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Family Liliaceae
Trumpet lily
Lilium longiflorum Thunberg

Scientific names Common names
Lilium abchasicum Baker Vonitan (Ibn.)
Lilium eximium Courtois ex Spae [Illegitimate] Batanes easter lily (Engl.)
Lilium harrisii Carriére Church lily (Engl.)
Lilium jama-juri Siebold & de Vriese Easter lily (Engl.)
Lilium liukiu Siebold Madonna lily (Engl.)
Lilium longiflorum Thunberg November lily (Engl.)
Lilium madeirense T.E.Bowdich Trumpet lily (Engl.)
Lilium speciosissimum W.H.Baxter White trumpet lily (Engl.)
Lilium takesima Baker  
Lilium longiflorum Thunb. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: She xiang bai he.
FRENCH: Lis blanc.
JAPANESE: Tepoyun, Teppo-yuri.

Lilium longiflorum is bulbous herb about 90 centimeters high. Stems are erect, unbranched and green. Leaves are alternate, simple, sessile, linear-lanceolate, up to 15 centimeters long. Flowers are trumpet-shaped, fragrant and showy. Corolla is white with a light purple streak on the outside; pollen is yellow.

- On open grassy slopes.
- Cultivated in Batangas, Baguio and the Mountain Province and other highly elevated areas.

- Bulbs contain steroidal glycosides and polyphenols.
- Studies have isolated steroidal saponins and alkaloids.
- Lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory assays found kaempferol (1), kaempferol glycosides (2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10), quercetin glycosides (5, 6, and 7), a regaloside (11), a chalcone (12) and a fatty acid fraction (13.) (see study below) (7)

- Bulb is considered antiasthmatic, antitussive, expectorant, sedative and tonic.
- Studies have shown hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anticancer, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic properties.

Parts used


Edibility / Culinary
Flowers, leaves, roots are reportedly edible.
- No known folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Elsewhere, the bulb reported to be used for coughs, hemoptysis, insomnia.
- Perfumery: Essential oil from the flowers used in perfumery.

Phenolic Glycosides:
Three bitter principles were isolated from the bulb scales of Lilium longiflorum. (2)
Anti-Cancer / Cytotoxic: Preliminary studies have shown the extracts from bulbs to be significantly cytotoxic to MCF-7 breast cancer cells and HL-60 leukemia cells. Study yielded steroidal glycosides, two of which are steroidal glycoalkaloids, three are furostanols.
Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic: Study isolated steroidal glycosides from an extract from the bulbs of Lilium longiflorum that reduced blood glucose and body weight in lab mice on a high fat diet. Study is on-going to confirm or identify the active ingredients with hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in the mouse model. (5)
• COX-1 Inhibition / Lipid Peroxidation Inhibition: Lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory assays found kaempferol (1), kaempferol glycosides (2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10), quercetin glycosides (5, 6, and 7), a regaloside (11), a chalcone (12) and a fatty acid fraction (13.) Compound 1 showed the highest COX-1 inhibition (94.1%) followed by 3, 8, and 12. Results suggest kaempferol and quercetin flavonoids contribute to the medicinal properties of Easter lily flowers. (7)
• Hepatoprotective / Bulbs: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic crude bulb extract (CB) and a steroidal glycoside-rich 1-butanol extract prepared from bulbs of Easter lily for hepatoprotective activities in a type 2 diabetic mouse model. Results suggest steroidal glycosides 1-5 may play a role in the hepatoprotective activity of the BuOH extracts, while TC measurements and OGTT results suggest that other constituents in the CB extract are responsible for hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic activity. (8)
• Ginseng Essence / Hepatoprotective: Lilium longiflorum is one of four medicinal and edible herbs (Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, Nelumbo nucifera) in formulation called Ginseng Essence (GE). Study evaluating the hepatoprotective effect of GE in CCl4-induced liver inflammation and fibrosis Wistar rats showed amelioration of AST and ALT elevations and albumin decline through attenuation of oxidative stress. (9)


Last update March 2017
Updated Sept 2010

IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) / File:Lilium longiflorum 2 (lit).jpg/ A selection of Hexandrian plants, belonging to the natural orders Amaryllidae and Liliacae; von Zeichnungen von Mrs. Edward Bury, Liverpool; graviert von R. Havell. / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Lilium longiflorum - Thunb. / White Trumpet Lily / Plants For A Future
Phenolic glycosides from Lilium longiflorum
/ Yukihiro Shoyama et al / Phytochemistry, Vol 26, Issue 11, 1987, Pages 2965-2968 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)84572-0
The Easter Lily Gets Functional / Rutgers researchers identify compounds that may be suitable for supplements and functional foods / Reported by Joanna Cosgrove
Steroidal saponins from the bulbs of Lilium longiflorum and their antitumour
promoter activity / MIMAKI Y, NAKAMURA O et al / Phytochemistry 37, 1994, p. 227-232.
Lilium longiflorum / Synonyms / The Plant List
Constituents in Easter lily flowers with medicinal activity. / Francis JA, Rumbeiha W, Nair MG / Life Sci. 2004 Dec 24;76(6):671-83.
Hepatoprotective Activity of Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) Bulb Extracts / Wenping Tang, John P. MunafoJr., Kimberly Palatini, Debora Esposito, Mou-Tuan Huang, Slavko Komarnytsky, Chi-Tang Ho, and Thomas J. Gianfagna* / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2015, 63 (44), pp 9722–9728 / DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b04078
Ginseng essence, a medicinal and edible herbal formulation, ameliorates carbon tetrachloride-induced oxidative stress and liver injury in rats / Kuan-Hung Lu, Ching-Yi Weng, Wei-Cheng Chen, Lee-Yan Sheen / Journal of Ginseng Research / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgr.2016.06.002
Historical Survey of Easter Lily Name in Association with Lilium longiflorum / Eisuke Matsuo / Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology 6 (Special Issue 2), 9-12
Lilium longiflorum: Common names / Umberto Quattrocchi / CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants


It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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