Tom's Blog

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wood lily conservation

Wood lilies are blooming now but you have to be quick or you will miss them.

This year we have been more successful than usual at Pleasant Valley Conservancy. They are/were flowering in Valley, Pocket, and Toby's Prairie.

With their brilliant orange-red color they really stand out against the green prairie background, although we sometimes mistake a colored flag at a distance.

This is the first year we have seen them at Toby's Prairie, where they were planted as seed. Kathie's trick for seed planting is to knife the seeds in with a small butcher knife. She cuts a narrow trench in the soil, adds a couple of seeds, and closes up the hole. If you are lucky you may see a flower in three or four years (or never).

Since wood lilies make bulbs, they may return to the same site again and again. However, our experience at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie is that the flowering population varies widely from year to year. Because of the 2012 drought, 2013 was a really bad year, but 2014 is lots better, although not up to some of the peak years. See my 2008 post for some details on why this site is so favorable for lilies.


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