Monday, April 14, 2008
Lily Of The Golden Mountains
The Altai Range (altai meaning golden mountains in the local language) are in central Asia (southwestern Siberia), and lie at the junction of Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Surrounded by dry steppes, the mountains rise sharply into cool, snow-covered peaks with thousands of lakes and extensive forests of pine, larch, fir, aspen and birch. Every spring, just below the snowmelt line, a snow-white lily called Erythronium sibericum blooms. Pictured is the named clone 'Altai Snow'; pristine white with a heart of gold, it is only a few inches tall, with faintly spotted leaves.
This is the first erythronium to bloom for us every spring, being a true glacier lily. We probably are pushing its southern limits of growability here in 5a, but this frigid spring is certainly to its liking. At least one plant is happy with the weather.
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