This week’s FOTW steps up to the ring with some truly impressive vital statistics in its corner: a six to ten foot stem; leaves that stretch up to 48 inches long and four inches wide; inflorescence that can reach four feet in length. Yes, the Foxtail Lily might almost be intimidating were it not for the small matter of all the teeny-tiny oh-so-pretty often-pale-pink flowers which burst from the inflorescence in late spring/early summer. Each plant can bloom with as many as 700-800 in fact.
They’re a hardy bunch, able to thrive in the arid conditions of Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush mountains of Northern Pakistan. Their proper name in fact - Eremerus Robustus - is a compound of the Greek words for Desert (eremus) and Tail (oura). They’re also able to thrive, with a little bit of TLC, in more familiar environments, and as Dan Pearson of The Guardian observed whilst battling to grow them himself:
“Eremurus epitomise the moment in early summer when the garden is at its absolute freshest. Fullness has not given way to flabbiness, greens are still bright and there is a whole summer of nurturing and reward yet to come.”