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Eremurus himalaicus2C2000.jpg
Eremurus himalaicus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Eremurus
Type species
Eremurus spectabilis
  • Ammolirion Kar. & Kir.
  • Henningia Kar. & Kir.
  • Selonia Regel

Eremurus /ˌɛrɪˈmjʊərəs/[2] is a genus of deciduous perennial flowers, also known as the foxtail lilies or desert candles. They are native to eastern Europe in (Russia and Ukraine) and temperate Asia from Turkey to China.[1][3]

The inflorescence looks similar to a long spike or a bottlebrush. It consists of many flowers in copper, bright yellow, snow white, pastel pink, orange or any combination of those colors. The leaves grow in tufts of thin, green, straplike strips. Species are known for thick roots that grow out from a central hub. It is also known for being tall, sometimes rising up to 10 feet over the foliage, depending on the variety. These plants are generally native to western and central Asia, although Eremurus thiodanthus is endemic to the Crimea.[4]


Eremurus is hardy to USDA Zones 5-7. Usually four species are available commercially for cultivation:

  • E. himalaicus grows to about 4 ft (1.2 m) with pure white racemes
  • E. robustus can reach 8–10 ft (2.4–3.0 m) in height with pink or white flower spikes
  • E. stenophyllus, a dwarf species, reaches 2–3 ft (0.61–0.91 m) in height with yellow flowers.

Also E. × isabellinus which is a hybrid of E. olgae and E. stenophyllus is available as 'Cleopatra', with orange spikes.[5]

The cultivar 'Joanna' has won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. [6]

The octopus-like tuberous roots are easily injured; planting on a cone of soil, with the crown on the peak and the roots hanging down, is recommended. Plants are readily affected by winter root rot, so that a layer of sand or gravel beneath is recommended to ensure drainage. Covering with compost or mulch provides protection from frost.[7][8]

Eremurus leaves sold for consumption in Armenia


  1. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  3. ^ Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 159 独尾草属 du wei cao shu Eremurus Marschall von Bieberstein, Fl. Taur.-Caucas. 3: 269. 1819
  4. ^ " Eremurus". Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  5. ^ CBG 2017.
  6. ^ "Eremurus 'Joanna'". RHS. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Mrs Greenfingers: How to Grow Eremurus". Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  8. ^ "Love to Know Garden: Eremurus". Archived from the original on 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  9. ^ PBS 2014.