ShadyGardens Blog

April 25, 2014

Easter Lily: Poison Plant

Filed under: cats, day, Easter, lilies, lilium, Lily, plants, Poison, toxic — shadygardens @ 12:38 pm

Cat lovers, be careful about bringing home an Easter Lily. Several types of lilies are toxic to cats: Tiger Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, and other Japanese Lilies.

Easter Lily

Lilies can cause acute kidney failure when eaten by a cat. All parts are poisonous–even just a nibble of the leaf or flower can result in kidney failure. If you see your cat consuming any part of a lily plant, take him immediately to your veterinarian for emergency treatment.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley, not a true lily, is dangerous for cats too, but in a different way. Convallaria majalis, causes vomiting, diarrhea, decreased heart rate, cardiac arrhythmia, and possibly even seizures, when ingested.

There is some controversy about whether or not daylilies are poisonous to cats. Not a true lily, hemerocallis species are edible for humans, rabbits, and deer. Both the leaves and the flowers are delicious in salads and taste much like lettuce. 

Hemerocallis Happy Returns Daylily
The ASPCA lumps daylilies in the same category as Lilium species on the toxic plants list, but I wanted to know what scientists believe so I searched a little deeper. The Hemerocallis species does not appear on the Toxic Plant List I found. You should take a look at that list–you might be surprised to find that you have several of the plants on their list. 

Spunky spends a lot of time in the Garden
At any rate, there has apparently not been enough study done to reveal whether or not daylilies are dangerous to cats. 

I do know that some things like aspirin are fine for us to ingest but are poison for our cats. When it comes to our pets, like our children, we are responsible for their safety. When you are unsure, it is best to err on the side of caution. If your pet seems sick after eating one of your plants, take him to the vet immediately along with a sample of the plant or at least the plant name.

October 16, 2010

Lycoris Radiata: Spider Lily or Hurricane Lily

Filed under: hurricane, Lily, lycoris, nursery, online, radiata, spider, surprise — shadygardens @ 1:17 pm
We all forget about the Spider Lily until the blooms arise to surprise us with their bright red spidery petals. This time of year our nursery receives numerous inquiries as to why we don’t have these bulbs in stock. Unfortunately, September is not the time to plant Lycoris radiata. 
Just as you wouldn’t plant daffodils or tulips in the spring, Lycoris radiata cannot be planted in the fall during their bloom time. All flowering bulbs should be planted when dormant, and for Lycoris radiata, that optimum planting time is early summer. 
To help you understand, let me tell you a little about the life cycle of the Spider Lily.  One common name for Lycoris radiata is easy to understand–the petals have a spidery appearance, so many of us know this plant as the Spider Lily. But another common name, Hurricane Lily, was given to this bulb because of its surprise appearance in the middle of hurricane season. Lycoris radiata lies dormant all summer, during the heat and drought of July and August. Then in September, often right after a period of heavy rainfall, the stems shoot up seemingly overnight with a bright red spidery bloom at the top (no foliage!) Blooms last up to a month before fading. As the bloom begins to fade, grassy foliage begins to emerge. This foliage looks a lot like liriope. Don’t cut it back. The grassy leaves must be allowed to remain all fall and winter to take in energy from the sun in preparation for multiplying and blooming next year. 
Once the plant begins to send up the blooming stem, Lycoris bulbs should not be disturbed. If transplanted at this time, blooming and growth could be disrupted for next time.  
If you like this unusual flower for your garden, make a note on your calendar right now to remind you to look for Lycoris bulbs in June.  You probably won’t find Lycoris radiata at your local super center, but they are available from several online sources, including Shady Gardens Nursery. June and July are the best time for planting these bulbs so ordering can usually be done as early as May.

October 14, 2010

Trout Lily, Dog Tooth Violet: Wilflower for the Woodland Garden

Filed under: dog tooth, erythronium, fawn, Lily, trout, violet — shadygardens @ 2:08 pm
Erythronium is a native woodland plant with some interesting common names: Trout Lily, Fawn Lily, and Dog Tooth Violet.
The bulb is shaped like a dog’s tooth, hence the common name Dog Tooth Violet. Apparently the common names Trout Lily and Fawn Lily make reference to the spots on the foliage.
Erythronium is native to the western US–an easy to grow bulbous perennial for the native plant garden. Quite rare, this plant would be a nice find for your shade garden.
The beautiful blooms are elegant and very unusual 6-petaled flowers on tall stems held high above the foliage. Blooms appear in mid to late spring. The leaves are just as beautiful as the flowers, in my opinion. The foliage forms clumps of glossy foliage with attractive bronze mottling.
Erythronium dens canis is my favorite with beautiful speckled foliage and blooms that are rose pink to purple.
Erythronium dens canis

Erythronium White Beauty is also striking with its large white blooms having brown basal spots and foliage with white and brown veins to match the blooms.

Erythronium tuolumnense shows off with bright yellow blooms that have a green center. Leaves on this one are a soft solid green (no mottling.)

Erythronium must be planted in early fall to give the bulbs plenty of time to establish and grow in preparation for spring bloom. It requires moisture-retentive, fertile soil such as is found in woodland conditions. Erythronium should receive regular water, especially in spring when leaves are emerging, but less in late summer into fall as the plant prepares for winter dormancy.
Trout Lily can be grown just about anywhere in the United States, since it is hardy in USDA Zones 3-8.

No matter which common name you prefer to call this unusual plant, you’ll love it planted at the base of a large tree or in a shady rock garden.

December 30, 2007

Rohdea: Beautiful Year Round in Dry Shade!

Rohdea Japonica, also known as Japanese Sacred Lily, is a low-growing evergreen plant that is a great substitute for Hosta. Rohdea actually thrives in dry shade gardens, and is not bothered by deer. A native of the Orient, Rohdea should be more widely planted here. Its low-maintenance and tolerance for poor, dry soil make it an easy plant to grow, even for busy gardeners. The 1 foot long deep green leaves form an upright vase-shaped clump that will cover a 2 foot area in several years. In late fall the insignificant flower stalks will develop into a 6-inch stalk of bright red berries at the base of the plant–just in time for Christmas! The berries are eaten by birds and squirrels which help to disperse the seed for more plants in the garden. Usually difficult to find in the United States, Rohdea is highly prized in Japan, with some fancy-leaved varieties often selling for thousands of dollars. If you can find it, Rohdea is definitely worth planting in the garden. Rohdea Japonica needs shade and will even grow in very deep shade with little water. This drought tolerant plant is perfect for a xeriscape garden in shade. Hardiness: USDA Zones 6-10.

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