At 05:34 PM 9/21/2004 -0700, Mary Sue Ittner wrote: >Come on, won't some of the rest of you offer some favorites. OK, I'll bite - if gingerly. It was surprisingly hard to come up with five purple flowered bulbs. The only ones which spring to mind immediately are crocus and garden hyacinths. Some garden tulips have purplish colors, too. Here's one list: 1. Crocus vernus: several strong purple cultivars are to be found among the Dutch crocus. Each year when these bloom I'm surprised at just how big the individual flowers are. Some of these have grown in this garden for between thirty and forty years without attention. I think we're getting our money's worth here. The saffron crocus and its relatives provide - rather stingily - a very good purple for the autumn. 2. Garden hyacinths offer a few purple cultivars, too, although a comparison of the crocus purple and the hyacinth purple may get you thinking about just what this term purple means. 3. At least two purplish colors are to be seen in some garden tulips. One of these colors is a very red purple, the other is a dull blue purple. This may be a good place to point out that forced tulips and garden grown tulips of the same clone do not always show the same color. Many modern tulips were developed for the forced cut flower industry, the Triumphs especially, and the photographs in the catalogs are apt to show the forced cut flower colors rather than the garden colors. Thus what you see in the catalog may not be what you get in the garden - but not because there has been any monkey business going on. 4. Glads: it's interesting to consider the history of the garden glad in this country. During the period between the First and Second World Wars, it really bloomed as one of if not the most popular garden flowers. But then something happened to pretty much end that: that something is thrips. Too bad: purple is a rare color in the summer garden here, and purple in an inflorescence like that of the glads is just about unknown here. There are very handsome purple glads available now. I saw a neignborhood garden last year which was full of white flowers and purple, blueish-purple and blueish-white glads. This made for a very beautiful and, for these parts, unusual effect. Incidentally, the local grocery stores sell cut flower glads of an intense, dark velvety purple unlike that of any glad I've grown in my garden. Ont thing about thrips and glads: if the glads are planted early, they are likely to bloom before the thrip populations explode and will be beautiful. Corms which survive the winter in the ground also generally escape the thrips. Late planted corms are not worth the effort here. Gladiolus callianthus (our old friend Acidanthera) apparently is not much bothered by thrips. 5. Iris reticulata "old original", which will stand in for all the wonderful purple iris. "Old original" was planted in either 1960 or 1961, and has carried on since. It's about as purple as anything in the garden. It's not the red-purple seen in such reticulate iris cultivars as 'krelagii' or 'Pauline' (or is it 'Paulette'?). "Old original" also has the scent of Viola odorata. 6. And finally - I did say gingerly - Kaempferia rotunda. After putting my list together, it somehow seemed mundane compared to Mary Sue's list: so I've spiced mine up a bit with some ginger. Color wise, this is really stretching things a bit: the flower is hardly purple, but there is a bit of purple in it. Although hardy near a wall here, it is better in a pot so it can be bought in and the fragrance appreciated. Jim McKenney firstname.lastname@example.org Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the color purple, both literally and figuratively, is much appreciated.