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Foxtail Lilies: The Rockets of the Bulb World
Celebrating our 14th Anniversary Season!
Hello Fellow Gardeners!
Perhaps the most spectacular of all spring blooming bulbs is the foxtail lily or Eremurus. These are the rockets of the bulb world reaching heights from three feet to 10 feet tall!
Below you will learn more about this fascinating genus and how to grow them in your garden. If you become enamoured with their drama and beauty you can also order them for pick-up or shipping by following the links to our mail order site.
Gary and the Phoenicians
Lady's Slipper Orchids
Pre-Order Now for October Pick-Up or Shipping.
We have 42 different species and cultivars of hardy Cypripedium lady's slipper orchids available for pre-order now for fall. Fall is the best time to plant and establish these beautiful garden orchids.
||Phoenix Perennials has been designated as a Canada 150 Garden Experience as one of the top garden experiences in the country on the occasion of Canada's 150th birthday.
The Rockets of the Bulb World
Foxtail lilies, desert candles or Eremurus are the magnificent rockets of the bulb world. Depending on the species or cultivar they can grow from three to 10 feet tall with vertical spires of tiny lily-like flowers in shades of white, pale pink, copper orange, orange, and yellow.
Eremurus rise from mounds of strap-like bluish foliage that resembles a yucca. This foliage rises dramatically out of the ground in spring like an alien claw erupting from the soil with leaves then spreading into a sphere of structural foliage. In May and June the flower spikes begin to rise out of the centre of the plant to put on their incredible display. At this time the leaves will begin to die back with the tips starting to turn yellow. You can trim them so they don't detract from the display of the flowers or you can plant strategically with a 1-2 foot tall mounding perennial in front of them to block the view of the foliage.
All of this bold botanical display comes from equally intriguing roots. Underground the Eremurus consists of a vertical central crown which is the growing point for the leaves and flower stem which is surrounded by horizontally spreading, octopus-like roots that can be thick like long carrots.
You can successfully grow foxtail lilies (officially) down to zone 5 but I have seen them growing in zone 4. There are two important tricks to growing foxtail lilies. These are plants of mountain slopes and dry habitats that are native from Turkey through the "Stans" into China so they can be prone to rot in overly moist soils, especially when dormant. You should plant them in full sun, in well-drained soils especially raised beds and, if you have particularly rich soils, add additional grit, gravel, or coarse sand to the planting hole. You can even lay down a 1-2 inch deep layer of these coarse materials and lay the rhizome on top of it. Then cover the Eremurus with a mixture of garden soil and coarse materials.
The other thing to consider is that Eremurus need their space. Don't plant large rambunctious perennials around them that will cover over and shade out their foliage. Instead, plant low groundcovers or short late-emerging perennials around them allowing them to bask in the full sun that they need without competition.
This fall at Phoenix we are pleased to offer five different
species and cultivars of Eremurus including some uncommonly seen cultivars: 'Oase', 'Romance', and the 10 foot tall 'Yellow Giant'. We hope you'll
be inspired to try some of these botanical rockets in your garden.
Here are this year's offerings:
|Eremurus robustus - Eremurus robustus has dramatic spires of pink buds opening to white flowers with a hint of pink (plus orange stamens and yellow pistils) that rise to five feet or more from an octopus-like base of narrow strap-like leaves in early summer. Plant in a dry yet rich soil in a sunny location and do not allow other perennials to overgrow the foliage. From Turkestan.
||Eremurus 'Pinocchio' - ‘Pinocchio’ is shorter than the other forms and thus better for smaller spaces. It has yellow-orange flowers with orange anthers on dramatic spires of three to four feet. Octopus-like, narrow strap-like leaves. Plant in a dry yet rich soil in a sunny location and do not allow other perennials to overgrow the foliage.
|Eremurus 'Oase' - Eremurus 'Oase' has tall, fragrant spires of pale pink flowers that fade to soft yellow, with strap-like, spotted, blue-green foliage. Dramatic and unusual. 'Oase' is the Dutch word for Oasis. Eremurus needs rich soil with excellent drainage, and sun that reaches the foliage while in growth and bakes the roots when plants go dormant after flowering. Roots are shaped like an octopus, worth ordering for that reason alone, but are fragile and do not like to be disturbed after planting.
||Eremurus 'Romance' - Eremurus 'Romance' has tall, stately spires of salmon pink flowers that appear as strap-like green foliage begins to die back. Dramatic and unusual. Eremurus needs rich soil with excellent drainage, and sun that reaches the foliage while in growth and bakes the roots when plants go dormant after flowering. Roots are shaped like an octopus, worth ordering for that reason alone, but are fragile and do not like to be disturbed after planting.
|Eremurus 'Yellow Giant' - If Eremurus is a plant for making a statement, 'Yellow Giant' is an exclamation point with thick spires of intensely yellow flowers that can grow to 10 feet tall! Dramatic and unusual. Eremurus needs rich soil with excellent drainage, and sun that reaches the foliage while in growth and bakes the roots when plants go dormant after flowering. Roots are shaped like an octopus, worth ordering for that reason alone, but are fragile and do not like to be disturbed after planting.
These foxtail lilies are available now for pre-ordering for pick-up or shipping in late Sept/early October.
Visit the Rare Bulb Pre-Order on our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order Site to see our full selection of over 200 rare bulbs. Both mail order and local customers should place their orders through our mail order system. Local customers should select the pick up option when checking out. Quantities are limited. Please order early to secure your favourites.
Our selection of rare bulbs will ship or be ready for pick-up in late September or early October, depending on when they arrive from Europe. Some bulbs may arrive later in a second shipment. For local customers, we will email you when it's time to pick up.
For mail order customers we will also email you in advance of shipping. We recommend you place separate orders for plants, bulbs, and Cypripedium as each is ready at different times and we wish to ship when these products are at their freshest. If you place multiple separate orders, put a note to us when you check out about these orders and we will see if we can ship your items together though the default will be to ship separately. If you combine plants, bulbs, and Cypripedium in the same order we will assume you want everything shipped together and will wait until your order is complete, unless there are reasons why we might want to ship ASAP.
Changes from last year:
- We have made changes that should ensure we receive 90% of our bulbs this year so the majority of your order should be complete. These bulbs are rare for many reasons but mostly because they are slower to bulk up than bulbs that are more commonly available. For this reason, supplies at harvest time can be less than expected and we are usually shorted on some varieties. Please be understanding if we contact you in the fall that some of the bulbs you ordered are not available.
- We will no longer be processing payment in advance. Payment will be processed just before pick-up or shipping.
- We have made adjustments to our shipping calculations and packing methods that should decrease shipping costs this year on bulbs.
Ordering: Visit the Rare Bulb Pre-Order on our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order Site for full details. Mail order and local customers should both place your orders through our mail order system. When checking out, local customers should select the pick-up option. Mail order customers should select their preferred shipping method. The minimum order value to place a pre-order for mail order or pick-up is $40. Extra bulbs will be available for sale at Phoenix once pre-orders have been filled. Have fun!
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Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials
in the Lower Mainland.
No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving
directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge
and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding
municipalities and beyond.
Opening Dates and Hours
February 24th to October 29th, 2017
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