False Unicorn (Chamaelirium luteum)
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Sylvia Dering
Posted on: June 12, 2000

We are currently pricking out false unicorn seeds and have some information re the growing habit for these precious plants. Can you shed some light on the matter? There seems to be very little info around. Wayne is a qualified horticulturist and had some difficulty sourcing any more than the basic info. Any thing you can share with us would be wonderful.

You came with a good recommendation from a fellow grower over there: she sang your praises. Just thought I would let you know!

The herb is usually collected from the wild and not cultivated. For that reason there is little commercial interest in growing the plant, at least here in North America. Hence there is little experience cultivating the plant commercially here.

According to the book, "Handbook of Wildflower Cultivation" by Kathryn S. Taylor and Stephen F. Hamblin (Macmillan 1963), the plant is grows "in moderately acid, moist rich soil from eastern Massachusetts to Georgia and from Michigan south to Mississippi and Arkansas." Propagation is by seeds keep wet and sown in the fall, and by tranplanting from the wild, which Taylor and Hamblin say is easy.

Beyond this we do not have any more details.

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