Ask a Question forum: Trout Lily

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Atlanta, Ga, Chattahoochee woo
jeffthelimitcom
Feb 5, 2018 1:51 PM CST
I'm working a woodland restoration project and am interested in finding some plants for the understory. Under consideration are Trout Lilies (Erythronium).

Although I've seen these in the wild, I know little about them.

The seeds are available, but it appears to take years before they grow to the flowering stage.

Does anyone have experience growing these or have a source for the corms?
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Feb 5, 2018 2:56 PM CST

Plants Admin

Gardens of the Blue Ridge would probably be your best source of native trout lilies.

http://www.gardensofthebluerid...

Prairie Moon Nursery (https://www.prairiemoon.com/) sells them as well, but theirs are likely sourced from the upper Midwest, which wouldn't be ideal for a restoration project in Georgia.

In my experience, both E. americanum and E. album are easy to grow in the proper conditions, but they don't spread very quickly under even the best of circumstances. On the other hand, woodland restoration is a long term process itself so the slow propagation rate of the trout lilies fits right in.
Atlanta, Ga, Chattahoochee woo
jeffthelimitcom
Feb 5, 2018 5:26 PM CST
KentPfeiffer said:Gardens of the Blue Ridge would probably be your best source of native trout lilies.

<link removed>

Prairie Moon Nursery<link removed>sells them as well, but theirs are likely sourced from the upper Midwest, which wouldn't be ideal for a restoration project in Georgia.

In my experience, both E. americanum and E. album are easy to grow in the proper conditions, but they don't spread very quickly under even the best of circumstances. On the other hand, woodland restoration is a long term process itself so the slow propagation rate of the trout lilies fits right in.


links removed due to my acorn status

Excellent.

I notice they have White Wood Aster which would seem to be a good fit and appears to propagate faster.

My current thinking is to plant in small groups (3 - 5) perhaps 10 to 20 feet apart with the Trout Lilies father off trails and the white wood aster sprinkled along ravine lines and trails.

Spicebush, native azaleas and oakleaf hydrangeas would do the heavy lifting.

Any thoughts?

Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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KentPfeiffer
Feb 5, 2018 9:40 PM CST

Plants Admin

How large of an area are you working on?
Atlanta, Ga, Chattahoochee woo
jeffthelimitcom
Feb 6, 2018 7:23 AM CST
KentPfeiffer said:How large of an area are you working on?


~ 20 acres of woodlands
~ 5 acres of flood plain
~ 5 acres cleared

The woodlands are overgrown with Japanese Privet which is being removed. There appears to be nothing other than privet in the under story.

About a third to half of the woodlands has been rapidly cleared of privet. This is a strip that runs alongside the Chattahoochee for ~ 1/2 mile. Large industrial upstream.

My current thinking is to seed the woodlands here and there and see what works, then down the line transplant or otherwise propagate these patches and add new. Edges and streaks of this would have native azaleas, blueberries and elderberries. Red twig dogwood and a few buttonbush (in the streams) down where there is seasonal flooding.

The goal is to roughly mimic what I see elsewhere whether completely natural or human altered but with perks for man and fauna.

Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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KentPfeiffer
Feb 6, 2018 8:13 AM CST

Plants Admin

At this point, I wouldn't recommend planting anything, for a couple of reasons. First, removing an invasive species like privet is almost never a simple, one step process. Control will require persistence and time. Until it's achieved, any plantings will have difficulty surviving. Second, it's often amazing just how many native plants reappear once an invasive species is removed. You might end up needing to plant fewer things than you currently believe.
Atlanta, Ga, Chattahoochee woo
jeffthelimitcom
Feb 6, 2018 9:18 AM CST
KentPfeiffer said:At this point, I wouldn't recommend planting anything, for a couple of reasons. First, removing an invasive species like privet is almost never a simple, one step process. Control will require persistence and time. Until it's achieved, any plantings will have difficulty surviving. Second, it's often amazing just how many native plants reappear once an invasive species is removed. You might end up needing to plant fewer things than you currently believe.


This is about year 3 for this project.

I've looked at others that are roughly 7 or more years in. What appears to me is that the spicebush holds it's own and where there are dedicated blueberry plantings human intervention has assisted in their survival. I haven't seen too much else in those longer term projects.

I'd like to do something here where there has been no to little privet for at least a year and in areas that it didn't expand to.

I'm somewhat struck by the variation in results and the need to rip out every shred, every root and every runner. The group here is far more efficient and aggressive and cold wet weather appears to be the ideal time to work.

I've seen far too many parks where there is nothing but fields and playgrounds, my inclination is to nudge it off in a different direction while the opportunity still exists.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 6, 2018 1:16 PM CST
jeffthelimitcom said:

~ 20 acres of woodlands
~ 5 acres of flood plain
~ 5 acres cleared


in Atlanta?

So... What is the project called? Can I google it?

Trout lilies would be a good choice for the flood plain, but... They are very small, and go dormant almost immediately after blooming.

If you spend some time walking the area, you are almost certainly going to see them.

My favourite method of growing a wildflower area.... Is to take out the invasives... The wildflowers are usually already there.
[Last edited by stone - Feb 6, 2018 1:17 PM (+)]
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