Dogs Dinner

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These very lovely bulbs are a native woodland bulb. They vary from white to pink and have very beautiful leaves and flowers. The leaves are edible in salads and are full of starch which is used in creating vermicelli. The bulb is the shape of a dogs tooth; hence he the name Digs Tooth Violet or Erythronium dens-canis. The bulbs are supposed to be quite tasty and can be used dried to make flour.

We planted a different variety on campus but before we did half of them where eaten by rats from the bag! Obviously delicious to rodents too. There is a national collection of the Erythroniums at GreenCombe gardens in Porlock, Somerset. The gardens are run by a lovely lady who sits and takes the money with her dogs; its mostly a woodland garden with loads azalea and southern hemisphere tender plants. My favourite is a variety E.hendersonii.
The leaves on the native one are almost camaflague; not sure if this is an adaptation to stop it being eaten or it’s a virus like the Aucuba japonica.

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