Eremurus, always a favorite


From the very first sign of it breaking through the ground, Eremurus generates excitement and anticipation.


This is what ‘Cleopatra’ looks like right now.


I borrowed a photo taken in July of 2011 to show you what there is to look forward to. I’m pretty sure they will be bloomed out by July, so this must be evidence that they are early this year.

Eremurus ‘Ruiter’s Hybrid’

My first attempt was Eremurus ‘Ruiter’s Hybrid’. It would bloom one year, then do nothing the next. This isn’t a bad shot, but nothing compared to the way the light was hitting it before I dashed into the house to get the camera. You know how that goes, I’m sure.


Now that I have moved it to the berm where Cleo was performing well, it produces several “candles” and comes along later for a long blooming season. I get most of my bulbs from John Scheepers, where the photos of Cleopatra make it look a much deeper orange than it ever gets for me. Oh well, I can live with that small disappointment. Here’s what their catlog has to say:

Desert Candle or Foxtail Lily: Deer and rodent-resistant, these willowy spires are comprised of densely packed florets that open progressively from the bottom of each spike up, with a sparse, low growing rosette of long, strappy leaves. Preferring rich, well-drained soil with bright sunlight and protection from wind, these woody, tuberous rootstocks should be planted upon receipt 36″ apart, never crowded, and covered with only 2″ to 3″ of soil. They dry out after harvest and rehydrate once planted. Loosen the soil at each each planting site and gently place each brittle, spidery rootstock with its pointed crown pointed up. Avoid breakage. In marginal zones, apply a 2″ layer of mulch after the ground freezes. Zones 5-8.

Does one plant stand out in your garden as a momentary favorite? Danger Garden gives you an opportunity to gush about it.

15 thoughts on “Eremurus, always a favorite

  1. If I had a bigger garden I’d grow these lovelies, Ricki. Yours are just gorgeous. I love how they’ve colonized and now send up so many flowers. I noticed today that the ones growing in a spot on the OSU campus are just finishing up so I believe they are really early this year. Funny how each year is unique. Isn’t this sunshine amazing? Love it.

  2. They are lovely Ricki, and I am very envious, as, try as I might, I just cannot grow them! What conditions do they favour ? Every time I try them they sulk for a long time, before vanishing without trace!!

  3. The Eremurus bulbs I planted most recently are doing much better than the ones I planted earlier . The earlier ones haven’t bloomed at all this year. Probably wasn’t a good Idea to plant so near the Cistus, which is looming over the top.

  4. Grace~I must remember to appreciate the joys of a large garden.It’s easy to get bogged down with the weeding. No trouble celebrating the sunshine with you.

    Jane~Mine get little to no supplemental watering…maybe that’s it.

    Loree~So sorry, but I guess turn about is fair play: you can admire my foxtails while I drool over your amazing success with agaves.

    Alison~I would love some peach colored ones, but I don’t necessarily trust the labeling. I’m sure you will show us yours when they bloom.

    Linda~Experimentation lines the road to success.

    Sarah~Isn’t it fun to try new things? Scheepers has a lot of oddballs. I hope, eventually, to try them all.

  5. I planted some of these this winter and 9/10 of them bloomed but they are all leaning. Since they get unblocked sun all day, I just can’t figure it out. Hopefully in future years they’ll be so beautifully upright like yours.

  6. I love Eremurus! I’ve been looking around wondering where I might be able to put some and might have just realized where thanks to you. “Rich, well-drained soil,” and I even have a John Scheepers catalog sitting next to me. I should have read the Eremurus description more carefully! I have one bed that might be perfect for these.

  7. Your Eremurus are gorgeous. I’ve never grown them myself but love seeing them. Almost paid for some in pots at a nursery today but told myself that would be foolish because the roots are much less expensive!

  8. Beth~That second shot was the only one taken with the new camera. I hadn’t thought it made that much difference until I started looking at archived photos.

    Evan~Glad I could help.

    Peter~It is tempting, seeing bulbs in their full glory, to plunk down the hard, cold cash. Hard to imagine that those dull, spidery things could ever result in such dramatic beauty.

  9. Tatyana~I love the color of ‘Romance’ (just Googled it). I just may have to clear out more space in the spot they seem to like and add that one.

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