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My own pagoda

April 4th, 2004 · No Comments


This is my favorite bulb of the spring. I like daffodils. I like tulips. I like crocuses. But this one is special to me because it is unique. It is a cultivar of yellow dog-tooth violet that is named “Pagoda”:Erythronium tuolumnense. I heard about it in an Ann Lovejoy book (can’t remember which one) and knew I had to add it to my then-Japanese-themed garden.

The bulbs are expensive – more than most other bulbs – and hard to find in local nurseries. I bought more this year but waited a few weeks to plant them, and in the meantime they rotted inside the bag in the garage. The foliage is thick and attractive. The flowers are six-petaled and shy, poking up on thin stems then bending down towards the ground. I think of the violets as having many “siblings”, with rows of buds down the stems.

The picture above was taken on a rainy day earlier this week when the first flowers were opening. Below is a picture of the plants, the cluster of violets growing up together, taken on a sunny day this weekend, as more flowers were opening.


Tags: gardening