Pouring rain in Portland just now and decided to try another post that ties my experience as botanical model maker and the grower of the specimen plant; like my earlier post on bird’s foot violet. The subject(s) of today’s post are The White Dogtooth Violet (not a violet but a lily) Erythronium albidum, and The Oregon Trout Lily, Erythronium oreganus. I did the model of the White Dogtooth Violet around 1990 while I was living in Cedarcreek Missouri and placed it in the habitat group pictured a year or so later after re-locating to Tucson, Arizona. This lily is native to southwest Missouri and has pale lavender on the outside of its petals–quite stunning. I included  a wolf spider model as they are quite often seen in the same habitat and to add some interest. Let’s start with a shot of the habitat group first:

 

Another view of the habitat group:

Can you see the wolf spider front and center? How about a detail shot:

I’ve kept this piece in a glass vitrine I made especially for it and it’s looking pretty good after twenty two years. It hasn’t changed a bit as far as I can see.

If we fast forward twenty two years, I find myself living in Oregon and my focus has shifted from making replicas of wildflowers to growing actual specimens in bonsai pots for use in displaying them with trees to give a sense of the season of spring or whenever it is they’re flowering. We have a very elegant version of the White Dogtooth Violet here in the Willamette Valley–The Oregon Trout Lily, Erythronium oreganus. I potted a nice clump late last month and got some pictures of it in its peak. The flowers are not very long lasting–about a week and it was a challenge to get a shot between downpours and hail and all else the weather could throw at us 😉 This plant is called a ‘trout lily’  for the similarity of the leaf markings and those of the brown or brook trout. And without further adieu, I present the Oregon Trout Lily:

The leaf markings are very faint in the photo as this was growing in semi-shade. The markings can be quite pronounced if the plant is growing in full sun. And another shot, slightly different angle:

And a close-up of the flower in the foreground:

 

I apologize for the soft focus as the breeze was moving the flowers around quite a bit. Lilies have a bulb that can be six to eight inches below the ground, which I hope explains the mounded look of this planting. It would have been nearly impossible to try and reduce the rootball to fit in this shallow pot so I decided to embed it in pumice, which will retain a little moisture and keep the planting healthy and well. It required watering twice daily when first potted up but now that it has established, I’ve got that down to once a day. I’d also like to find some appropriate moss to place over the rootball as this will help retain moisture as we go into the warmer summer months. I might eventually remove it from the shallow pot and put it in a deeper pot until I want to show it again next spring as these lilies are perennial. Please feel free to leave a comment!

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