Erythronium 'Pagoda' - plant of the month april 2012
Erythronium 'Pagoda' is a hybrid between Erythronium tuolumnense, a plant with unmottled, pale green leaves whith several bright yellow flowers and Erythronium californicum 'White Beauty', this supplies the mottling of the foliage and the ring of reddish-brown near the centre of the flower. It is freely available from most bulb dealers at a modest price and can be grown in most well drained soils that do not completely dry out. It prefers dappled or partial shade and should be planted at a depth of around 10cm. Take care not to plant it too near to choice, delicate plants as when happy, it can multiply and grow strongly.
The flower colour of Erythronium 'Pagoda' is usually described as pale sulphur-yellow with a brown ring in the throat, though descriptions vary between sources. One reason for this variation is possibly due to the fact that the flower colour seems to be dependant on both age and vitality of the individual plant; the newer the flower, the more intense the inner marking appears. Looking at the four images, the top left-hand image shows a plant which only had one flower- note the intense red/brown markings.the top right-hand image shows the lower flower with more marking than upper flower and the bottom right image shows the uppermost flower of a strongly growing plant that had 10 flowers on its stem - the marking is barely discernable.
A small section of the Wisley woodland garden, mass-planted with E.'Pagoda'.
To quote Vic Aspland ' Erythronium 'Pagoda' is big, bold and vigorous. Real alpine aficionados are inclined to spurn it but it has rich yellow flowers, attractively marbled leaves and a good rate of increase'. As a garden plant it has been awarded an AGM by the RHS Rock Garden Plant Trials Sub-Committee and is part of a current trial of this attractive and useful genus which is being conducted at the RHS gardens at Wisley.