Native Region: Pacific Northwest
Zone Range: 5-9
Preferred Climate: Dappled/morning sun; well draining average soil
Harvest Date: Sunday 09 August, 2009
Seed count: 25-30
Rare lily of the West Coast. The purple bell like flowers are checked with yellow thus giving a chocolate colour from a distance. Scaly bulbs were once a food source hence its other name 'Rice Root'. I don't recommend trying it as this species is becoming increasingly rare in the wild and too dear from a nursery.
This west coast lily behaves like Erythronium where it appears in early spring, flowers, set seed and becomes dormant. Mark where you have your dormant plants are so you won't suffer from cultivation tragedies. Some say its fragrant...but if they are talking about smell...it stinks! But you really have to bend low to smell the flowers anyway so nothing is really lost.
Soak seed 24 hours. Barely cover seed; press into medium Top dress with a little grit or sand to prevent the thin wing like seeds from flying way or dislodged by rain. Keep moist and cool. Germination may be erratic if sown from dry stored seed (think 18 months or more) but if kept in moist peat, it will germinate in the fridge by March...then they're all mine! Seedlings look like single blades of grass so don't be tempted to weed the pot until you know what you are really looking at!