Erythronium - Growing Guide

Caring for Erythronium

Dog’s tooth lily, Trout lily

These are hardy bulbous clump forming perennials which have naturalised themselves well along the sides of the drive at Burncoose where they flower in April in fairly bare patches of ground where the competition from other grasses and weeds is not too intense. This success story is E. japonicum from Japan which is a bulbous plant with rich violet flowers and purple anthers. It grows only to about 6-8in in height but is eye catching when it performs.

Erythronium japonicum click for larger image
Erythronium japonicum

E. ‘Pagoda’ is also a bulbous perennial which grows and flowers as well in pots as it will in the garden. It grows (with its flowering stems) to about a foot in height. The flowers are a bright sulphur-yellow with deeper yellow anthers.

E. ‘Kondo’ grows to a similar height and has pale yellow flowers.

Erythronium need to be planted at least 4in deep in open ground to avoid them being eaten by mice or dug up by squirrels (as we have found in the nursery). They should not be allowed to dry out and clumps can be lifted to separate out smaller bulbs for moving elsewhere once they are fully dormant after flowering.


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