Erythronium americanum - how to get it to flower

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

Hello Lis,  that's encouraging that you've been able to enhance flowering a little bit, although still hard to draw concrete conclusions about what it is that stimulates flowering.

Regarding your question "How do you sign off on this thing??", I interpret this as "how do I log off of the NARGS Forum".  You have two options.  Near the top of any NARGS Forum page, the is the general options menu bar, with HOME on the left side, and LOGOUT on the right-hand sign.  You can choose LOGOUT, then close your browser window after logging out.  Next time you access the NARGS Forum to post, you will need to login again.  This is the most secure option.

If on the other hand, when you first login to NARGS Forum, you can select the option to stay logged in.  If that option is selected, you can simply close the browser window without manually selecting LOGOUT.  If you do it that way, next time you access the NARGS Forum, you'll automatically already be logged in.

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Lis wrote:

I have moved several blooming plants into my garden, and they all bloomed again this spring, even the one that got pulled up by some critter and left to dry out on top of the soil. In one case the blooming plant is now surrounded by 5 small leaves. It'll be interesting to see if and when they bloom.

This also makes me wonder if there is a maturity aspect to the equation.  Since bulbs continued to flower the next season despite adversity, perhaps it is getting over that "hump" out of vegetative mode into reproductive mode that is a (the?) hurdle.  What pushes it over the hump is the question.

Another clue....maybe: with many Lilium species, if the conditions are too dry, the bulb tends to break up into many small, non-blooming bulbs, rather than remain as one large, flowering bulb.  I have witnessed this myself, with more than one Lilium hybrid with widely differing parentage, and there were no outward signs of water stress.  The same bulbs replanted in more moisture retentive soil produced large, floriferous plants.  So this might be interpreted as supporting the "ideal" moisture conditions encouraging reproductivity, versus dry that fosters a vegetative mode.

Um yeah, not a big revelation, but perhaps something to build on.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Reed
Reed's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-10-09

There is also a vegital form of E. americanum that does not flower. These individuals make up about 99% of a given population of this species. The distinguishing characteristic of the vegital plants are a single basal leaf and no flower (Wein, 242).

Here is a link to this site I thought you all might like to see it if you have not already.

http://www.discoverlife.org/nh/tx/Plantae/Monocotyledoneae/Liliaceae/Ery...

Albany, Oregon USA. Pacific Northwest, elevation approximately 200ft zone 8. Winter wet and Summer Dry. Hot enough to ripen the peaches.

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

James wrote:

There is also a vegital form of E. americanum that does not flower. These individuals make up about 99% of a given population of this species. The distinguishing characteristic of the vegital plants are a single basal leaf and no flower (Wein, 242).

Here is a link to this site I thought you all might like to see it if you have not already.

http://www.discoverlife.org/nh/tx/Plantae/Monocotyledoneae/Liliaceae/Ery...

I assumed this to mean that 1% do flower, and 99% never flower, or 99% of the plants don't bloom because they had not developed to the mature (flowering) plant.  But reading your link, neither of these is the case.  According to Wein, a flowering plant will likely return to a vegital role in the population (Wein, 243).  This is a curious genus!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I have the 99% that don't flower at all!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

CMiller
CMiller's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-05-03

I have thousands of these and most bloom every year.  I read that they like cooler temperatures and will grow bigger if cooler.  They bloom best if there is a slow Spring with a delay between snow melt and the leafing of the canopy.  I presume that if it gets hot rapidly in the Spring, that flowering will be affected.  There is an abstract I read at http://www.jstor.org/pss/2445130 which says they do better if some large trees are removed occasionally.  That might be true because I have many Abies balsamea which are a very short-lived tree, snapping off at the trunk after 40 or 50 years.   

Connie Miller
North Channel of Lake Huron
Zone 4

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

CMiller wrote:

I have thousands of these and most bloom every year.  I read that they like cooler temperatures and will grow bigger if cooler.  They bloom best if there is a slow Spring with a delay between snow melt and the leafing of the canopy.  I presume that if it gets hot rapidly in the Spring, that flowering will be affected.  There is an abstract I read at http://www.jstor.org/pss/2445130 which says they do better if some large trees are removed occasionally.  That might be true because I have many Abies balsamea which are a very short-lived tree, snapping off at the trunk after 40 or 50 years.   

Cool temperatures are no problems here! Do your plants get lot of water?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

CMiller
CMiller's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-05-03

Yes, indeed, the plants are practically in standing water in many areas and yet, they bloom nicely.  This standing water occurs when the ground is still frozen but the snow melts.  If I stick a shovel in my ground when it thaws in the Spring, the hole quickly fills with water.  There are areas with sphagnum too and lots of rotted wood and leaves. 

Connie Miller
North Channel of Lake Huron
Zone 4

Allison
Allison's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-04-08

Yes, adequate sunlight may be key to getting E. americanum to bloom. I've got acres of the darn things, including many plants that might be E. albidum because they have no mottling on the leaves and the leaves are silvery blue-green, and get very few flowers. Still, this year there were significantly more than other years and indeed many were in places where downed trees had opened up the canopy. I'm not sure about the effect of water as many of mine which bloomed were on rocks and quite dry. Maybe it's a matter of enough water, enough sunlight and enough soil to add up to the plant having the energy to bloom. I moved a blooming one into a garden bed in 2009, so if rich conditions have an effect, it should be noticeable. It did bloom this year so maybe.

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Thanks Connie. I think I have to move some of my plants to a wetter and sunnier place. Where they are now they have to compete with some shrubs (Neillia and rhodos).
Your property seems to be a very exciting piece of land! I would say that the flooding is a pro and no contra. I would have been very careful with what I planted not to disturb the native flora and fauna too much.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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