West Coast Erythroniums

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 12 Apr 2010 11:12:48 PDT

I have successfully grown a number of our California Erythroniums 
from seed. I have better luck with them than I do my native 
Fritillaria although after I announced to this group I'm giving up 
trying on them I had one plant of three different species bloomed 
recently. Some Erythronium species I haven't been able to get to 
bloom however. Erythronium helenae is one of the best performers for 
me as well. I've seen it in the wild and it was not growing at high 
elevations or where it ever gets very cold and in counties that get 
no rain at all during the summer months. I surprised it is as 
adaptable as it is, but that just goes to show that a lot of plants 
will survive that you don't expect to survive.

On the other hand my experience with Erythronium tuolumnese does not 
match Paige's. I started seed October 2000. It germinated well and 
has been coming back since then, but has not bloomed until this 
year.  There is only one flower  and I have 18 plants and the flower 
opened just as we've had a couple of days of good rainfall so I don't 
know how long it will last. Pictures on the wiki show that not all 
plants have as many flowers as Paige has reported. I can only hope 
that every year my plants will improve. One wonders if there is a 
difference in different populations.

E. helenae started from seed fall 2001 bloomed  for the first time in 
2004. Plants I am growing started blooming this year in February and 
there are still a few flowers left so that's a nice long bloom time. 
E. californicum and E. multiscapodeum started from seed in 1999 also 
bloomed for the first time in 2004 and have bloomed ever since. The 
other one that flowers regularly for me is E. howellii. It has 
beautiful leaves that start out a lovely marked brown and become more 
green as they age.

Mary Sue

More information about the pbs mailing list