Eremurus or foxtail lily is a member of the lily family but it is a strange plant in that the roots are more like a regular perennial tuberous roots that are thick and fleshy, spreading out in all directions rather than one single bulb or potato-like tuber.
But this plant is one of the most stunning garden plants you can imagine!
The flowers rise up like thick, fat delphinium blooms to reach 6-7tall and it is a show-stopper when in bloom.
Blooming in May-June, Eremurus is a full sun lover.
Plant the roots 5 inches deep (to the base of the root).
Take extreme care when planting this root, it resents disturbance try to be as gentle as you can.
Dont fold the root, don't try to fit it into the hole make the hole much larger than the root, dont break the tubers like I say, be gentle.
You can plant Eremurus roots 18-24 inches apart for good effect in the garden and use them at the back of the perennial border because the foliage isnt going to be a winner.
Planting towards the rear gives you a tall effect very early in the season (rare).
Mulch with straw or a deep layer of material the first few winters to protect the tender tubers. Once the plant is established, it becomes hardy enough for a zone 4 garden.
But if youre going to lose it, youre going to lose it in the first two winters.
False springs are tough on this plant as they tend to be quick out of the ground once the frost is out of the ground. A late frost will knock out the blossom to be sure. A mulch that keeps the ground cool is a great idea.
Eremurus robustus with its 7 tall spikes in soft pink are stunning
Ruiter and Shelford Hybrids are shorter (48) but there is a wider range of flower colours from salmons, yellows and oranges.
There are varieties being grown such as:
Cleopatra', an orange with a darker vein.
'Pinocchio' is lemon-yellow with bright orange stamens.