If one walked outside in Idyllwild 100 years ago, the overwhelming scent of the native Lemon Lily (lilium parryi) filled the air. This lily, known for its tall, stately stems and yellow flowers, numbered in the hundreds of thousands throughout the San Jacintos. Bulb poaching and cattle grazing reduced these numbers greatly and today they are the victim of drought and fire.
Under the leadership of Sue Nash, the Lemon Lily Restoration Committee is working to increase the populations of Lemon Lilies in the Idyllwild area. Restoration activities include collecting local seed, planting them in suitable sites and potting others.
The Lemon Lily Festival began in 2010 when a committee of local citizens developed the goals of restoration, education and celebration.
The sixth festival, sponsored by the Friends of the Idyllwild Nature Center, will take place July 11 and 12 at the Idyllwild Nature Center. Activities include informative talks, walks and activities for children. There will be historical re-enactments, music, crafts and vendors.
If you are interested in helping with the festival, call the Nature Center at 951-659-3850.