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Common Name: Mt. St. Helena Fawm Lily
Erythronium helenae is a Bulb up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, the following notes have been seen for another member of this genus and so some caution is advised.
Skin contact with the bulbs has been known to cause dermatitis in sensitive people[
Western N. America - N.W. California.
Well-watered volcanic soils and leaf mold, in brush and woods, 450- 700 metres[
Prefers slightly acid soil conditions but succeeds in chalky soils if these contain plenty of humus[
]. Requires semi-shade, preferably provided by trees or shrubs, and a well-drained soil[
]. Succeeds in almost any light soil, preferring one that is rich in humus[
]. Plants prefer perfect drainage and require drier conditions when dormant[
Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[
Plants are growing well in the light shade of a woodland garden at Kew[
Bulbs should be planted about 7cm deep[
This species is closely related to E. californicum, E. origonum, E. citrinum and E. howellii[
The following use has been noted for the closely related E. origonum and probably also applies to this species[
], which has corms 6 - 8cm long and up to 15mm thick[
Bulb - raw, cooked or dried for later use[
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[
]. Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification[
]. 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[
]. 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.