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Erythronium dens-canis - L.                
                 
Common Name Dog's-Tooth Violet
Family Liliaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards Skin contact with the bulbs has been known to cause dermatitis in sensitive people[65].
Habitats Woods, scrub and mountain grassland, to 1700 metres[50].
Range Europe.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of bulb
Erythronium dens-canis is a BULB growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to June, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

USDA hardiness zone : 3-7


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Erythronium dens-canis Dog


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Griensteidl
Erythronium dens-canis Dog
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Lawn;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked and used as a vegetable[46]. It can be dried to make a flour[22, 46, 61] and is also the source of a starch used in making 'vermicelli' and cakes[183]. Leaves - cooked[46, 61, 183]. Eating the leaves will greatly reduce the vigour of the bulb, so can only be recommended in times of emergency[K].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers slightly acid soil conditions but succeeds in chalky soils if these contain plenty of humus[164]. Requires semi-shade, preferably provided by trees or shrubs, and a well-drained soil[42, 164]. Succeeds in almost any light soil, preferring one that is rich in humus[1]. Thrives in light grass[90, 200]. This species does not flower very freely, increasing mainly by its stoloniferous habit[164]. Flowers are produced in 3 - 4 years from seed[164]. Bulbs should be planted about 7cm deep[1]. There are many named forms, selected for their ornamental value[207]. Many of these cultivars have a habit to divide freely to form clumps containing many small non-flowering bulbs[257]. To remedy this, the bulbs should be lifted and divided, replanting them singly about 10cm below soil level[258].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. Water lightly in summer, it should germinate in autumn or winter[164, 200]. Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification[164]. Sow as early in spring as possible in a cold frame. Sow the seed thinly so that it will not be necessary to prick them out for their first year of growth. Give an occasional liquid feed to the seedlings to make sure that they do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants are dormant, pot up the small bulbs putting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for another 2 3 years and then plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant in late summer. Division of the bulbs in the summer as the leaves die down[1]. Larger bulbs can be replanted immediately into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up smaller bulbs and grow them on in a shady position in a greenhouse for a year before planting them out when dormant in late summer.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
50200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[22]Sholto-Douglas. J. Alternative Foods.
Not very comprehensive, it seems more or less like a copy of earlier writings with little added.
[42]Grey. C. H. Hardy Bulbs.
Rather dated now, but an immense work on bulbs for temperate zones and how to grow them. Three large volumes.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[50]? Flora Europaea
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[90]Phillips. R. and Rix. M. Bulbs
Superbly illustrated, it gives brief details on cultivation and native habitat.
[164]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[207]Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers.
A nice read, lots of information on plant uses.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
[258]RHS. Wisley, Surrey. The Garden. Volume 124. 1999.
The monthly newsletter of the RHS, contains articles on Erythroniums.

Readers comment                                         
 
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