The Rubicon – Woodsman of the year! The winner is Payton Jerde! The story goes like this: For over the last 25 years as tradition goes, the first person who picks and brings back a Wood Lily (**Lilium philadelphicum) for the year is given the coveted “Woodsman of the Year” title. Why woodsman of the year? Well, the Wood Lily, traditionally doesn’t grow next to trails, but is often found deep within the deep forest floor. Often, found on steep hillsides, where people don’t walk or see. Only men or sometimes women who are cutting timber, or exploring areas that are not easily accessible to the everyday traveler. This year Payton’s father actually seen the first Wood Lilly, but didn’t pick it. A tree that he fell on a steep hillside covered his evidence and lasting enjoyment on the Rubicon’s kitchen counter now held by Payton’s winning Lilly.
** Wood lily’s stalk rises 1-3 ft. and is topped by upright, cup-shaped, purple-spotted, red-orange flowers. 1-5 funnel-shaped flowers, mostly red to orange with purplish-brown spots, on an erect stem with whorled leaves. There are usually one to four flowers per plant. The leaves of this perennial are long and narrow and arranged in whorls. (The lower leaves of the western variety, var. andinum, are scattered rather than whorled.) The fruit is a pod.
Once much more common than now. It is too often picked by visitors to the mountains. It also disappears rapidly from intensively grazed meadowland. The bulbs were gathered for food by Indians. A variety of this species, found in the Midwest, has leaves scattered along the stem. Among several southern species, the Southern Red Lily (L. catesbaei) has alternate, lanceolate leaves pressed against the stem, and the Orange Lily (L. bulbiferum), a European native, hassepals and petals downy within and bulblets in the axils of the upper leaves.
The wood lily is listed as endangered in Maryland, New Mexico, Tennessee and North Carolina.38 Its status is “threatened” in Kentucky and Ohio.3 In Saskatchewan, the flower is protected under the Provincial Emblems and Honours Act, meaning it cannot be picked, uprooted or destroyed in any way.6