Maryland gleanings

Jim McKenney
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 10:56:04 PST
Things continue to pop here in Maryland. I can now count flower buds on some stems of Fritillaria thunbergii. We've having the best snowdrop season ever in my experience. Two different snowdrop varieties  here have produced tetramerous flowers this year. Ranunculus ficaria, that curse of my gardening life, is now starting to bloom - so is the little blue Veronica which grows in lawns. It's such a good season for snowdrops that it's hard to understand why the crocuses are so slow this year. Although tommies have been blooming for weeks, the first two yellow sorts opened only yesterday. Iris lazica has six or seven blooms open today; they form a blue mass about a foot in diameter. Friends who grow this one locally out in the open (mine is in a cold frame) have not yet reported bloom. Finally a flower is opening on one of the Cyclamen coum: the color is an intense red. 

There is a tommy blooming in the garden with the oddest color - it's a sort of tawny lilac.

A pink Hyacinthus orientalis has had flowers open at ground level for about two weeks. They are not pretty in this state, but they are interesting - and fragrant.  I think this might be 'Pink Pearl', a variety known to be an early bloomer and good forcer. 

The Rohdea are full of bright handsome fruit now. In an old book I was reading recently these have been called Japanese sacred lilies. The fruits of Danaë racemosa started to shrivel and lose color several weeks ago - by now they have lost their sparkle.  But its relative Ruscus aculeatus is now spangled with bright red fruits.  Danaë and Ruscus are basically abarrent asparaguses, so you asparagus enthusiasts should consider growing these, too. I've read that the young sprouts of both are edible. 

Does anyone grow or know of a source for Semele? It's at the top of my wish list. 
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 <> 
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