ERYTHRONIUM

FAMILY: Liliaceae

TYPE
  • Perennials
  • Bulbs
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

Spring-blooming plants with dainty, nodding, lily-shaped owers to 11 in. across, on stems usually 1 ft. high or less. All have two (rarely three) broad, tongue-shaped, basal leaves that are mottled in many species. All need some subfreezing temperatures. Plant in groups under trees, in rock gardens, beside pools or streams. Set out bulbs in fall, 23 in. deep, 45 in. apart, in rich, porous soil; plant bulbs as soon as you receive them, and don't let them dry out. May take a few years after planting to begin blooming. Difficult to transplant once established, because bulbs work their way deep into the soil. Not eaten by rodents or deer.

E. albidum. WHITE TROUT LILY. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Native from Minnesota to Ontario and south to Texas. White owers ushed yellow at the base come on stems 612 in. tall. Blooms later in spring than most other species. Leaves are soft green, sometimes mottled with silver or brown. Spreads slowly to form colonies.

E. americanum. TROUT LILY. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Native from Minnesota to Nova Scotia and south to Florida. Shiny green leaves mottled brown and purple. Blooms in late spring, at about the same time as E. albidum; 3- to 6-in. stems bear pale yellow blossoms sometimes ushed with purple.

E. dens-canis. DOG-TOOTH VIOLET. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. European species. Leaves mottled with reddish brown; 6-in. stems bear purple or rose owers. Specialists can supply named forms with white, pink, rose, and violet blossoms. 'Rose Queen' has deep pink blooms.

E. 'Pagoda'. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Probable cross between E. tuolumnense and E. californicum 'White Beauty'. Vigorous grower, with deep green leaves heavily mottled in bronze. In spring, 6- to 14-in.-tall stems hold up to 10 bright yellow flowers with rusty central rings.

E. revolutum. PINK FAWN LILY. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Western native quite similar to E. californicum, but with larger foliage and flowers. Flower stems up to 16 in. hold pink blossoms marked yellow in the center. 'Pink Beauty' has deep pink flowers without yellow center. 'White Beauty', with large white, red- centered flowers, is often sold under this species but is now thought to be a variety of E. californicum.

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