favorite yellow-flowered bulbs

John Grimshaw johngrimshaw@tiscali.co.uk
Wed, 21 Jan 2004 23:35:45 PST
Leaving aside Narcissus, which is quite another matter, I would nominate:

Crocus chrysanthus 'Cream Beauty'  a lovely soft creamy yellow that is particularly effective in the garden, showing up in dull weather when the yellows with striped 'backs' become tigerishly invisible.

"Tulipa batalinii" (the commercial clone sold under this name as a true species, without cultivar distinction: it is a clone of T. linifolia)  another soft pale yellow, flowering in May.

Lilium monadelphum here it is a very reliable, perennial lily, flowering in June. A clump has persisted at Colesbourne for at least 80 years since H.J. Elwes' time, growing in rough grass, and elsewhere in Gloucestershire I have seen it completely naturalized, self-sowing under trees.

Moraea alticola large primrose-yellow flowers look remarkably like those of Iris pseudacorus, but it comes from the high Drakensberg of South Africa where it is an odd sight standing high above the short alpine vegetation. The leaves are evergreen and very leathery, with a beautiful reticulated cataphyll at their base. It is easy to grow in southern England, enjoying a humus-rich, moist soil, flowering in late June or early July.

Sternbergia sicula is a smaller version of the familiar S. lutea, with narrow spreading leaves and the flowers held up well clear of them. So far as I can tell, there is a continuum between S. lutea and S. sicula, with the same sites in Greece having both broad and narrow-leaved versions. The often-cultivated S. lutea 'Angustifolia' is no match for S. sicula, however, and I find it a bit disappointing, with lots of erect dark green leaves rather masking the flowers.

John Grimshaw
Gardens Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

Website: http://www.colesbournegardens.org.uk/

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