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Erythronium americanum

amberbell

A bulbous perennial to around 15cm high, with solitary or paired elliptic, deep green leaves, mottled with grey and purple-brown. Solitary golden yellow flowers, sometimes flushed reddish-purple on the outsides and with recurved petals, are borne on slender reddish stems in spring. Slowly spreading, forming small colonies in good conditions. Plants may take several years to flower, and individual plants may not flower every year

Other common names
fish hooks
lamb's tongue
see moreserpent's tongue
snake leaf
snake root
spring lily
trout lily
yellow dog's tooth violet
yellow lily
yellow snowdrop

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Loam
Chalk
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green Grey Silver Purple
Summer
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Liliaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Ornamental bulbs - not to be eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Erythronium are bulbous perennials with paired, ovate or broadly elliptic leaves, and leafless stems bearing one or more nodding, star-shaped flowers with recurved petals

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E North America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in light or dappled shade, in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil that does not dry out in summer. Bulbs must be kept slightly damp until planted, and planted at least 10cm deep in late summer or early autumn. Well suited to woodland planting. See bulb cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by division of established clumps, after flowering. Plants dislike disturbance and may take time to re-establish

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Rock garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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