Unicorn, False (Chamaelirium luteum), packet of 20 seeds, Organic

(3 customer reviews)

$8.95

Seed from the new harvest now in stock.  Refrigerated seed is best sown as soon as possible after receipt.

Family:  Lily (Liliaceae)

Hardy to Zones 4 to 8

(False Unicorn, Helonias Root, Star Grub Root, Devil’s Bit, Blazing Star, Starwort, Helonias dioica, Helonias lutea)  Herbaceous dioecious evergreen forest-dwelling perennial. Dioecious means having the male and female reproductive organs borne on separate individuals.  Since we cannot predict whether a plant is male or female until it flowers, we do suggest to plant in groups of at least three to help assure that the plants will make seeds. Native to the central and eastern hardwood forests of North America.  Rare and in many places extirpated.  The female flowers occur in 18 inch spikes that curve and dip like graceful fairy wands.  The dried root is the part employed.  Traditional usage: uterine tonic.  Plant prefers moist shade, acid soils.  Sow seed in acid soil in the fall, midwinter or very early spring.  Use outdoor nursery bed technique or flats or pots left in the shadehouse or unheated greenhouse.  They are slow and steady germinators. Transplant is difficult due to hairlike root system.  Do your best, use an acidic mix, and after transplant, give them a cool, shady and moist rest.  They will eventually kick in and expand. Transplant in autumn to their permanent location, best in shade garden or woodland.

20 seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown

In stock

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3 reviews

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  1. slawkozel

    chamaelirium luteum

    slawkozel (verified owner)

    Slawomir

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    • jonah umoh

      Can this plant grow in Africa?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Jonah,
      No, it requires a cold dormancy and is native to the eastern hardwood forest biome of north america.
      Richo

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    • SISTER IRENE GIBSON

      Hello Richo, do you think it would grow in South West Ireland. Temperatures in winter here is about 2-5 Celsius Jan-Feb.?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Sister, Perhaps if you could find a place with moist shade and acidic soil. Richo

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    • Nez

      Hello, do you think I can plant it in Germany (we have cold winters, but not every time)? Do you ship to Germany?
      Thank you,

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hello Nez, very sorry to not be able to ship to any country in the EU anymore. Chamaelirium luteum is one of the most difficult plants on earth. richo

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  2. One person found this helpful
    Donna

    Good Germination

    Donna (verified owner)

    I may have done it all wrong but still had 100% germination. I started them inside in August and waited a month.. I realized they probably needed cold stratification and covered the small trays with plastic in the refrigerator for about a month. Took them out and put them to the side of a grow light I have. They finally came up in October and little sprouts are growing really slowly. Maybe waiting for spring. I see the directions here now (Nov.) and am ordering more to start outside in a coldframe.

    Photo has been removed

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Donna, Good work, the proof is in the pudding. Your method resulted in temperature oscillation which is often the key. Richo

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    • BC (verified owner)

      Can I sow this directly outdoors in February? (zone 5, native range)

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Yes, however the seed is very small and thus generally benefits from the control afforded by sowing in deep flats outdoors. r

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    • Shaun

      Are these seeds pre-stratified and ready to plant? Thanks

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Shaun,
      They are fresh and refrigerator-stored. I think some cold/moist conditioning is still in order–best in outdoor treatment. I re-read the monograph and found it helpful.
      Richo

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    • Shallece (verified owner)

      I recieved these in June. Do I need to put them in the fridge until fall? Or plant immediately? I have been reading and it says both.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi! Chamaelirium luteum does benefit from a period of cold, moist stratification before planting. My advice would be to mix the seed in a moist medium and refrigerate for 30 days, then sow in cool shade. Use a peat-heavy mix as these prefer an acidic soil.
      Richo

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    • Angela Christensen

      Will these grow in alkaline soil?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Angela, these require an acidic soil. Richo

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    • Jamaica

      Hi Richo,
      I am wondering if I can direct seed on the edge of my hardwood forest in Vermont when I receive them (which I’m guessing will be end of April)? Would they be happier in the forest proper? Or should I sow elsewhere and try transplanting with their delicate roots in the fall?

      Thanks for your help!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi jamaica, at this point when Chamaelirium luteum seeds are ordered we give a fast turnaround, we’re not holding the orders for any reason. there’s a whole chapter on this plant in my book “growing at-risk” but in short i recommend an acidic potting spoil and growing in pots or nursery bed for 2 years before fall transplant. r

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