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The genus of steppe candles (Eremurus) is originally native to the steppes of Central Asia. It belongs to the subfamily of the Affodillgew├Ąchse (Asphodeloidea). Steppe candles have adapted well to the dry and hot climate of their home locations. They drift quickly in spring with sufficient soil moisture and withdraw immediately after flowering back into their finger-shaped branched, fleshy rhizomes. So they survive the dry summer and the cold winter until the next bud.

Appearance and growth

The most commonly found in our gardens are the varieties of the Giant Steppe Candle (Eremurus robustus). From the rhizome, up to nine sword-shaped leaves develop early in spring, often dying again during flowering in spring or early summer. The imposing, up to 250 centimeters high flower stalks wear at the top of about 80 to 100 centimeters long, pink flower clusters, which consist of numerous small bell single flowers. The petals have a dark central vein and the stamens protrude far out of the flowers. Flowering time is in June and July. The narrow-leaved steppe candle (E. stenophyllus) remains significantly smaller (150 cm) and flowers in May / June in yellow.


Steppe candles are ideal for gravel and prairie gardens as well as for scree-rich rockeries. The plant loves sunny, warm locations as well as deep and very well drained, loamy-stony soils that should be rich in nutrients. Winter wetness does not tolerate the fleshy roots, so the soil must be well drained. Steppe candles are particularly well against a dark background, e.g. a hedge. Partner plants are ornamental grasses, high fat horseradish (Sedum telephium), torch lilies (Kniphofia), Turkish poppy (Papaver orientale) and tall bluebells. The flowers are very popular with bees and other insects.


The planting begins in late summer and ends around mid-October. It is important to ensure that the fleshy root fingers do not break or bend over - make the planting hole therefore large enough. On impermeable soils, a drainage layer of sand or fine gravel is highly recommended, on which the roots are then spread. They should be about 15 inches below the ground. Cover the planting areas with a layer of compost in autumn and mark them with a short stick.


Steppe candles can be multiplied by parts of the rhizome in late summer. Sowing is also possible, but some years pass before the seedlings flower for the first time.

Diseases and pests

Steppe candles are robust and largely resistant to diseases and pests.

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