2006 Iris season opens; Galanthus 'Ophelia'

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Tue, 07 Feb 2006 17:00:21 PST
The 2006 iris season opened today with the flowering of Iris rosenbachiana. 

The plant in question grown in a container which is placed near a sunny
house wall. At night, whenever the temperature is predicted to go below
freezing, the plant is covered with a double ply plastic tarp. 

Out in the garden, well away from the moderating influence of sunny house
walls, the first reticulate irises have spathes up, although none has
actually flowered yet.

Many years ago, maybe fifteen or even twenty years ago, I imported some
named Galanthus cultivars from an English snowdrop specialist. Among the
cultivars received was 'Ophelia'. It did not take well to life in Maryland,
and sulked. Its growth was halting and it never bloomed. A few years ago I
moved it, but that seemed to make no difference. 

I've read that this cultivar does not perform well in all areas.

This year the plant has three flower buds up. The buds look nice and fat,
and that leads me to hope that they are in fact 'Ophelia'. If it blooms
successfully this year, it will be the first time it has bloomed here -
after being in the garden for well over a decade and maybe double that. 

Another one which has been out there for years and has never bloomed was
received under the name Galanthus graecus; it's also called G. gracilis. It
has clumped a bit, and the comparatively small foliage is very distinct.
Maybe it needs feeding. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where some tommies are also

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