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    Foxtail Lilies present a spectacular display in any garden. I like to plant them in groups and to show off all the different colors they bloom in.
   The flowers are shaped like tiny stars which start to open acropetally, that is, from the bottom of the spike and continue to the top of the spike. These pretty little stars are in bloom for a long time. After a long winter these plants provide a striking view for spring. They complement other tuberous-rooted plants and spring bulbs.
   This tall lily relative at left is Eremurus stenophyllus (Boisson et Buhse) Baker (1877.) used for producing a number of the popular Foxtail Lily, also known as "Desert Candle" varieties.
   This name has priority over the in horticulture still widely used Eremurus bungei Baker (1879.) name. English vernacular names are Foxtail Lily and Desert Candle.
   The generic name Eremurus comes from the Greek word for "desert tail", referring to both the origins of the flower and its shape. Their native habitats range throughout Central Asia on the south including East Turkey through Iraq and Iran to Afghanistan and the Himalayas.
   Eremurus species have been cultivated in Britain since 1875.
   Propagartion material is available in the trade as seeds or, usually from September to December as bare tubers. The tuberous roots radiate from the root neck and the root system looks much like a starfish or a big spider. They are brittle so be careful when you handle them.
   Use rich sandy loam, with the some decayed cow manure when you plant your tubers in the fall for a rainbow of colors in the spring. Plant the tubers about 6" deep and 12" apart. Make the hole wide enough to accommodate the whole tuberous, brittle root system.
   Provide lots of bright sun, fertilizer and good drainage.   
   Eremurus species and hybrids are hardy down to Zone 5 in the US. Cut back the foliage in late season after it has died back; new foliage will reappear each spring. If you live in a colder zone, you yourself need to provide protection for the bulbs. Covering them with leaves or grass clippings replacing teh cut off dry foliage up to 1 foot thick will help in protecting the tubers during winter.
   Like most tuberous and bulb plants after several years they need to be divided. I use a pitch fork to lift and separate mine in the fall. A fresh planting improves the blooms and expands your garden.
   Oh yes, snails love the tender green sprouts and if you don’t act quickly the snails will devour all of your plants and you will have no pretty Foxtails in your garden!
Eremurus stenophyllus (Boisson et Buhse) Baker (1877.)
   Inflorescences of these plants consist of hundreds of small flowers, which do deserve a closer look.
   As the flower spikes grow quite tall (up to ten feet in some species) staking them may be needed to protect them from heavy winds.  O the other hand cutting the flower spikes do not harm established plants; the acropetally opening flowers provide you with long-lasting, spectacular additions to flower arrangements.
Park Seed Hardiness Zones



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