(Erythronium dens-canis) Dogtooth violet – an orchid that will grow in your garden


This rather inconspicuous but good-looking plant is rare in the Central Europe, but it still will grow happily in a shady corner of your garden. There are many dogtooth violets around the world and many of them are suitable for gardens. However, this original species is very special. It is called the dogtooth violet (Erythronium dens-canis) and we shall talk about it today. And even though it looks like orchid at first glance, it is not actually an orchid. It belongs to the lily family.

If you want a dogtooth violet to grow, you need to provide it withthe same conditions it has in the wild. Do you have a little corner in your garden that is not burned by the sun all the time and which receives a good part of falling and colourful leaves from a nearby fruit or ornamental trees? You do? Then you have found the perfect place for your dogtooth violet .

How to grow dogtooth violet in your garden

In order to enjoy pink-purple dogtooth flowers , plant the bulbs preferably in September or October. However, if you get them sooner, do not worry and put them in the ground too. If you have a cultivated variety (for example, there are hybrids with white or very bright pink-spotted flowers), plant them to a depth between 8 and 10 cm. The original species will do well if you plant to them 3 to 4 cm deep.

Choose a partially shaded place (dogtooth will not bloom if you plant it in a fully shaded corner), where the soil is rather lose and almost constantly moist, and which contains plenty of nutrients and humus. Before planting it is recommended to work sand into the soil to achieve better drainage, otherwise the bulbs may rot.

Did you know that the shape of the bulbs actually gave the name to this beautiful flower? Yes, they look like teeth which just fell out of a dog’s mouth.

Dogtooth violet does not need much care

All you need to do is to check the soil for moisture and water, and provide it withplenty of fallen leaves as a cover in the fall. Dogtooth violet blooms in spring and usually produces one flower. It resembles sowbread (Cyclaman). If you want to admire dogtooth violet in the wild, try going to mountains . With little luck you may be able to find it there.

Photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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