Erythronium americanum - how to get it to flower

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Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

Those at our Botanical garden are growing in full morning sun but afternoon shade....any too themselves with no competition.  The soil is quite wet in fall-winter-spring and even in summer, never fully dries.  My shy bloomers at home are from a different source and have to fight it out with many neighbours.  The 'plants' don't mind...they have even spread happily into the lawn but flowers are scanty, although better blooming than 1%!  I have to get some of the strain from our BG as they are soooo free-flowering.

Todd Boland St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada Zone 5b 1800 mm precipitation per year

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Todd wrote:

Those at our Botanical garden are growing in full morning sun but afternoon shade....any too themselves with no competition.  The soil is quite wet in fall-winter-spring and even in summer, never fully dries.  My shy bloomers at home are from a different source and have to fight it out with many neighbours.  The 'plants' don't mind...they have even spread happily into the lawn but flowers are scanty, although better blooming than 1%!  I have to get some of the strain from our BG as they are soooo free-flowering.

Todd, I've been sitting on the fence on this one, is there a cultural problem that inhibits flowering, or perhaps some forms are just better flowering than others.  Based on your comments, I'm going to side with the latter.  I'd be happy (maybe) with even the 1% blooming that you report, I've had my plants for about 10 years, and they have never flowered (0% flowering), but are spreading happily around.

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Sue Emanovsky
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Joined: 2019-05-03

So after 9 or 10 yrs from the original posts has anybody figured out how to get more blooms? I'm in zone 4, the white mountains of NH and it's probably the most common wild flower out in my woods. 1 out of 5,000 might bloom. I've moved blooming and non blooming ones to my shade gardens. Soils if pretty much the same as where they were growing, maybe a bit better because I have plenty of horse manure to add to my gardens. None bloom. They grow. They spread.

I even see them blooming in very deep shade in the woods. So light and temps aren't a factor. I do pass this one maddening clump growing in a cleft in a ledge on the highway that blooms heavily. The ledge drips water encasing the plant in ice all winter. You would think it would suffocate but it's always loaded come spring. Sadly the traffic is too heavy to safely stop so I can get a closer look and figure out exactly what is going on there.

HeLP
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Joined: 2010-03-22

I  have recently relocared to Down East Maine and discovered that Erithroniums here bloom profusely and thrive in the harshest conditions.  I am curious about the possibility of a local strain or perhaps something about the soils and climactic conditions affectiong bloom-any thoughts or suggestions to this mystery are welcome.  I previously lived in Central New York where my experience was similar to Mark and Sue

Harold Peachey USDA Z5, Lamoine, ME

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Hello Sue and Harold, wow it's been almost 10 years since I started this topic, where did the years go? Based on both of your experiences, adding to the likelihood that there are certain free-flowering clones and essentially non-flowering clones, I'm choosing that explanation. So, I have little else to add other than one day I would like to try seed or tubers sourced from a free-flowering form.

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Sue Emanovsky
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Title: Member
Joined: 2019-05-03

Not sure I can buy that explaination. It's a very common flower on my property and time and time again I've dug up a bloomer and put it in my shade garden only to have it never bloom again. Plenty of healthy leaves but no blooms.

 

Maybe if I threaten it with the rototiller. I've tried just about everything else.

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