGarden, tree lily aka Orienpet lily or something very similar. I searched for “roots Orienpet lily” and saw something very similar. It looked mostly harmless till I looked away from the screen for a moment. Then it took a big bite out of the inside of my screen. It looks like it is trying to crawl through and twilight zone music is playing… what could go wrong… enjoy the tall lilies !


    1. LOL John!! I hope your okay and still with us! I should have sent you this question directly. Denise, John is a lily expert. If you look at his blog A Northeast Ohio Garden at You’ll see what I mean. They are roots for sure! John, my question to you…are the bulbs planted deeply enough? A web page found by one of Denise’s friends suggested that they might not be. Thanks for your help!


  2. I don’t have an answer, but here in NH we can call/tweet/post/email UNH Cooperative Extension and they will research the problem and come up with an answer. I’d consider contacting your state cooperative extension or contact ours. 🙂


    1. HI Judy! It looks like it’s part of the root system. John Hric confirmed it. Do you follow him? He would know better than anyone and his comment just above is entertaining 😉 I don’t know that we have a cooperative extension program here in Massachusetts but I should check on that. I’ve been thinking about those kinds of resources and using them more.


  3. John Hric says:

    I have seen these lilies in daylily gardens. your tree lily is a true lily not a daylily. internet search filled in the detail. and that is where i am checking now. planting depth recommendations are anywhere from 6-8 inches to a foot. Enjoy


  4. The Belmont Rooster says:

    Well, it looks strange. It could be roots… You know, how corn does. It grows roots at the base just like that. How many are doing it? We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. See if those life forms go down to the soil… Very interesting…


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