what's flowering this week

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sun, 29 Jan 2012 10:31:45 PST
Kathleen wrote,
>A crocus is about half up and out, enough to see that it is 
>lavender, but not to confirm the species.

Lavender crocuses in flower here (climate about the same as 
Kathleen's) are C. sieberi ssp. atticus, C. rujanensis, C. 
michelsonii, and the last flowers on C. laevigatus. Other crocuses 
appearing include C. chrysanthus, C. gargaricus, C. minimus, C. 
fleischeri, and C. flavus (wild forms).

Many Narcissus of the Bulbocodium (hoop petticoat) group are in 
flower, such as N. cantabricus, N. romieuxii, and the earlier forms 
of N. bulbocodium itself such as ssp. praecox and ssp. pallidus. I 
also have a number of apparent hybrids of these in flower, rescued 
from where they were growing in the sand between the pots in the old 
bulb frame. I particularly like the short-stemmed ones, though these 
would probably not please our Narcissus specialists.

The winter Colchicum species are in flower, such as C. hungaricum 
(pink and white forms), C. munzurense, C. doerfleri, and a couple 
grown from wild-collected seed that I can't pin down; also the former 
Merendera species, now Colchicum trigynum and C. atticum. All of 
these are very small-growing plants.

Sternbergia fischeriana is about to open its yellow flowers, and I 
hope to see bloom on S. candida in a month or two.

In addition to Iris stenophylla, discussed in another post on Juno 
irises, all the Reticulata irises are emerging, with I. histrioides 
(wild form and a cultivar) already in full bloom. Their blue flowers 
are a lovely combination with the white of Narcissus cantabricus, a 
rapid increaser whose bulbs I planted in drifts throughout the beds 
for early display. (If I need to, I can tie the stems of these 
narcissi together to mark them for removal if they threaten their 
neighbors. However, their leaves are so narrow that I don't feel they 
interfere. I've allowed several plants to "invade," including Crocus 
gargaricus and Oxalis obtusa. The latter is barely winter-hardy here 
and stays very small, but its large flowers are a good addition to 
the late winter scene.)

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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