Sunday, March 30, 2014

Trout Lillies

These lovely trout lilies (Erythronium) were blooming in the garden of a friend who is a wildflower enthusiast. These beauties have several other names, none of which are as appealing as the blooms themselves. They are called dog's tooth violets and adder's tongue, both names referring to the long tooth-like bulbs. Trout lilies and fawn lily refer to the spotted leaves.
I have quite a few of these  bulbs that come up every year, but I seldom get more than an occasional flower. This year I didn't get a single bloom. They are not long lasting blooms at best so I try to keep an eye on them to make sure I don't miss them if they do bloom. The bulbs do not bloom until they produce 2 leaves. All my plants only had one leaf this year.
The grower of these trout lilies advises that in the wild he has seen them growing on soil associated with limestone and says when they are planted, the planting hole should have oyster shells (of the kind fed to chickens). Maybe that is my trouble. My soil is incredibly acidic.

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