Zygadenus (Anticlea): species description and reproduction

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Zigadenus (lat. Zigadenus ) or Anticlea (lat. Anticlea ) – belongs to the Liliaceae family. It is a rather rare plant in Russia. Many gardeners mistakenly consider it fragile due to its exotic origin, but the culture also grows successfully in the middle lane.


This is a perennial herbaceous plant with a root system in the form of bulbs covered with dense transparent films. The bulbs develop strong roots that go deep into the soil. The bush is able to reach 30 – 120 cm in height, depending on the variety.

This culture forms basal and stem leaves. Radical leaf blades 15–20 cm long, narrowed, petiolate, collected in a rosette. Stem – oval, with short petioles, 8 – 10 cm long.

The inflorescences are racemose, consist of small flowers with a diameter of not more than 2 cm. The color of the petals can be white-yellow or white-green. Inflorescences, like leaf plates, stay on the plant until frost.

Anticlea begins to bloom in the summer months. At the end of flowering, fruits remain on the plant – trihedral boxes with small light brown seeds inside.


In ornamental gardening, several types of zygadenus are used, their description is given below.

Anticlea graceful ( Anticlea elegans ). The height of the bush can reach 20 – 100 cm, depending on the place and growing conditions. The root system of the elegant zygadenus is presented in the form of oblong bulbs, tightly closed together. Leaf plates in the rosette reach 50 cm in length and 2 cm in width. On the shoot there are small hard leaves with pronounced veins and a waxy coating on the surface. The racemose inflorescence includes several small greenish-white flowers.

Anticlea Nuttalli ( Anticlea nuttallii ). This variety grows up to 50 – 70 cm. The rosette of leaves gives splendor to the bush, the length of which is 40 cm, width – 1.5 cm. The leaves are oval-elongated, with a bluish bloom on the surface. Inflorescences – brushes consist of small white or light green buds. Flowering begins in early June.

Siberian anticlea ( Anticlea sibirica ). A plant with erect stems 70 – 90 cm high. Leaf plates are elongated, with a pointed tip. Their length reaches 15 cm, width – 1 cm.

As you can see in the photo, the flowers of the Siberian zygadenus are white, enclosed in an inflorescence – panicle:

Flowering lasts for 90 days. The buds begin to bloom in June. After flowering, fruits remain on the plant to ripen – spherical achenes with three faces.

Anticlea Fremont ( Anticlea Fremontii ). It has a bulbous root system with oval elongated, densely spaced bulbs 3–4 cm in diameter. The leaves are shaped into a rosette. Their length can reach 50 cm, while the width is no more than 2 cm. The peduncles are lush, consist of more than 70 buds with a diameter of 2.5 cm. The color of the flowers is rich yellow. Flowering begins in June, lasts throughout the summer months.


This culture is obtained in three ways: using seeds, dividing the bush, planting bulbs. Each of them is equally successful and gives good results in obtaining new plants. However, each method has its own characteristics that must be taken into account. Each of them is described in detail below.

  • Sowing seeds. If a zygadenus is already growing on the site, you need to wait for the box to ripen and collect the seeds, otherwise the seed can be purchased at the store. For sowing seedlings, take peat pots or small plastic glasses, which are filled with soil mixture, mixing peat and sand in equal parts. Crops are moistened using a spray bottle. Keep at room temperature. The germination rate of anticlea seeds is quite slow, so you will have to be patient in order to see the sprouts hatch. Plants usually appear 2 to 3 months after planting. During the period of seed germination, the soil must be watered regularly, but this must be done very carefully and moderately so as not to provoke seed rotting. You will also need to apply mineral fertilizers in a weak dosage once a month.

After the emergence of seedlings, care for it consists in regular watering. Young plants are kept on a bright windowsill so that they develop well and grow stronger. Landing in the ground is carried out after warm spring days are established. The flowering of zygadenus obtained in this way can be expected after 3 to 4 years.

  • The division of the bush. A heavily overgrown perennial bush needs a rejuvenating transplant. To do this, at the end of flowering, they dig it out, using a sharp knife, divide it into parts so that the divisions have at least 3 bulbs and healthy roots. Each seedling is immediately placed in a prepared hole in a permanent place in the garden. Before rooting, seedlings need regular abundant watering.
  • Planting bulbs. For growing anticlea from bulbs, planting material is purchased at the store. Each bulb is carefully inspected, checked for rot and damage. Only whole dense elastic specimens with an intact film are selected. Planting bulbs on the site is carried out in the spring after the soil warms up well. Do not deepen the planting material too much, as it will germinate for a long time. When caring for plantings, it is important to water regularly.


After planting in open ground, zygadenus requires not too complicated, but regular care.

  • Choice of location. Anticlea grows well and develops in an area with diffused sunlight. An ideal place for her would be a flower bed under the spreading crown of a deciduous tree. In open areas, as well as in full shade, flowering will not be plentiful, and the growth rate will be significantly reduced.
  • The soil. The substrate must be saturated with nutrients. Loams with neutral acidity are optimally suited for growing this culture. If the soil on the site is scarce, before planting the plant, it is necessary to dig it up and add organic matter. In subsequent years, continue to enrich the soil composition.
  • Watering. Zygadenus is moisture-loving, therefore, when breeding it, it is important to ensure that the substrate is constantly wet. Prolonged drought should not be allowed, which can lead to wilting of foliage and dropping of buds. Bay antiklei provokes rotting of the root system. Irrigate the bushes should be moderate, keeping the interval on ordinary days – 3 – 4 days, in hot periods – 2 days. During watering, a stream of water should be directed under the root, trying to ensure that moisture does not fall on the leaf outlet.
  • Topdressing. Anticlea responds well to fertilizers. With the onset of the growing season, they begin to make a mineral complex for flowering garden plants. You can also use humus or compost, alternating organic matter with minerals.
  • Preparing for the winter. Zygadenus is not susceptible to low temperatures. Almost all of its species are able to withstand frosts up to 45 degrees. For this reason, his shelter is not necessary. It is enough to completely cut off the aerial part of the bush at the end of flowering. If winters with little snow prevail in the region, the areas where the plant will winter are sprinkled with a layer of peat or covered with spruce branches.
  • Rot prevention. This culture has excellent immunity, therefore, when breeding it, the gardener is unlikely to encounter such problems as the invasion of pests or the occurrence of diseases. Only root rot can damage a flower, which develops when moisture stagnates in the soil. To prevent its occurrence during planting, a drainage layer is laid in the wells.

Use in the garden

Zygadenus is a versatile plant that is used for a variety of purposes. With the help of this flower, flower beds, empty garden plots are decorated, gaps between stones are filled, planted in group plantings.

It is used to make flower beds, create discounts, mixborders, rockeries. Using tall species, anti-glue decorate unattractive places in the garden, hide outbuildings.

Variegated zygadenus bushes are also planted along fences, near recreation areas, combining several different varieties at the same time. This flower looks most advantageous next to irises, roses, gladioli, dahlias, carnations.

Despite the fact that all parts of this plant are poisonous, it is also valued as a medicinal raw material, which is used to treat radiculitis, rheumatism, and neuralgic diseases. Anticlea tinctures are effective in expelling lice. Also, decoctions and infusions of the flower help to cope with parasites in animals.

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