Show Stoppers: Eremurus

When we went up to Owen Sound this weekend the eremurus was in bloom. I tend to use the latin name, instead of the common name, after an embarrassing incident when I was working at East of Eliza.  A woman came in and in a very posh English accent asked if we had any Ampelopsis. I was embarrassed to ask her what it was, had to think for a few minutes to clue in that it was porcelain berry ( I am sure that she thought I was useless). Since then I tend to think of plants in their latin name so it comes easily off the tip of my tongue. Although, when I was working at Kenneth Turner, which was based at Harrods, they called snapdragons, Antirrhinums, and that threw me.





This is Eremurus stenophyllus “Bungei” that I got at Veseys.  It came from their mail order catalogue, the $10 specials in the back. I got three roots that were shaped like a starfish.  Everything that I had read said to plant it with some gravel under the roots as they like good drainage, but I didn’t have any, it was too late to go out and buy any and since I was leaving for Toronto the next morning (4 a.m.), it didn’t get any. What I had going for me was a raised bed (slightly berm like).  I planted them in this and you can see the results.  According to the Veseys catalogue they are supposed to be blooming in May/June, but it is the middle of July.  Either my eremurus didn’t get the memo, or the cold weather has put them off a bit.

The catalogue also says that they are a great cut flower, and I can testify to this personally.  This time of year, it is the first flower I will use in a design, especially if the customer asks for a modern or masculine arrangement.  They last for eons as well, the only drawback is a slightly musky smell, maybe this is one reason their common name is foxtail lily.


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