TROUT LILY, CALIFORNIA FAWN Erythronium californicum
Erythronium californicum, the California fawn lily, is endemic to moist woodland habitats in the mountains of Northern California. It is an herbaceous hardy perennial growing from a pointed bulb 3 to 6 cm wide and producing two basal leaves which are sometimes spotted with brown. The reddish-green stalks grow up to 30 cm (12 in) tall and each bears one to three nodding, slightly scented flowers in spring. The flower has yellowish-white tepals 2 to 4 cm long, sometimes with red or brown banding or striping toward the bases. Several of these cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Type: Hardy perennial
Height: 30 cm, 12"
Location: or part
Hardiness zones: 3-9
Bloom time: Spring
Seeds per pack: 5
Germination: As with many perennials, these require a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
Alternatively, these seeds can also be planted outdoors in fall, winter, or early spring, while temperatures are still cold (but ground is workable) to germinate naturally in spring. Be sure to mark the area where you planted them, and that the soil is consistently moist.