Tom's Blog

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wood lily bulbs

The wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is one of the more attractive prairie plants, but hard to raise. Starting with a seed, the first year one gets only a single tiny leaf which dies back in the fall. The next year one may get another leaf, or perhaps two, both small and inconspicuous. If you aren't careful, you can toss them out. A few more years of this may ensue and you may start to wonder. However, what is happening is that the plant is building a bulb, which will eventually make a real plant.

The photo here shows two fairly substantial bulbs that were eventually made from two seeds. These plants were in a flat outdoors for 4 or 5 years with nothing but an occasional watering. Now these bulbs are probably ready to get a permanent location in a prairie. The root system is pretty substantial. These are the sorts of plant that the seed companies sell as bare root.


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