Vegetative Erythronium propagation

Pacific Rim
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 00:05:00 PDT
Diane Whitehead and Rodger Whitlock are both good growers. Their keyboards 
may have been typing without consulting them.

Diane wrote:

> Almost all western erythroniums do not increase except by seed

I haven't grown them all, and some I haven't grown long enough to be sure. 
But from experience I know that at least the following not only seed around 
but also make pups: oregonum, revolutum, californicum, citrinum, 
hendersonii, tuolumnense.

Rodger wrote:

> if you look over enough wild ones, you will find isolated specimens that 
> do
> multiply vegetatively.

Lots, not just isolated specimens, reproduce vegetatively. Of course some do 
so more rapidly than others. E. californicum 'White Beauty' is an example. 
But I'd expect every mature bulb of the spp. named to make pups. Even 
semi-matuare bulbs often do so.

> Further: I have been reliably told that you can propagate erythroniums by
> simply breaking the bulbs into several pieces and replanting. Erythroniums 
> are
> in the Liliaceae, so it's very similar in spirit to propagating lilies 
> from
> scales.

This is very interesting. Please tell us more!

Similar dicing has reportedly worked with some Trillium, some Fritillaria 
and some Arisaema. But not others. In Lilium proper, the tissue of the bulb 
plate retains the ability to make new bulbs vegetatively; scales without a 
piece of the plate cannot make more bulbs (except in some tissue culture).

Paige Woodward

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