Tiny bulbs

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Mon, 16 Feb 2004 09:06:45 PST
No one has mentioned Rhodohypoxis. Not only are they small, but they are
increasingly available (mine came from the local Safeway grocery store).

Snobs will probably say they are too common and look too much like
Impatiens when in bloom. But their high bloom-to-foliage ratio makes them
ideal trough plants in my view (although I'm not growing them that way

Several Oxalis come to mind, too, especially little O. depressa (O. inops).
Here this is a tidy grower and not invasive (I wish it were more so). 

The Oxalis is not hardy here, and the Rhodohypoxis is a borderline plant.

For something very different, and for a "bog trough", try little Habenaria
radiata. (You may see it listed as Platanthera or Pecteilis or Pectelis).
This is a very charming little bog orchid which gets to be about eight
inches or so high with one or two nickel-sized brilliant white flowers
which in silhouette suggest a flying bird. It blooms here in August. This
one grows from a fuzzy lemon-seed-sized storage structure and is reputed to
prefer dry winter conditions. It has grown outside here for years in my bog
trays (where it is wet all year). Years ago I had a group of these in a low
broad pot surfaced with moss and bottle gentians: very elegant! I've got
some seedlings of Gentiana autumnalis coming along, and hope to combine the
two soon.     

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland zone 7 where the first groups of male robins
are passing through and red-bellied woodpeckers and barred owls have joined
the chorus: bird song is really picking up now! 

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