Plant Profile: Martagon Lilies

claude shrideMartagon season has arrived. Every year about this time — mid June to the later part of the month, the Martagon lilies bloom in all their upside down splendor. At left is Claude Shride, one of the best known of the Martagons.

I fell for Martagons a few years, after being introduced to them by enthusiast Frans Officer, who wrote about his passion for Martagons for Northern Gardener in 2010. Martagons are a lily that likes dappled shade. Once established, they require little care and bloom year after year, with clumps slowly growing bigger and bigger. They like moderately rich soil and adequate moisture.

When we wrote our list of 30 Great Plants for Northern Gardens, we asked, why don’t more gardeners grow Martagon lilies? The answer may well be price. The bulbs are not easily reproduced in commercial situations and, as a result, they often cost upwards of $20 each, and some can cost much more. However, if you can find some, consider making an investment. Every year at this time, you will be glad you did.

 

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