ERANTHIS or WINTER ACONITE

P.Eranthis hyemalis is the old-fashioned winter aconite which blooms in January or February, depending on the weather conditions. The yellow, buttercup-like flowers, with the leaves just below the petals, are borne on 4 in. plants. A cool, moist soil is ideal for winter aconites. They can be naturalised under shrubs or trees. Plant is early as possible, preferably in August. They take time to settle down and resent disturbance. E. cilicica has bronze, more finely-cut leaves with broader petals to the flowers, shorter stems and blooms a little later. It is rather harder to establish but worth every care. E. tuber-geniana has extra large, deep yellow, fragrant flowers which are sterile hence they last longer on the plant.

EREMURUS, FOXTAIL LILY or GIANT DESERT COACHES P.

It should be noted that it is often several years before the handsome flowers make a first appearance. Eremurus must have a warm, deep, well-drained soil and a sunny position away from exposure to cold winds. Protect the crowns in winter with bracken, dry heather, straw litter, etc. Plant the fleshy, spider-like roots in September or March, 4 in. deep and 18 in. apart, and leave undisturbed for as many years as possible. Seed is the best means of increase although seedlings take about 5 years to flower. Sow in September in a cold frame. Keep an eye open for slugs.

Heights vary from 4Y2 ft. to 10 ft. depending on species and variety. Eremurus bungei is pink and yellow (5—6 ft.), Highdown Pink, a clear pink (5—6 ft.), Sir Arthur Hazlcrigg, coppery-orange (6—7 ft.), robustus, rosy-pink to about 9 ft., himalaicus, white to about 7 ft. and Elwesianus, another clear, light pink growing as high as 10 ft. when well established.

Highdown Hybrids and Shelford Hybrids embody various pastel shades in salmon, yellow, orange, copper etc.

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