Erythronium dens-canis

25 Mar

Erythronium dens-canis (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Erythronium dens-canis (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Partial shade

Flowering period: Early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 25cm

Eventual Spread: 15cm

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Liliaceae

Erythronium dens-canis is a deciduous herbaceous, perennial bulb with a clump forming habit. Its mid green and mottled brown leaves appear in pairs, are elliptic with entire margins, up to 20cm long and 8cm broad. Its pink flowers are Lilly like with reflexed tepals, up to 3cm across and appear solitary on naked stalks. Its roots emerge from an oblong shaped bulb which is reminiscent of a dog’s tooth.

Erythronium dens-canis Flower (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Erythronium dens-canis Flower (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Erythronium dens-canis, commonly known as the Dog’s Tooth Violet or Dogs Tooth, is native to Europe (Including the UK). In its native habitat it grows in moist deciduous woodlands.

The etymological root of the binomial name Erythronium is derived from the Greek erythros meaning ‘red’, as to what the red refers to in this species we are unclear. Dens-canis

The landscape architect may find Erythronium dens-canis useful in shady moist locations including woodlands. It may be used as part of a native understory planting scheme (in the UK).

Ecologically, Erythronium dens-canis flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Erythronium dens-canis Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Erythronium dens-canis Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the species Erythronium dens-canis their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Erythronium dens-canis prefers moist, humus rich fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes dry soils.

Erythronium dens-canis requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided after flowering.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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