Asphodelus acaulis

Jim McKenney
Tue, 28 Feb 2012 15:30:24 PST

Asphodelus acaulis is blooming now here in Maryland. How many of you remember Anna Griffiths' 1964/1965 book A Guide to Rock Garden Plants? For me it was the first or at least one of the first books I knew which had modern color photographs of a wide selection of rock garden plants. Many of the plants discussed  were bulbs; it was from this book or the more or less contemporary Collins Guide to Bulbs by Patrick Synge  that I learned about Iris winogradowii. Griffiths' book was where I learned about Asphodelus acaulis, a plant I never thought I would see alive much less grow. 

Now fast forward about forty years. One of my gardening friends acquired a plant of Asphodelus acaulis from Jane McGary; it grew well in its new home, and it eventually appeared at the plant exchange of our local NARGS chapter. That's when I acquired my start. 

From reading the above perhaps some of you are wondering why I'm posting this here instead of on the NARGS forum. The answer is simple: it's on the PBS wiki. Take a look: it's a real charmer, nothing like its taller relatives. 

For the last two weeks or so the crown of the plant has had a coronet of pink buds; now they're beginning to open. The flowers to me look as if they were made of pink butter cream. 

This is a favorite here, to me a really special plant. Jane mentions in the wiki account that the crowns sometimes die after flowering. My plant has only a single crown. I'll be devastated if it dies. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.021954º North, 77.052102º West, USDA zone 7
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin /<> 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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