Erythronium is a genus of shady bulbs from North America and Eurasia that form beautiful carpets of ephemeral spring flowers on the forest floors of their native regions. They are known as fawn lilies, trout lilies, and dogtooth violets. They have lush foliage that is often mottled with burgundy and beautiful, delicate, nodding, lily-like flowers in shades of white, yellow, or pink.
We often have our two BC native species, E. revolutum and E. oreganum, available in our native plant section each spring. In fall we offer various other options including a yellow hybrid, a species from northern California, and numerous cultivars from the dogtooth violet native to Europe.
Erythronium enjoy rich, evenly moist soils in the shade garden. They emerge, bloom, and then go dormant all from early spring to mid spring making them perfect for planting around hosta, hellebores, ferns, and other later emerging shade perennials. Erythronium will put on a beautiful show and then go dormant just in time for other plants to come up and do their thing.
You can also plant them under deciduous trees and shrubs where they can bask and bloom in the spring sunlight and then go dormant just as the leaves above them begin to unfurl. Many people see their short season as a drawback but used in these creative ways, Erythronium can be a valuable bulb for layering extra colour into existing areas of the garden.
Erythronium are easy to grow. Just make sure you plant them right away. They do not like to be out of soil for too long.
At Phoenix Perennials, we offer a number of Erythronium each year for pre-ordering through the summer and fall for pick-up or shipping in late September and early October. From July to October you can order at https://mailorder.phoenixperennials.com. Should supplies last, we may also have them available potted up in early spring.